Marta Finkelstein

Richmond, Virginia


Richmond, Virginia
Marta Finkelstein (born 1990) is an experimental artist working with clay, paint, sound, and moving image. She received her BFA in Ceramics from Indiana University in 2012, and went on to pursue experimental animation at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received her MFA in Kinetic Imaging in 2015. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, as well as internationally at film festivals in France, Spain, Serbia, Columbia, Mexico, Australia, Greece and England. Awards include ‘Most Environmentally Conscious’ at INLight 2014 (in collaboration with Christopher David White) and Curator’s Choice Award at 2014 Kinsey Institute Juried Exhibition. She is currently teaching animation at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as managing a non-profit studio collective in Richmond, Virginia.

Artist Statement

In creation I find a sense of power and control that is elusive in other aspects of my life. I tend to create objects and time-based works that are heavily crafted and meticulously rendered. I often spend a great deal of time with each piece, in turn creating a sense of preciousness that adds to the concept behind the work. I cannot seem to break the connection between power and making, so the work itself tends to speak about the very nature of power, or lack thereof. I play with the cute aesthetic; my work often appears small and innocent, sweet and precious. However, at closer inspection, I peel back the illusion of societies’ obsession with vulnerability, and reveal how truly grotesque cuteness can be. The process of making is always an experimental one. I want to continually push the boundaries of the materials I work with. Clay is my primary material, one that is malleable and delicate. Aside from its sculptural capabilities, I’ve been experimenting with the many ways clay can move in time. From making clay puppets that are manipulated frame-by-frame, to making a series of vessels that each are a frame of animation. I want to play with clay’s ability to interact with digital technology, from generating sound and reshaping the waveforms, to animating a sculpture’s image in a digital space. Within creation I not only find a sense of self, but also investigate my relationship to the world around me. I enable my personal empowerment through knowledge of a material and through the manipulation and control of that material. At the same time, I want to actively engage in the conversation of contemporary aesthetics and explore deeper implications of power in society.


Marta Rosalyn Finkelstein


2015  Master of Fine Arts: Kinetic Imaging, Virginia Commonwealth University (4.0  GPA)

2012 Bachelor of Fine Arts: Ceramics, Indiana University (3.9 GPA)




Semi-Finalist - Locomocion/Experimental Animation Festival

Semi-Finalist - 39th Elche International Independent Film Festival

Adjunct Faculty Research Grant - Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts


Award Finalist in Animation - Blowup Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival

Robert & Joye Ledford Graduate Scholarship - Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts


Most Environmentally Conscious – InLight Richmond, 1708 Gallery, Juried by Denise Markonish

Curator’s Choice Award -The Kinsey Juried Exhibition, Grunwald Gallery of Art


Nicks Bricks Award in Ceramics – Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts


Fundamental Studio Award - Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts



Avant Edge Film Festival - Chicago, IL

Tahoe Underground Film Festival - Tahoe, NV

Locomocion/Experimental Animation Festival - Mexico City, Mexico

PiGrecoZen Film Fest - Ancona, Italy 

New York Film Week - The Producer's Club, New York, NY 

IndieWise Virtual Film Festival - World Wide Web

Watered Down-Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, GA

Ozark Shorts - Milford, MO

GenreBlast Film Festival - State Theater, Richmond, VA

39th Elche International Independent Film Festival (semi-finalist)- Elche, Spain

Euro Fest - St. Petersburg, Russia

Backup_festival :Art.ScreenWeimar, Germany

Athens AnimfestAthens, Greece

DeleteTVTelevision Broadcast, Melbourne, Australia

Open World Animation Festival - Alternative Gallery, Allentown, PA

Tramp L'oeil: Ceramics of the Third Wave - NCECA Satellite-Fraction Print Studio, Kansas City, MO

No Dialogue Film Festival - Bristol, England

Videodrome: Film, Animation + Video Art Festival - London, England


Blowup Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival- Chicago, IL

Experimental Superstars International Film Festival - Novi Sad, Serbia

SEFF Binghamton Student Experimental Film Festival - Binghamton, NY

Without Words Film Festival - Les Films Du Gabain - Marseille, France

Gaze X Animation Spectacular II- Artist Television Access, San Francisco, CA

Post Mortem Film FestivalAguascalientes, Mexico

CineAutopsiaBogotá Experimental Film Festival - Bogotá, Columbia

Rural FilmFest - Sierra Madrona, Spain

Cute as a Button -Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA 


InLight Richmond — 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA

James River Filmmakers Forum - Visual Arts Center, Richmond, VA

Project // Project F.A.B.Gallery,VCUartsRichmond,VA

Secret Societies Film ForumGallery5, Richmond, VA

Somebody’s Reality Short Film FestivalPlease Hold Magazine, St. Louis, MO

The Kinsey Juried Art Show - Grunwald Gallery of ArtBloomington,IN

Consuming ImageOctoprintRichmond,VA


Will be in TouchGroupExhibition, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Richmond,VA

Social Justice Art Show  GroupExhibition, Gay Community Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA

Running,Touching,Pulsing,Flashing  — Group Exhibition, F.A.B Gallery, VCUarts, Richmond, VA


The Great Repression   Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington, IN

Wings, Tails & Scales:  An Art Exhibition Celebrating AnimalsGroup Exhibition – Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH


The Kinsey Juried Art ShowGroupExhibition- Grunwald Gallery of Art,Bloomington,IN

Confliction Within Containment  Collaborative Exhibition – Fuller Gallery, Bloomington, IN

Ceramics Area ShowGroupExhibition – School of Fine Arts Gallery, Bloomington, IN


Distorting RealitySoloExhibition- Mishawaka Public Library, Mishawaka, IN




Adjunct Faculty: Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of Kinetic Imaging :

       Animation 1 (KINE-235)

       Advanced Stop Motion Techniques (KINE-491)

       Character Development in New Media (KINE-491)

 Studio Manager Floodwall Studio, Richmond, VA  



Adjunct Faculty: Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of Kinetic Imaging :

       Animation 1 (KINE-235);

       Project Animation (ARTF-139)

       Introduction to Animation (KINE-234)

      Experimental Clay Animation (ARTS-391)

Studio Manager - Floodwall Studio, Richmond, VA


Adjunct Faculty: – Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of Kinetic Imaging :

        Clay Animation (KINE-291)

Graduate Teaching Assistant – VCU, Dept.of Kinetic Imaging:

        Dance & Animation (KINE-491)

        Electronic Animation 1 (KINE-235)

Instructor Animation Workshop-At the Edge Symposium

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Charlottesville,VA



Graduate Teaching Assistant - Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept.of Kinetic Imaging:

Electronic Animation 2 (KINE-434)

Founder, Designer,Production Assistant - Studio Minutia




Flagpole.com Art Notes: Local Exhibition on Third Thursday, Jessica Smith

CFile online, NCECA 2016 and the Politics of Cute, May 2016

Canvas Creative Arts Magazine, Spring 2011Issue2011

Fiore Magazine, Fall 2008Issue2008



© 2017 Marta Finkelstein