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, Italy, Canada, Russia, Germany 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) 




Juried Art Show-Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, Georgia

Toronto Arthouse Film Festival- Toronto, Canada

Venice Film Week- Venice, Italy


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

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 Animfest – International Film Festival- Athens, Greece

DeleteTV- Television Broadcast- Melbourne, Australia

Open World Animation Festival – Alternative Gallery, Allentown, PA

Tramp L’oeil: Ceramics of the Third Wave – Fraction Print Studio – Kansas City, MO 

No Dialogue International Film Festival- Bristol, England

Videodrome: Film, Animation + Video Art- 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- Film Festival- Artist Television Access, San Francisco, CA

Post Mortem, International Film Festival, Aguascalientes, Mexico

CineAutopsia, Experimental Film Festival, Bogotá, Columbia

Rural FilmFest, International Film Festival, Sierra Madrona, Spain

Cute as a Button — MFA Thesis Exhibition – Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA


InLight Richmond — Group Exhibition - 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA

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

Project // Project — Group Exhibition - F.A.B.Gallery, VCUarts, Richmond,VA

Secret Societies — Film Forum - Gallery5, Richmond, VA

Somebody’s Reality— Short Film Festival - Please Hold Magazine, St. Louis, MO

The Kinsey Juried Art ShowGroup Exhibition- Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington,IN

Consuming Image—Candidacy Exhibition - Octoprint, Richmond,VA


I Will be in TouchGroup Exhibition, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Richmond,VA

Social Justice Art Show  Group Exhibition, Gay Community Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA

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


The Great Repression  BFA Thesis Exhibition – Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington, IN

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


The Kinsey Juried Art ShowGroup Exhibition- Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington,IN

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

Ceramics Area ShowGroup Exhibition – School of Fine Arts Gallery, Bloomington, IN


Distorting RealitySolo Exhibition- Mishawaka Public Library, Mishawaka, IN




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


Award Finalist in Animation - Blowup Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival

Robert & Joyce Ledford Graduate Scholarship- VCU School of the Arts


Most Environmentally ConsciousInLight Richmond, 1708 Gallery, Juried by Denise Markonish

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

Commonwealth Graduate Studies Award - VCU School of the Arts


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


Fundamental Studio Award - Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts




Adjunct Professor: Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU School of the Arts & Dept. of Kinetic Imaging :

   Animation 1 (KINE-235) 6 credits; Advanced Stop Motion Techniques (KINE-491) 3 credits

   Character Development in New Media (KINE-491) 3 credits (summer)


Adjunct Professor: Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU School of the Arts & Dept. of Kinetic Imaging :

   Introduction to Animation (KINE-234) 6 credits, Experimental Clay Animation (ARTS-391) 3 credits,

   Puppets: Performance to Animation (KINE-391) 3 credits;

   Animation 1 (KINE-235) 3 credits;  Project Animation (ARTF-139) 1 credit

Founder, Studio Manager: Floodwall Studio Artist Collective, Richmond, VA

Director, Animator, Sound Designer, Editor, Puppet & Set Design/Production

    ‘Cute As A Button’


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

   Clay Animation (KINE-291) 1 credit

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

   Dance & Animation (KINE-491) 3 credit; Electronic Animation 1 (KINE-235) 3 credits

Instructor Animation Workshop-At the Edge Symposium 

   Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Charlottesville, VA

Director, Animator, Sound Designer, Editor, Puppet & Set Design/Production

    Destruction of Pleasure As A Radical Weapon’


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

   Electronic Animation 2 (KINE-434) 3 credits

Director, Animator, Sound Designer, Editor, Puppet & Set Design/Production

    ‘Bodily Conflict’



The Secrets Hotline (Cover Art), Love & Radio, loveandradio.org, April 2017

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

Canvas Creative Arts Magazine, Spring  2011Issue 2011

Fiore Magazine, Fall  2008Issue 2008


© 2017 Marta Finkelstein