[ skip to content ]


An Old Dominion University faculty member and a recent graduate are among the recipients of the 2005-06 Artists Fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

This year, eight Virginia artists were honored, concentrating in the fields of sculpture and playwriting. The artists will each receive fellowships of $5,000.

Sheri Reynolds, associate professor of English, and Crystal Endsley, a 2004 ODU graduate, were awarded two of the four fellowships for playwriting.

An accomplished novelist whose book "The Rapture of Canaan" was an Oprah book club selection, Reynolds wrote her first play two years ago and describes playwriting as "one of the best learning experiences of my life."

Her play, "Orabelle's Wheelbarrow," was chosen this year by the Women Playwrights' Initiative for its second annual world premiere production.

Reynolds is the Ruth and Perry Morgan Chair of Southern Literature at Old Dominion. The recipient of a 2005 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, she has taught at ODU since 1997 and is a favorite among English literature and creative writing students.

Brian Silberman, assistant professor of English, was also recognized by the VCA as one of two alternates for this year's playwriting fellowships.

Endsley, who majored in theatre and dance (with an emphasis in performance) and received a minor in African American studies, is active as a poet through teaching, writing, performing and numerous community outreach efforts.

In the last two years she has developed a career traveling as a spoken-word poet. Through these experiences of performing her own work, she aspired to write her own life story in a one-woman show.

The Virginia Commission for the Arts fellowships are given in recognition of creative excellence, and meant to promote and support the pursuit of artistic excellence. The annual awards are offered on a rotating basis to artists in the following disciplines: crafts, photography, sculpture, fiction, music composition, choreography, painting, works of paper (prints and drawing,) poetry, playwriting and filmmaking.

This article was posted on: January 5, 2006

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.