Founder and Executive Director
Shannon is an artist/photographer, educator, gardener, and mother. She is currently an adjunct professor at VCU in the Department of Photography and Film. From 2006 to 2013 she served as an assistant professor of Photography and Digital Imaging at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. From 2004 to 2006 she taught photography at Dar Al Hekma College, a women’s college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 2013 and 2016 she was visiting faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at San Francisco Art Institute, leading classes to Vietnam and Cuba. A native Richmonder who spent nearly a decade helping to develop art communities abroad, Shannon brings a unique perspective and contagious enthusiasm to Oakwood Arts + P35.
Maintenance and Support
Moses is a contractor with nearly five decades of experience. He is also a preacher and longtime East End resident, known to many in the community as Elder Moses. He spent twenty years working on the buildings that Oakwood now calls home and has recently returned to 3511 P Street, where he provides invaluable guidance as he continues to revitalize our facilities.
An arts and science educator, Liana has served as a darkroom photography instructor for the past nine years at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, where she specializes in working with students from Richmond Public Schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Peter Paul Development Center. She also co-runs VisArts' Make Space program (formerly known as Space of Her Own), which pairs sixth-grade girls from Church Hill's Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School with female mentors, who together focus on artmaking, self-expression, and leadership skills. For the past two years she has worked at Blue Sky Fund as an educator for the Explorers program, leading elementary school students from the East End and Southside on science-based field trips to explore the natural world. She studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator
Dia is a teacher, volunteer, and mother of two. She got her start after college at Capital One, where she was an active participant in company-sponsored volunteer projects. This led her to a position at Wheat First Butcher Singer, a full-service securities firm, where she managed special events, including parties and community service, for offices in Richmond and Philadelphia. She went on to oversee branch-office renovations, relocations, and openings along the East Coast. Dia began teaching Pilates in 2012 and volunteers with Community in Schools at Binford Elementary and St. Michael's Episcopal School. She'll be responsible for planning, organizing, and budgeting all fundraising events for Oakwood Arts.
Erin Hollaway Palmer
Communications Manager / Director of Literacy Programs
Erin is an editor, writer, educator, and Church Hill resident. She is the former managing editor of Parade and National Geographic Adventure magazines, and has worked on a variety of other print and online publications over the past 15 years. In addition to her editorial work, she has taught English in the Netherlands and New York, and since early 2014 has served as a volunteer literacy and ESOL tutor with Literacy for Life in Williamsburg, VA. She is also a founding member of the Friends of East End, the volunteer group working to restore and document East End Cemetery in Henrico County.
Locations and Logistics Manager
Susan is an art department coordinator in film and television with more than a decade of experience managing productions of all sizes in both Los Angeles and throughout Virginia. More recently she has been working as a production designer on commercials for medical centers and historical foundations. Her passion for photography and the visual arts was fostered at an early age. Susan understands the importance of personal expression, the power of imagination, and the structure needed to help propel these ideas. She will be responsible for rentals of the Oakwood Arts + P35 space.
Founding Board of Directors
Aubrey W. Fountain III, attorney, Harrell & Chambliss
Tim Bowring, executive director, Habitat for Humanity Powhatan
Rae Cousins, attorney, BrownGreer
Paula Harper, owner, PaulaWorks accounting service
Katherine Leatherwood Brakman, senior producer, the Martin Agency (Running with Scissors)
Anne Chapman, casting director, Anne Chapman Casting; adjunct professor,
VCU Arts Cinema
Kimberly Merkel Chen, principal planner, City of Richmond
Letitia Jacobs, director of integrated production, Arts & Letters Creative Co.
Enjoli Moon, founder/director, Afrikana Independent Film Festival
Brian Palmer, visual journalist; educator, VCU, University College
Jennifer Rissler, dean, San Francisco Art Institute
Gordon Stettinius, artist/photographer; founder/director, Candela Gallery
Susann Whittier, artist; educator, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School
Board of Advisers
A.J. Brewer, owner, Brewer’s Café
Melissa Brooks, program head, associate professor, J. Saregeant Reynolds Community College
S. Ross Browne, artist
Anthony Bryant, owner, Little Nomad
Carl Byrd, neighbor/longtime Oakwood resident
Tristan Cai, artist; assistant professor, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Rebecca Berlin Field, educator, Douglas Freeman High School
Sue Ann Messmer, retired Vice President, VCU
Ashby Nickerson, associate director, Candela Gallery
Marlene Paul, cofounder/executive director, Art 180