UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Sherley Arias-Pimentel, a University of Richmond senior from Newark, New Jersey, has been awarded the Joy of Giving Something Fellowship through Imagining America. The fellowship is awarded to eight undergraduate students across the U.S. who are interested in photography and digital media as future careers and hope to make a difference in their communities.
Arias-Pimentel, a double major in anthropology and global studies, has been passionate about photography and social justice since she began taking photos in middle school.
“When you take a photo, you are literally capturing that moment in time forever,” Arias-Pimentel said. “When you look at a photograph, it reminds you of how you were feeling during that time.”
In the fall of 2021, Arias-Pimentel traveled to Ghana to study globalization and cultural legacies and returned to campus to create an art exhibition of her photography from her time there with support from the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. She is currently showing another art exhibition in collaboration with fellow student Julia Brittain, titled “At the Intersection of Contagion and Connection: HIV/AIDS and Richmond’s LGBTQ+ Communities” in the Carole Weinstein International Center.
“I love when my photos inspire conversation or change someone’s perception,” Arias-Pimentel said. “This fellowship will allow me to collaborate with a community of people with the same mindset when it comes to art and social justice and advocacy.”
Each fellow receives tuition support and mentoring opportunities for a community project to be completed during the 2022-23 academic year. Arias-Pimentel is finalizing details about the focus for her project and plans to use the fellowship to create a photography exhibition in the Richmond community in the coming year.
Arias-Pimentel is the second UR student to receive this fellowship. The first was 2019 graduate and filmmaker Jeanette Lam, who created a documentary short film “A Flower in a Dark Place” for her Joy of Giving Something project.