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UW-Madison Arts Institute announces creative arts award recipients

January 7, 2011

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute has announced its 2010-11 recipients of awards that honor faculty, staff and students in the arts who have demonstrated excellence in creative inquiry, outreach and professional excellence.

This year’s award recipients will be honored at a ceremony and reception on Tuesday, May 3. The awards ceremony will also honor special recipients of Year of the Arts Awards, as well as recognizing campus recipients of the Year of the Arts/Madison Blink Grants awarded in partnership with the Madison Arts Commission.

Those to be honored with Faculty Research Awards include:

  • Associate professor John Hitchcock, Department of Art, Arts Institute Creative Arts Award. Hitchcock’s project, “Re-Riding History — Retracing the Plains,” will research and re-trace the train path of 72 Plains Indians who were forcibly taken from Oklahoma to Florida and held as prisoners from 1875-78. The project will gather historical information related to land, investigate issues of identity and establish collaboration between traditional and contemporary art media by documenting the journey through drawing, video and sound. Hitchcock plans a new series of mixed media works on paper and video based on the experience, as well as several solo exhibitions.
  • Professor Nancy Mladenoff, Department of Art, Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts. Mladenoff’s ongoing project, “Biome Series,” draws on the tradition of early American naturalist artists and explores several environmentally compromised biomes of North America, including the bayous of post-Katrina, post-Gulf Coast oil spill. By creating large-scale paintings of the various species of plants and animals that make up the different environments, Mladenoff sees the resulting cross-disciplinary work as important representations of the particular historical moment and a nod to the historical works of artists including Sibylla Merian, Anna Botsford Comstock and Mark Catesby.
  • Professor Christopher Taylor, School of Music, Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts. Taylor, a professor of piano, is in the midst of work on a new musical instrument that will employ many of the latest advances in musical technology. The instrument is designed to improve on the work of early 20th century composer and inventor Emmanuel Moor, and furthers a centuries-old tradition of keyboard instrument innovation.

The recipient of this year’s Outreach Award is the Pro Arte Quartet, School of Music, Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts. Celebrating its centennial year, the Pro Arte Quartet was formed in Belgium in 1911-12 and is now the United States’ oldest artists-in-residence ensemble. In addition to their two annual concert series, the Pro Arte Quartet regularly travels throughout the state to conduct master classes, workshops, and recitals in schools and communities.

The Arts Institute will award a significant number of students for their work in the arts as well. This year’s recipients include:

  • Lisa Frank, Design Studies Department, David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts. Frank, who is working on her MFA, has been awarded the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the Steenbock Gallery from May 23-July 1 by the Center for Photography. Her work is centered on creating living wallpapers that focus on the development of pattern from photographs and scanographs of nature imagery. Frank has also received at Year of the Arts Student Award from the Design Studies Department for her work on the living wallpapers project and exhibition.
  • Mary Perkinson, School of Music, David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts. Perkinson, a doctoral candidate in violin performance, founded Sound Health, a partnership between UW–Madison and the UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC). The program aims to enrich the UWHC environment for patients, families, health care providers and staff through live music while providing music students with an opportunity for community service and professional performing experience.
  • Nicholas Wynia, Department of Art, Judson Student Award, Graduate Level. Wynia, an MFA candidate specializing in photography, is currently working on two exhibitions titled “De Tumbes A Cusco” and “Daystar.” “De Tumbes A Cusco” researches the route that Francisco Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors forged in 1532 as a way of looking at the conquest of land, resources, ideology and religion, and “Daystar,” which highlights the lives of students and staff of the Daystar school in Honduras and will be installed in Madison’s East High School Library. Wynia has also been awarded a Year of the Arts Blink Grant from the city of Madison and a Year of the Arts Student Award from the Department of Art for his work on “Daystar.”
  • Sarah Mitchell, Dance Department, Judson Student Award, Undergraduate Level. Mitchell, a dance and economics double major, was nominated for her multiple contributions to the Dance Department. Among her many accomplishments, she has performed in numerous faculty and student concerts, including the recent “Upswing,” choreographed a solo piece titled “Little Black Dress” that was chosen by adjudication for the 2009 Student Concert, and continues to collaborate with peers on pieces including “Bits and Snatches” and “Tic Tac Toe.”

In conjunction with the Year of the Arts, each department has also chosen a student or a group of students to be recognized and encouraged in their artistic pursuits. In addition to Frank and Wynia, students receiving Year of the Arts Student Awards include:

  • Chanel Govreau, Department of Art. Govreau plans a performance installation for this spring that will use her body as a site of live performance. She intends to use sculptural printmaking and textile work derived from her own lab research in the piece.
  • Kat Cameron and Teresa Deziel, Dance Department. Cameron and Deziel plan to mix art disciplines by creating a series of art works by a spectrum of artists, including dancers, visual artists, musicians, photographers and others. Using the domino effect, the event will produce several new works, each based on the preceding work.
  • Tim Hamilton, Sandy Peterson and Jeff Casey, theatre and drama department. Aiming to produce new plays by up and coming American playwrights, Hamilton, Peterson, and Casey will produce George Brandt’s “Elephant’s Graveyard” this spring.
  • Andrea Kleesattel, School of Music. Kleesattel was recognized for her leadership of the UW–Madison Arts Enterprise Association Student Chapter, VIBES high school chamber music project and the School of Music Community Program strategic planning.
  • Julie Page, School of Music. Page was recognized for her leadership of the UW–Madison Educational and Performance Outreach, a community project that brings music students to schools, health facilities, prisons and other locations typically underserved by the arts, as well as for her participation in the School of Music Community Program strategic planning.
  • Sean Phelan, School of Music. Phelan was recognized for his leadership of the campus chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music, his volunteer service as an ambassador for the School of Music and his participation in the School of Music Community Program strategic planning.
  • Bobby Gryzynger, Communication Arts-Film. Gryzynger was recognized for his nonfiction video “Autobiography.” Through compositing and time manipulation, Gryzynger investigates the pliability of video image, finding a metaphor for the multiple layers of memory.
  • Nickolas Good, Communication Arts-Film. Good was recognized for his “Untitled” animation piece, which uses the visual metaphor of changing seasons to meditate on two characters’ inner lives and emotions. Through careful drawings, staging, and a spare use of color, Good intones the melancholic beginning of a relationship.

In addition to Wynia, the city of Madison awarded the Year of the Arts/Madison Blink Grant in honor of the Year of the Arts to Gabriel Pionkowski, who will create a sculptural object reminiscent of a wall on Lake Street in June.