Two Fay Jones School Faculty Selected as Fellows at Prestigious MacDowell Colony

Professors Charles Sharpless and Jessica Colangelo were selected for a joint fellowship at the MacDowell Colony.
Image courtesy of Charles Sharpless and Jessica Colangelo

Professors Charles Sharpless and Jessica Colangelo were selected for a joint fellowship at the MacDowell Colony.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two University of Arkansas professors have been selected as MacDowell Fellows for residency at the prestigious artists' colony.

Jessica Colangelo is an assistant professor of architecture, and Charles Sharpless is a visiting assistant professor, both in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. They were selected for a joint summer 2020 fellowship at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Because the colony is currently closed due to COVID-19, their residency has been postponed until summer 2021.

The mission of the MacDowell Colony, founded in 1907, is to nurture the arts, which it does by offering residency fellowships for creative individuals of the highest talent. These fellowships are for creators in a number of artistic disciplines, providing an inspiring environment for the fellows to produce enduring works of the imagination.

Colangelo and Sharpless said they plan to use their time as MacDowell Fellows to work on a series of architectural drawings for projects they developed through their professional firm, Somewhere Studio. The projects include two temporary art pavilions, a bus shelter and a community pantry that were completed during the past year.

"We are thankful to the Fay Jones School for fostering a fantastic creative community in which we were able to develop our recent design projects, including Salvage Swings and Shelter Shift," Colangelo said.

The design of each project reflects their interest in the logical aggregation of modular design components to form a legible yet dynamic whole. Colangelo said that the bus shelter, Shelter Shift, and the pavilion, Salvage Swings, will become the starting point of their drawing investigation during their MacDowell residency.

"We see our time at the MacDowell Colony as an opportunity to step outside of our practice and reflect on these works through architectural drawing," she said. "As fellows, we would like to produce a series of exploratory drawings that will allow us to take greater advantage of the medium of drawing as a vehicle in itself for architectural speculation, reflection and projection."

While producing these projects, Colangelo and Sharpless use many types of drawings and models to develop and communicate design ideas.

She said their projects encourage multiple forms of interaction between the visitors, the project and the site. They also do this through their use of color and pattern in their projects.

Although their residency won't begin until summer 2021, in the meantime, they plan to continue their creative work with those projects. Colangelo said they are constantly thinking of new ways to discuss and represent the work.

"We hope to explore new strategies and formats for architectural speculation that can strengthen our creative work and become a source of inspiration for students at the Fay Jones School," Colangelo said. 


Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


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