School of Art Recognizes First Windgate Accelerator Grant Winners
Thanks to a more than $350,000 grant from the Windgate Foundation, nine recent undergraduate and graduate students from the U of A School of Art each received a $10,000 grant upon graduation to help them set up or expand their career creative practices.
The studio art B.F.A. 2022 graduate recipients include Abigail Henthorne, Penelope Starr-O'Berski, Fabian Rodriguez and Meredith Tinkle.
M.F.A. graduate recipients include Maryalice Carroll, Adam Fulwiler, Jonathan Green, Charles Krampah and Juliette Walker.
Heather Hart and John Yau, both faculty members at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New York, were the guest artists and jurors who selected the recipients from among dozens of talented applicants.
Hart is an interdisciplinary artist who explores power in thresholds, questioning dominant narratives and creating alternatives to them through architectures and viewer activation. Yau is a noted art critic and curator who has published many works of art criticism and artists' books as well as literary and poetry works.
"It was a difficult job to make selections, as most of the applicants show dedication and possibility," Hart said. "I am really impressed at the vulnerability and introspection in much of this work. … The work, broadly, feels self-aware, and often playful. It feels like one artist's work talks to another's a bit, communicating and really creating a collective of artists."
Hart said the proposals also felt hopeful, "which is so important to steward us out of this darkness of the past few years. … And a few proposals really hit a chord for me, taking the lesson of the times we are living in and working it into plans to invest in work with communities and the sustainability of our world without compromising their artistic vision. We are in dire need of this."
"I would encourage each of the applicants, as they graduate, to stay in touch with each other and be the first art world network for each other," Hart said. "Grow your collective, keep focus and continue to be tenacious."
Yau agreed, adding that, "the work that I saw and listened to felt fresh and adventurous, which was heartening. … The work and the proposals spoke about practical ways to sustain their practice at a time when it has become increasingly difficult to do so."
Yau said the artists all "work in a wide range of materials, utilize a variety of processes and seem to be following their own trajectory without getting their cues from the art world's preoccupation with celebrity."
"Instead, the artists seem to have formed a community during their time at the University of Arkansas, as well as made connections to other groups and communities," he added.
Thanks to the generosity of the Windgate Foundation, current B.F.A. and M.F.A. School of Art students will have the opportunity to apply for these grants on an annual basis.
Windgate Accelerator Grant Applications for 2022-2023 graduating students are now open and must be submitted by March 31.
Kayla Crenshaw, director of communications
School of Art
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