Announcing VCUarts Graduate Research Grant Award 2013-14 Recipients

Twelve projects will receive grants of up to $3,000 to conduct distinctive creative research across visual arts, performing arts, design, art education, and art history. Panel reviewers evaluated projects for their creativity, risk-taking and contribution to scholarly and professional discourses.

The awarded projects and recipients are as follows:

Art, Literacy and Cultural Preservation
Through collaboration with the Burmese Refugee Project, the project will involve the design and implementation of an arts and literacy program for elementary-aged Shan refugees who have resettled in Northern Thailand. This project seeks to research effective strategies for teaching art and ESL, develop and implement a sustainable arts-based literacy program, and involve the Shan community in cultural preservation practices.

Researcher:
Elizabeth Sampson, Art Education
Award: $3,000

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Cross Casting
The project combines different casting techniques to create sculptural relics of momentary gestures. Research will culminate in the creation of a body of work for a graduate thesis exhibition. The work will explore the potential for cast objects to act as artifacts of physical interactions between people, while fusing hydrocal, chrome, silk and bronze.

Researcher:
Erika Diamond, Craft & Material Studies
Award: $2,844

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Queer Intimacy and Ecology: A Cross-disciplinary Performance
Integrating dance with digital technologies, the researcher will choreograph an evening length cross-disciplinary thesis performance examining the complex relationship between queer intimacy and an ecological critique of a natural space. Through intra-active video, sound, and movement, this work will investigate the visceral and political differences between live and virtual atmosphere, addressing the various ways in which queer desire subverts social constructions of time and physicality within both material and imaginary spaces.

Researcher:
Caryn Brissey, Kinetic Imaging
Award: $2,775

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Understanding the Staging of Femininity and Marital Domesticity in Beijing Opera
The researcher will visit the University of Hawaii to view a Beijing Opera, interviewing visiting Chinese practitioners and conductign research in the Asian Theatre video archive, to better understand the staging of femininity and marital domesticity in Beijing Opera. This research will support a comparative analysis of the Beijing Opera and a 2012 American staging of the White Snake, which will be presented as part of a panel at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2014 conference.

Researcher:
Kathryn LeTrent, Theatre Pedagogy
Award: $3,000

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Native Trees (working title)
The project builds on a photographic investigation of the relationship between external chaos and conflict and the internal life of the child that the investigator has been involved in for the last couple of years. Although the point of origin for this work is the stress and challenge that exists in the adult world, the photographs and the process of making them emphasize the autonomy, resilience and individualism of the child. The work is informed by the idea that we can never completely bridge the gap between the experiences of child and adult, and articulates the consequences of this fundamental and universal disconnect.

Researcher:
Cynthia Henebry, Photography & Film
Award: $3,000

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STANDOFF
Standoff is a complex installation that consists of two main sculptural elements: a sound producing sculpture composed of a cast aluminum leg and a popcorn maker, and a robotic compact excavator which is mining a block of Styrofoam. The installation questions the silent and still nature of the sculptural object and explores traditional sculptural concerns in response to psychological and psychophysical reactions to an obscured technological reality.

Researcher:
Omri Zin Tamir, Sculpture & Extended Media
Award: $3,000

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“The Architecture of Knowledge: The Jesuit College of Oaxaca”
The project aims to locate, examine and interpret archival documentation from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries preserved in archives in Italy and Spain related to the Jesuit College of Oaxaca, Mexico. This primary information will then be used in the completion of an art historical study of that colonial architectural complex, which is considered one of the highest exponents of Mexico’s artistic heritage.

Researcher:
Marina Mellado Corriente, Art History
Award: $3,000

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An Investigation of British-Palladian Sources for the United States Capitol
This project supports dissertation research regarding Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 architectural tour of England and the Anglo-Palladian architectural sources which influenced his works in America. I seek a better understanding of the British filter through which Jefferson and his contemporaries absorbed British architectural practice, how they Americanized the classical world and the architecture of Andrea Palladio through British sources, and how they put them to use in America.

Researcher:
Craig Reynolds, Art History
Award: $3,000

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psychic text on vibrate, received on phantom limbo
The project will create an architecturally-scaled installation that reframes the gallery space and shifts the physical and psychic parameters of the viewer. The structure will derive from the imagined building blocks of ancient and future forms, at once translucent and massive, here and not; a structure like a collapsed (or self-assembling) triumphal arch or gateway made to filter light.

Researcher:
Jake Borndal, Sculpture & Extended Media
Award: $2,989

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Large Scale Painting Thesis Work
The researcher plans on making five large scale figurative paintings (ranging from 6’x6’ to 8’x8’) which will constitute a thesis exhibition. The paintings will revolve around dealing with the anti-heroic and un-monumental; challenging the notion of “bad taste” in contemporary culture. By combining painting’s history of appropriation and reinvention with various “low-brow” images the work explores painting’s ability to connect disparate images and cultural references.

Researcher:
Philip Hinge, Painting & Printmaking

Award: $3,000

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Stressed Meditation: Live Interactive Installation
Utilizing installation and live interactive performance, the researcher will create an immersive multi-room environment for a thesis exhibition. Culminating in an interaction with a live performer, the piece will question power dynamics between spectator and performer and address current dialogues in performance art concerning interaction between viewers and performers within gallery spaces.

Researcher:
Janelle Proulx, Photography & Film
Award: $3,000

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Untitled
The project aims to fully realize work that blurs the line between reality and an idiosyncratic vision of the world. The project examines the ways in which the investigator navigates heteronormative culture as a gay man as a series of daily negotiations in contemporary life. The combination of appropriated imagery and materials mixed with the inventive will allow for this examination to happen.

Researcher:
Mike Linskie, Painting & Printmaking
Award: $3,000

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Congratulations again to these fine students!