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Fellowships for FY2006

Fellowship grants acknowledge the work of Rhode Island's finest artists in a variety of arts disciplines. Meet below the recipients of our fellowship awards in FY2006.

jenna goldberg imageCrafts: Jenna Goldberg of Providence

Jenna Goldberg has a BFA in illustration from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and studied furniture design at San Diego State University and The Genoa School before recieving her MFA in Furniture Design from RISD in 1994. She completed an artist residency at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. She has taught at The Penland School, Arrowmont School of Craft, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Anderson Ranch to name a few. Currently, she is an instructor in the Industrial Design Department at RISD. Jenna shows her furniture throughout the country and is represented in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design. The in-state panel appreciated this furniture maker's outstanding skill with both form and color. Each piece is intricately decorated with carving, yet even without the decoration the panel felt that they were beautifully crafted pieces of furniture. The out-of-state juror wrote of this artist's "ability to integrate color and design into a composition compatible with the formal elements of the work." [top]


Film & Video: Daniel Sousa of Providence

Daniel Sousa received his BFA in Illustration from RISD. He has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Harvard University, and RISD. He has worked as a professional director and animator for Olive Jar Studios in Boston, Global Mechanic, and he currently works with the Cartoon Network. The in-state panel was impressed by the beauty and emotion of Mr. Sousa’s work “Fable”. As a “fable,” the work is abstract in meaning, but visually stunning with a seamless use of varied mediums. The out-of-state juror, Martin Mercer, commented on the filmmaker’s “mastery of emotion through texture, light, and movement. I feel that the style was traditional, but with a grace of movement and an understanding of camera that proved very effective.” Click here for examples of his work.


Folk Arts: Jason Roseman of Pawtucket

jason rosemanJason Roseman is a traditional steel pan maker and player; the son of an established steel drum player and composer from Trinidad, Mr. Roseman is an active producer of steel pans and is a sought after performer. He has served as a master in the Southern New England Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program and has performed widely in Rhode Island and the region with his band, Jason Roseman and Tropical Gems. Jason will be appearing at the Lowell Folk Festival in late July 2005.



Fiction: Betty Cotter of Wakefield

Betty J. Cotter has worked in newspapers for 23 years, most recently as managing editor of the South County Independent in Wakefield. Mrs. Cotter is the author of four photo histories of southern Rhode Island published by Arcadia Publishing. She also writes book reviews for literary magazines and newspapers and maintains a book review blog at www.yankeelit.blogspot.com. Her work is represented by The Ryan Literary Agency. She has won numerous journalism awards in her career, including first-place honors for editorial writing from both the New England Press Association and the Rhode Island Press Association. She graduated magna cum laude from Keene (N.H.) State College in 1982. Mrs. Cotter, 45, is married to Timothy J. Cotter, an assistant managing editor at The Day newspaper, and has three children. She is descended from a long line of South County Swamp Yankees, including Elder John Crandall, who in the 1660s was one of three men to found Westerly. The out-of-state juror commented, "This is the advantage of engaging an out-of-state judge. I grew up in Southern California, and the life on this windswept Rhode Island farm is as foreign to me as Zimbabwe. Still, I could see it all, and felt the conflicts the writer set in motion with such finesse were universal. The writing is plain, powerful, and confident, and a terrific sense of foreboding informs the subtext. Wow." The in-state panel, similarly, felt captivated by the story and easily decided to choose it as a potential Fellowship winner. The out-of-state juror commented, "This is the advantage of engaging an out-of-state judge. I grew up in Southern California, and the life on this windswept Rhode Island farm is as foreign to me as Zimbabwe. Still, I could see it all, and felt the conflicts the writer set in motion with such finesse were universal. The writing is plain, powerful, and confident, and a terrific sense of foreboding informs the subtext. Wow." The in-state panel, similarly, felt captivated by the story and easily decided to choose it as a potential Fellowship winner.

The following is an excerpt from the novel she submitted for the Fellowship award. The novel is titled "The Winters" and it is a family saga about the dissolution of a farm in coastal Rhode Island.

Through the rest of February and March, as the earth began throwing off the snow in fits and starts of muddy, crusty undulations, Joyce took to walking about the farm. The ground was still squishy in places, the grass barely a stubble of green, but she didn't care. To walk, to be in motion, was the goal; while listening to music had quieted the storm in her head for a while, now it was the simple act of exercise that helped her push everything out of her mind. She had a long route for the days when she didn't work after school. She started at the northern end of the field, passing briskly by the cemetery (she could not linger there), to the dirt road that divided the property from north to south, through the dunes and onto the rocky beach, where a cold slap of air hit her as soon as she scrambled down the dune face. Then she was on the beach, heading west, the soft sand slowing her down but stretching the tendons in the backs of her legs; she walked as far as she could stand it - sometimes a mile, the sun already sinking in front of her, turning the sky apricot and dusty rose. Then, exhausted, she would turn back, searching for the dune break that marked the farm's property line, and head home by the salt pond and orchard.

Her muscles, in her calves and feet and knees, knew every inch of the farm and the beach beyond. They knew the gnarly tree root in the dirt road that, when the earth was dry, would catch the toe of her shoe and send her flying. They knew where the high tide reached by the rise and fall of the dampened sand. They knew the Russian olive that would scratch her face and catch her arm if she didn't twist away. They knew the gravel part of the path to avoid so she wouldn't scare the scaup and white-winged scoters off the pond, the ducks her father refused to let anyone shoot though his hunting friends teased him relentlessly.

When she did this, when she walked to the point of fatigue, she could sleep at night. When she didn't, she would awake at 1 or 2 o'clock and lie there, her head frantically racing from image to image. The insomnia always started with a dream, and her dreams were on the same theme - the ocean had risen up, was coming to get her, cresting over the dunes, filling up the salt pond, engulfing the house, they would all drown, they would die. Sometimes she was on the beach when it happened. Sometimes she was upstairs, in her grandmother's bedroom, watching the tide inch ever higher. Sometimes the ocean was bubbling under chunks of ice; sometimes it was green and frothy; sometimes it was white and crested and filled with debris probable and improbable - boat timbers, lobster pots, a Coke machine, rakes and saws. But always her dream image was the briny Atlantic, coming to claim her at last. She never thought about her father, saw him dead, remembered the shot. All of her dreams and the waking horror that followed were filled not with blood but salt water. " [top]

Poetry: Mairead Byrne of Providence

Mairead Byrne was born in Dublin and lived there for the first 20 years of her life. Her plays, The Golden Hair and Safe Home, were produced at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, in 1982 and 1985. Her published works include a short book on James Joyce, two books of interviews with Irish painters, and in 2003, a collection of poetry: Nelson and the Huruburu Bird (Wild Honey Press). Mairead received her PHD from Purdue in 2001 and worked as a journalist for eight years in Ireland and the US. She has taught at the University of Mississippi, Ithaca College, and is currently an assistant Professor of English at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has published poetry in Ireland, Britain, and the United States, and her most recent projects include two new chapbooks, published in the last few weeks: AN EDUCATED HEART (Palm Press 2005) and VIVAS (Wild Honey Press 2005). The in-state panel commended this poet for her creative use of found language. They considered the repetition and texture of her work to be highly sophisticated. The out-of-state juror, Geri Doran, wrote of this applicant, “This is the work of a foraging, inquisitive mind, finding seed for poetry in the world-calamity of war and the daily hubbub of shopping for groceries (with children). More, the poems in this submission are fresh in their inventions; their forms seem a product of discovery in the best sense, from the overloaded bombardment of phrases about Baghdad to the shouting, sexualized headlines of “Headlines.” The poet, given to obsessions and differentiations, takes stock of the world with a keen eye. Rarely personal in the conventional sense, the poems are nevertheless highly individual and, with their careful scrutiny and recordkeeping, both human and humane . . . full of surprises, pleasing in their variety.”

Writer’s note: Every day, when I get my first glimpse of the Rhode
Island State House, I make a note on the color of the stone and the
color of the sky. At the end of each month, I make a poem (generally
30-31 lines) from these notations.


sand on smoke
soft lead against streaming & tossed cloud
[mint against cloudy cloud]
putty against pale wash
sable against sky-blue
[chalk against radiant blue & mauve cloud puffs]
fine wool against silk
stained cotton on snow
felt against fleece
bronze on steel
foam against spray
[margarine against haze]
[margarine against dishwater]
swept grey on pale blue
eye-white against purple-bitten cloud
airforce blue against pale blue
hatching on glass
ash on denim
card against cloud
clipped shadow on glass
buttercream against steam
cocoa butter against mesh
[lemon ice against dishwater]
burnt umber against blue glass
bone against bruised vein
eraser on smudge
cotton swab on grime
[beige on beige]
stone against violet
dust on enamel
shell against bleached blue
[new flame against massy blue]


Playwrighting/Screenwriting: Peter Spameni of Greenville

Peter Spameni received his BA from Rhode Island College. He has worked in advertising as an art director and writer for more than 15 years. As a Creative Director he has managed creative teams of writers, designers and production personnel. In his free time, Peter writes screenplays. The in-state panel described Peter’s screenplay, “The Ashes of Albion” as an engaging period piece. The out-of-state Juror, Deborah Dixon, felt that Mr. Spameni’s screenplay showed great skill and was very worthy of support, nurturing and encouragement.

anthony champaPhotography: Anthony Champa of Providence

Anthony Champa was born in Providence and received his degree from Parsons School of Design in New York. He has shown his prints and photographs in Seattle, New York and throughout Rhode Island. Out-of-state juror, Sally Gall, felt that this artist's photographs "both document a place and transcend it." She described them as "very beautiful and unusual color fields." The in-state panel similarly commented on the photograph's vivid and beautiful colors and haunting scenes. [top]


Choreography: Heidi Henderson of Wakefield

Heidi received her B.A. from Colby College and her M.F.A. from Smith College and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Connecticut College. Her company "elephant JANE dance" has performed at the South Bank Centre in London, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Festival and The International Festival of Dance in Taegu, Korea, and in New York City, Boston and Rhode Island. Her piece Skirt was selected for inclusion in the New England Choreographer's Showcase at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Heidi has danced in the companies of Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Peter Schmitz, Sondra Loring and Paula Josa-Jones. She has taught nationally and internationally and has been on the faculty at DanceSpace Inc. in NYC, Amherst College, Colby College, Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts, Bates Dance Festival and NYU's Tisch Summer Dance Festival.

The in-state panel described this artist’s work as “surprising,” “gorgeous,” and some declared, “I love these pieces!” The out-of-state juror, Gaelen Hanson, (http://www.33faintingspells.org/company.html) chose Ms. Henderson “for [her] sincerity and courage to explore the boundaries of contemporary dance. [Her] choreography [has] a sense of flow and momentum that appear natural and uncontrived, and allows each movement idea to have a depth of intention and psychological resonance.” The in-state panel and out-of-state juror remarked on the artist’s integration of text and quiet within her works as well.

The Fellowship Merit Award Winner is Kelli Wicke Davis.

Design: Lothar Windels of Providence

Lothar Windels Industrial Design focuses on furniture and product design ranging from mass-produced to one-of-a-kind pieces. Born in Germany in 1967, he earned his BID degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a MA degree from the Royal College of Art in London. He runs his studio in Providence and teaches in the Furniture Design Department at RISD. Lothar Windels’ projects include the “Joseph” Felt Chair featured in exhibitions in Berlin, London, Milan, Munich, Tokyo, and Zurich. His work has been published in several magazines including Design Report, Frame, ID Magazine, Interni, MD Moebell Interior Design, Milder Office Inc., Parentesi Quadra, Umbra, and Vitra Design Museum.

In choosing the Fellowship Winner, out-of-state juror Charmaine Martinez sought works that displayed, “both stylistic innovation and a fully realized sense of creative style, as well as thoughtful solutions to everyday problems [which improve] the human condition, however slightly." She found Mr. Windels’ work to be "intelligent and whimsical, with a delightful use of materials and form. Clean lines and economy of form recall a modernist approach to furniture design, but a certain quirkiness and the occasional art historical reference situate the work squarely in our contemporary era. The pieces are bold, yet inviting. I want to both admire and sit in the chairs, particularly the woolen folds of the Joseph Felt Chair. I can imagine the cheerful Soft Pockets organizer adding a splash of color to the white tiles in my bathroom. The work is captivating and I sincerely hope that this Fellowship affords the designer even more opportunities for creative experimentation."

The Fellowship Merit Award winner is Jean Cozzens


Drawing & Printmaking: Jungil Hong of Providence

Jungil Hong imageJungil Hong received her BFA from RISD in 1999 and she has won scholarships to the Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. She has won RISCA Fellowship Merit Awards in the Drawing and Printmaking and Crafts categories. Her work has been shown at Gallery Agniel in Providence, MASS MoCA, the New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, Space 1026 in Philadelphia, The Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, International Print Center New York, Florsitree Space in Baltimore, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, The Rhode Island Foundation Gallery, Limner Gallery, New York, Las Sucias Studio, Brooklyn, and the Cheongju Craft Museum, Cheongju, Korea. She lives and works in Providence.

The in-state panel marveled at the scope and detail of this artist’s screen-printed works. Out-of-state juror Amanda Knowles (http://www.amandaknowles.com/) wrote, “The artist uses printmaking to its fullest, pushing the media, creating ambitious works that are as successful in the installation as they are on the two dimensional plane. They easily refer to a fine decorative tradition while expressing content with an environmental agenda. The choice of intense color backs this up, enjoining us to partake in a candy-coated extravaganza while slipping in the ambiguous and harder ideas of its content. This ambiguity helps us to remain interested in the work as we figure the sum of the parts and possible meanings. This is beautiful work which is both bold and delicate and which easily takes the media outside its normal bounds.”

The Fellowship Merit Award winner is Yizhak Elyashiv.


Music Composition: Steve Jobe of Providence

Out-of-state juror Robert Xavier Rodriguez (http://www.schirmer.com/composers/rodriguez/bio.html ) felt that this artist’s music was sincere and competently crafted. He enjoyed the integration of Medieval dance rhythms and Baroque figuration in a contemporary harmonic context. Likewise, the in-state panel appreciated this composer’s use of patterning and folk elements within a contemporary classical work.

The Fellowship Merit Award winner is Paul Phillips.


New Genres: Robin Mandel of Providence

robin mandelRobin Mandel is a sculptor whose work deals with sound, motion, and performance. He has studied at Swarthmore College, Harvard University, Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy, and in 2005 earned his MFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. He has shown his
work in Providence, Boston, and New York, and recently exhibited abroad in Montreal, Canada and Barcelona, Spain. He currently teaches in the Industrial Design Department at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.

Out-of-state juror Tyree Guyton (http://www.heidelberg.org/Pages/Artists/guyton/default.htm ) found Mr. Mandel’s interactive sound sculpture “Frelia” compelling and unforgettable. He wrote, “The organization along with the rhythm and unity really spoke to me and captured my attention.” The in-state panel discussed the intensive computer programming that make this work successful, as well as its dynamic sculptural quality.

The Fellowship Merit Award Winner is Luke Fishbeck.

Debra Kruse image

Painting: Debra Kruse of Providence

The in-state panel described Ms. Kruse's painting as consistently strong. They enjoyed the humorous aspect of her works as well as their strong color palette and composition. The out-of-state juror was Joe Biel (http://www.karolynsherwoodgallery.com/JoeBiel.htm).

The Fellowship Merit Award Winner is Jason Travers.