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Fellowships for FY2009

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 FY2009.

Jill Colinan grew up in Central Falls, RI where she mastered the craft hairspraying her perm. After earning a BA in English from the University of Rhode Island, she rented a studio at AS220 in Providence. Jill has shown her work at AS220, Gallery Agniel, ABC NO RIO, The Stairwell Gallery and the Dirt Palace, as well as designing sets for Perishable Theatre. In 2001, she was awarded the RISCA Fellowship in Craft. Jill currently lives in Providence with her best friends Shawn and Louise.

The RISCA Craft Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Colinan's work demands and elicits a strong response and reaction. They described the work as “awesomely creepy,” haunting, eerie, and intense. The panel appreciated Ms Colinan's ability to focus on an idea and develop it to the fullest through her use of materials. Ms Colinan possesses a mastery of her craft which enables her to transcend it, along with genre titles such as “fiber art", and at times she even seems to intentionally abandon it. The panel felt that each piece was well thought out, and worked cohesively as both individual objects as well as a strong body of work as a whole.

Amanda Brown is a Rhode Island native and a new member of the Hera Gallery in Wakefield, RI. She was awarded the NCECA (National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts) International Resident Artist Award in 2007 for a residency in Accra, Ghana and in 2008 she was a resident at Guldagergaard in Skaelskor, Denmark. Amanda’s recent exhibits include the ICMEA Emerging Artists Exhibit in Fuping, China in 2007 and the Clay3 National in Illinois in 2008. Amanda received a BFA in Writing from Emerson College and a BFA in Art from Rhode Island College. Her wood fired sculptures reflect traces of the body, architecture, and trees as she explores issues of truth, simplicity and a sense of wonder. In her latest body of work, she is working with many inspirations from Ghana including the fullness of the pottery forms, Architecture from northern Ghana, and vegetation (trees, seed pods).

The RISCA Craft Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Brown's ceramic pieces were dynamic objects, drawing the viewer in and demonstrating a maturity and subtlety of aesthetic. Panelists expressed that what initially appeared to be simple clay pots, upon closer look turn out to be much more; windows, doors; the intimate spaces of architecture become apparent as these objects act subtly and strongly through metaphor. Ms Brown made engaging architectural and spatial references and showed a high level of craft and workmanship.


Edward J. Delaney is an author, journalist, filmmaker and educator.

He is a recipient of a 2008 Literary Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a winner of the 2005 PEN/Winship Award for Fiction, and a past winner of an O.Henry Prize for short story writing. As a journalist he is a past winner of the National Education Reporting Award, and well as other national and regional awards. He was born in Fall River, Mass, and attended Fairfield University (B.S. Finance, 1979), and Boston University (M.S. Mass Communication, 1982). Delaney was a staff writer at The Denver Post and at the Colorado Springs Gazette, and has been a contributing writer for The Chicago Tribune Magazine and The Providence Journal Magazine, as well as The Atlantic Monthly and other magazines. Delaney is Assistant Editor of The Nieman Journalism Lab, at The Nieman Foundation, Harvard University. Delaney has been a faculty member at Roger Williams University since 1990. He is a Professor of Communications and Creative Writing. He has also taught at The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado State University, where he was the Gannett Foundation Professional-in-Residence.

He has published two books of fiction, and has published short stories in The Atlantic and other magazines and quarterlies.

Delaney has directed and produced a documentary film, "The Times Were Never So Bad: The Life of Andre Dubus," which premiered in 2007. It received a first place at The Rhode Island International Film Festival.

The RISCA Film and Video Fellowship Panel felt that watching Mr Delaney's work was a deeply complex and interesting experience of a deeply complex and interesting subject. They appreciated that his work felt polished without being overly so, and that it was technically compelling without losing focus on the story. All of the small choices that he made enlivened the work as a whole: the score, the use of text, and allowing the items/artifacts be shown against a black screen at their original size—these elements all worked together and added visual variety to what was being seen on screen. The panel felt and that this was a beautifully done, cinematographically compelling, and visually rich work in the documentary genre. It pulled you in with its sense of mystery, skillfully accessed the universality of the story it told.


Laura Colella is a Providence-based filmmaker whose current projects include a series of short videos for songs by Alec K. Redfearn, as well as a feature length narrative film to be executive produced by the New York production company This Is That. She has made several short films and videos and two feature films, "Tax Day" and "Stay Until Tomorrow". With the latter project, she was a Sundance Institute Directing and Screenwriting Fellow. For the film’s production, Sundance arranged for extensive donations of equipment and services. "Stay Until Tomorrow"
has been screened at over thirty festivals and venues internationally, winning five awards. Laura's first feature "Tax Day" and her short film "Statuary" have also extensively toured festivals and venues internationally, winning a total of thirteen awards. Her features are distributed by Passion River Films.

Laura is a graduate of Harvard College and has received grants and  fellowships from the LEF Foundation, the Sundance Institute, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Harvard University, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She teaches Film Production and Directing part-time at the Rhode Island School of Design, and does freelance film/video work.

The RISCA Film and Video Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Colella's work was consistent in style and had a distinct artistic vision and aesthetic sense. They appreciated that this strong and original sense was highlighted by the high level of Ms Colella's technical skill. The panel said they could tell how much care had been taken with each shot, and that the pacing, imagery, and use of score were all effective. They expressed Ms Colella's work leaves a lasting impression on its viewers.



Always entertaining & educational, Michael Bresler, also known as Fishel Bresler, is best known for the beautiful Jewish music of his klezmer & chassidic music ensemble. This talented group, led by Fishel on clarinet, flute, mandolin & harmonica, (& with the occasional song in Yiddish,) make music that laughs & cries, dances, soars and dives to reach the hearts and souls of his audiences.

Over the past twenty years, Fishel has studied klezmer clarinet with the contemporary master, Andy Statman, and has made countless visits to hassidic communities, collecting melodies, stories, and performance styles.

As Michael, he is known for a broader repertoire, including other music, storytelling and theatric characterizations. This includes blue grass music, cowboy songs & stories of the old west, an old time "quack" doctor's medicine show and "lectures" as hysterical RI history Professor Rhody. Available for performances, workshops, school or institutional residencies in music, creative theatre, storytelling or therapeutic music. He has twenty five years experience working with audiences from 5 - 105 years old.

Allen L. Hazard Sr. is the youngest of 6 children born to Reginald C. Hazard Jr. and Sarah Fry Hazard on February 23, 1959. He is 50 years of age, his tribal name is Tall Oak, from the Narragansett Nation, located in Charlestown Rhode Island. He has been working with the Quahog Shell (Wampum) for over 35 years.
In the words of Mr. Hazard, "I have been blessed to have been able to have my wampum jewelry presented in Europe, Canada, Russia and the Middle East. It has been presented to different Native American Chief’s throughout the US. I have had the privilege of speaking and demonstrating at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, The Rhode Island School of Design and numerous high school/elementary schools throughout MA, CT and RI."

Mr. Hazard is one of the few Native’s left within the Eastern Woodland’s that still makes the Traditional Bead. Taking the raw Quahog shell, cutting, shaping and drilling it into beautiful rustic beads, as his ancestors did hundreds of years ago.  Mr. Hazard believes that the abilities handed down to him are just on loan, in his lifetime. That some day his son and daughter will borrow this same gift and continue this special gift, as it was many years before. 

Mr. Hazard gives thanks to all elders for their unselfish knowledge handed down to us through the generations. Many thanks to Sarah Fry Hazard for her patience’s and influence in his life.


Originally from Los Angeles, Kelli Auerbach received a B.A. in the history of medicine and an M.F.A. in fiction, both from Brown University. She has received many awards including a 2006 Fulbright to South Africa. She has taught creative writing at Brown, the University of Cape Town and is now a visiting assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. In February 2009, Kelli was the Visiting Scholar for RISD's European HonorsProgram in Rome, Italy. She is currently at work on a novel.

The RISCA Fiction Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Auerbach's writing is assured, vivid, engaging and alive. They felt her use of language is both beautiful and vibrant, and that although the writing is linguistically engaging, it is always in the service of the story and the characters, and never self-conscious. The panel appreciated the rigor of the research Ms Auerbach has done, and felt that the world of the story was brought successfully to life. Panelists described her writing as bringing an evocative—almost obsessive—sensory detail to focused scenes in a skillful way, appreciating how images which are set up in early sections of the work are threaded through and picked up at the end. Her writing was described as a “beautiful tragedy of images” which recurred throughout the work, and held great emotional weight. In general, the panel felt the sensibility of Ms Auerbach's work offered a look at the world which takes the reader to a deep level of emotional understanding.

Edward Hardy grew up in Ithaca, New York and has an MFA from Cornell. He’s the author of two novels, Keeper and Kid and Geyser Life. His short stories have appeared in over twenty different magazines including: Ploughshares, GQ, Epoch, The New England Review, Witness, Prairie Schooner, Ascent, Boulevard, Yankee and The Quarterly. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, first for the Burlington Times Union, a weekly north of Boston, and later for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He has also written for The Boston Sunday Globe and other publications. He has taught creative writing at Cornell and Boston College and currently teaches nonfiction writing at Brown. His short fiction has been listed in The Best American Short Stories and he has won three fiction fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He lives in Cranston with his wife and two boys.

The RISCA Fiction Fellowship Panel felt Mr Hardy's writing is beautifully constructed, without ever being “about construction.” They felt there is a strong, distinctive and surprising voice in his writing, coming from what feels like a very real place. Panelists described Mr Hardy as having a graceful and skilled “light touch,” and praised his ability to write economically. They felt every line is necessary and relevant, and that each of the characters is drawn quickly but clearly. The panel felt there is a depth and pensiveness to his writing that made the ordinary seem more evocative than a first glance would suggest, and they felt Mr Hardy is able to extract high levels of excitement and narrative tension out of everyday scenarios.

click here for a writing sample...



David O’Connell received an M.F.A. in creative writing at Ohio State University, and is currently at work on his first full-length collection. His poems have previously appeared or are forthcoming in RATTLE, Fugue, Drunken Boat, Bryant Literary Review, and Boxcar Poetry Review, among other journals. One of his poems was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize. He currently teaches high school English in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

The RISCA Poetry Fellowship Panel felt that Mr O'Connell's poems offer a sustained, sharp, well-executed critique of social and cultural patterns and behavior. They felt he was able to engage with the world at large and with the reader, and to skillfully utilize and blend references to literary and popular culture. The panel appreciated that Mr O'Connell was not afraid to state their project and position, yet the work never became didactic or heavy handed. They felt that his “poetic thesis” was upheld by their impressive level of craft, and noted an excellent use of space/line structure and rhythm in the work to move the poems along, feeling cohesion between pieces. The panel described Mr O'Connell's work as "ambitious, fearless, and attaining a high level of complexity.”

click here for a writing sample...

Barbara Schweitzer is the author of 33 1/3: Soap Opera Sonnets, cited in The Providence Journal as a favorite book for 2008. She has twice been the recipient of Merit Fellowships from the RI State Council on the Arts for poetry and has won numerous other national prizes including the Galway Kinnell Poetry Prize and Midwest Writer’s Center Prize. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and on WRNI’s “This I Believe” program as well as in literary journals and anthologies including The Cortland Review, Segue, Animus, Trellis, SLAB, Center, The New Verse News, California Quarterly, Prism, White Pelican Review, Segue, Midstream, The Newport Review, Riversedge, The Providence Journal, RI Roads, Sundays at Sarah’s, In the Eye, and others. Her plays have been finalists or semi-finalists in national competitions including the Louisville Ten Minute Play Contest, and have been produced locally in RI and MA. She lives in northern RI and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy in Providence.

The RISCA Poetry Fellowship Panel expressed that Ms Schweitzer has a clear and strong grasp of her craft. They felt that her writing is economical without being strained, and despite being highly conscious of form, metaphor and rhythm, Ms Schweitzer never sounded stale or predictable; her work retained vibrancy, freshness and originality. They described her poems as “sharply-etched pieces;” noting their clarity, well-chosen metaphors, good images, and presence of “something to say.”

click here for a writing sample...


Christine Evans is an internationally produced playwright now residing in the U.S. Venues presenting her work include the New Vic (London), Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney), the Adclaide International Festival of the Arts, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, hotINK International Play Festival, the Magic Theatre, Bricolage Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Perishable Theatre, New Jersey Rep, Crowded Fire, Ohio Theatre (NYC) and Cutting Ball Theatre. In 2009, the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) produces the world premiere of her play Trojan Barbie (www.amrep.org/trojanbarbie).

In addition to garnering its author the 2009 Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Playwriting/ Screenwriting Fellowship, Trojan Barbie won the 2007 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (2007) and the Playwrights First Award (2009). Further honors for Ms. Evans include the Fulbright Award in Visual and Performing Arts, the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award, Monash National Playwriting Award (Australia) and Perishable Theatre’s Women’s Playwriting Award (2000 and 2001). Christine was a 2007 Resident Artist at Perishable Theatre (RAPTor) and is a 2008-2010 Playwright Member of the Women’s Project Lab in New York. She holds an M.F.A. (Playwriting) and a Ph.D. (Theatre & Performance Studies) from Brown University and lectures in playwriting at Harvard University.

The RISCA Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Evans play was innovative, delightful, fresh and powerful. They found the use of metaphor to be excellent in her work, and felt that her characters were captivating and easy to care about. They expressed admiration for the "layering of place—the translucent quality of old enmities that bled into present day with power and resonance."

Originally from Los Angeles, Kelli Auerbach received a B.A. in the history of medicine and an M.F.A. in fiction, both from Brown University. She has received many awards including a 2006 Fulbright to South Africa. She has taught creative writing at Brown, the University of Cape Town and is now a visiting assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. In February 2009, Kelli was the Visiting Scholar for RISD's European HonorsProgram in Rome, Italy. She is currently at work on a novel.

The RISCA Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowship Panel admired Ms Auerbach's work for its highly developed story and characters. They appreciated Ms Auerbach's sensitive treatment of tricky and important subject matter, while maintaining the story as an enjoyable read. The panel expressed that her use of language was realistic, and the world created in the script was convincing. They felt there was a strong artistic/creative voice throughout, which was apparent and accessible, and that overall it was a well-executed screenplay.[top]

Amy Lovera is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the space between biographical and fictional narratives. She is this year’s recipient of the Aaron Siskind Fellowship awarded by the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts and has recently received a production grant from the LEF Foundation for work on an upcoming film. Lovera’s work has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. She is currently an instructor at Southern Connecticut State University and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

The RISCA Photography Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Lovera's work is thoughtfully and intelligently created, indicating a strong grasp of contemporary references, while also demonstrating a vibrant imaginative sense. They felt that the progression of her work over three years demonstrates a strong track record, and that the work is consistently technically and conceptually well put together. They described her work as “art stemming from an idea,” with each image and series revealing a distinct world springing from an artistic vision. The panelists felt that there was a consistency of concerns among the distinct photo series, but that different languages were used effectively to express and explore them. The panel loved the language of surrealism they found threaded through her work, and felt that this was highly literate, though never contrived-feeling photographic work.


Mary Beth Meehan is a New England-based photographer and writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, National Geographic Traveler, DoubleTake, Yankee, and Time, among other
publications. She has exhibited her photographs in the United States and abroad, and has lectured and served as a judge of photography throughout the country.

Her honors include awards from Pictures of the Year International and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Her weekly photo-and-text column, while on staff at the Providence Journal, was nominated twice for a
Pulitzer Prize. Permanent collections holding her work include those of Ireland's Waterford Healing Arts Trust and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Mary Beth Meehan earned a degree in English from Amherst College and a Master of Arts in photojournalism from the University of Missouri.
She lives in Providence with her husband and two sons.

The RISCA Photography Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Meehan's work captures both the social places and solitude of a city, cutting across social and cultural strata and revealing humor and pathos in its people and settings. The panelists felt that that there is an emotional base to Ms Meehan's view and that she is remarkably able to convey a vivid sense of this city over the course of only ten photos. They liked the scale of the images and the blend of formal compositions and on-the-fly shots—the panel felt that these pieces are very strong as single images, but also inform each other within the context of the group.

http://www.marybethmeehan.com/ [top]

Jon Laustsen received a BA in philosophy and art at Bethel College in Saint Paul, Minnesota and his MFA in sculpture from RISD. His installation work has recently been selected for "Nothing at the End of the Lane" at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis and the 2009 RISD New England Alumni Biennial.

The RISCA Three-Dimensional Art Panel admired the way that Mr Laustsen blurs and plays with the line between model-making and sculpture. They felt his work speaks strongly about construction—and that Mr Laustsen takes the processes of building construction and stretches them through space and time, creating works that are rigorously grid-like and oddly improvisational at the same time. The panel felt his work had control and focus with wonderful bursts of improvisation and playfulness, and commented on the way he plays with concrete foundation forms at different stages—making cast concrete appear to simultaneously grow and contract—and felt this opened up interesting questions about perceptions of space and the built environment. Panelists appreciated that Mr Laustsen found humor in their materials and scale—contrasting the seriousness of materials such as concrete and rebar with the scale and materials of model-making. The panel expressed that his work evokes strange “almost-narratives” based in fantasies of mystery and surprise, and that the pieces seem to invite you to walk around them, examining them from every angle and finding much to look at and experience in space.


Linsey Wallace is a native of Providence’s Washington Park neighborhood.  Ms. Wallace received her BFA in Sculpture from the Maine College of Art; with a focus on Installation, Performance and African Tribal Arts.  Utilizing found materials and freeform weaving, Linsey creates organic forms resembling plant or bacterial structures emerging from space

The RISCA Three-Dimensional Art Panel felt that Ms Wallace's work was open-ended, loose, provocative and full of energy and exuberance. They appreciated the strong transformation of space that her work provides, and the strange and inventive use of materials. They said that though the aesthetic of her work is wild, noisy, and alive there is still a rigor of composition to it; it feels educated, with an intentional “sloppiness.” The panel expressed that at the purely visual level, her work is delightful and “a good time,” and though it touches on some darker themes, they also felt it had a strong sense of the comic.

Colleen Cavanaugh danced professionally in New York and Europe before returning to Rhode Island. She choreographed for and directed Cadence Dance Project for four years, and is currently an independent choreographer, making ballets for regional companies and college dance programs. Locally she has created ballets at Rhode Island College, Providence College and Wheaton College. She has been choreographing at Festival Ballet Providence for the past 8 years.

Cavanaugh previously received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fellowship in choreography in 1999, as well as several project grants from RISCA and Rhode Island Foundation. Two of her ballets were chosen and presented by Ballet Builders in New York City, a showcase for contemporary ballet. Her ballets have also been presented in Europe in collaboration with the late sculptor Christiane Corbat. Cavanaugh has also made contemporary works collaborating with local composers Elaine Bearer and Michael DeQuattro. She has created works for Pawtucket Arts Festival for the past three years. In March 2009, she is setting her ballet 321 Ligeti on Festival Ballet for their Up Close On Hope performances.

Cavanaugh received a B.A. in Art History from Wheaton College and a medical degree from Brown University. She is a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist and an assistant clinical professor at Brown. Several of her ballets integrate art and healing by touching on subjects such as breast cancer, domestic violence and teen pregnancy.

The RISCA Choreography Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Cavanaugh created work with exquisite form and flow. They noted strong variations of movement within each piece, and appreciated the diversity between the pieces. The panel described Ms Cavanaugh's language as musical and original, and commented that the interplay between dancers was excellent.

Kelli Wicke Davis, a native of Hawaii, has worked throughout the Pacific, Asia, Europe, and U.S. as a performer, choreographer, and director of original works, plays, musicals, and reviews for numerous dance and theatre companies, universities, and solo artists.

Ms. Davis established M-O-V-E A Company of Dancers, co-founded random.acts theatre company, and co-created and toured extensively as SHODA Moving Theatre with Gary Shore. A recipient of numerous grants and Choreography/New Genre Fellowship Awards, she was a 20 year faculty member for Trinity Repertory Conservatory/Consortium. She is founder and was Professor and Chair of the Dance and Performance Studies program at Roger Williams University, is an artistic advisor to the Sean Curran Company and Rocha Dance Theatre, NYC, and a member of The Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers.

The RISCA Choreography Fellowship Panel felt Ms Wicke Davis' work demonstrated risk, ferocity, and innovation. They appreciated the level of her technical ability, combined with the strong creative undercurrent present throughout her work. The panelists also appreciated the counterpoint, energy, partnering, and use of space in Ms Wicke Davis' work.

Design: Coral Bourgeois of Providence

Coral Bourgeois is a Providence based artist whose tile work has been exhibited across the nation as well as internationally. Beginning as a painter before moving into tile design, her unique style has earned her recognition in numerous publications. In addition, she has exhibited extensively in both group and solo exhibitions. Most recently Ms Bourgeois has been commissioned to create public art pieces in locations such as Boston, New York, and Dubai

The RISCA Design Fellowship Panel described Ms Bourgeois' technique as impressive, her imagery as rich, and her overall design aesthetic as cohesive. They commented on the strong concepts evident in her work, her bold use of color, and her clear command of illustration, painting, and graphic design. They felt that the nature of her imagery and her approach to application could be used in many ways, making her work dynamic and flexible. They loved her iconic imagery, as well as the narrative quality of her pieces. The images touch on traditional themes, yet the work feels innovative and new.

Arley-Rose Torsone wants to make the world a better place through graphic design. Although her pieces may not be Nobel Peace Prize Winners themselves, she believes that her graphics are small steps towards a greater good. With a firm belief that "a wise person makes more opportunities than they find," she is thoroughly invested in her work at AS220 as the in-house graphic designer and manager of the Design Providence Cottage Industry, where she also teaches design classes to the amazing young people of Broad Street Studio. Since her graduation from Parsons the New School for Design and moving to Providence in 2004, she has dedicated her professional career to designing for causes which have socially-responsible roots and sustainable practices. She believes that "good design is not just about profit or beauty, but creating social value" (Patrick Butler).

A.R.T. is also very lucky to work amongst - and therefore be inspired by - other innovative Cottage Industries at AS220, such as the Community Printshop, Labs and Darkroom, while receiving the guidance and support from AS220's All-Star Admins! Since her introduction to letterpress and silkscreen, she takes every opportunity she can to output her work in "the good ol' fashioned way." Waste, toxins, and choice of materials are all factors when she gives birth to a piece and considers the environmental impact that her pieces generate. (She always enjoys seeing posters around town printed on old AS220 calendars). She also loves hanging out with hot air balloonists, typographers, special collections librarians and offset printers who are total curmudgeons.
The RISCA Design Fellowship Panel appreciated Ms Torsone's approach to creating designs that address the needs of socially conscious organizations and initiatives. Her pieces evoke a sense of community and idealism. The panel observed a consistent design sensibility overall, yet each piece demonstrates a unique approach to representing specific clients and projects. They liked the diversity of media from posters to letterpress to web design to outdoor signage, and felt that Ms Torsone demonstrates a thoughtful design language that is both traditional and innovative.

Jacquline Ott is a Providence based artist whose work has been exhibited extensively in East Coast galleries and museums. Her work is included in many permanent collections including the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC), and the Newport Art Museum. Ms Ott has been awarded grants by the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and she was the recipient of the RISCA Painting Fellowship in 2000.

The RISCA Drawing and Printmaking Fellowship Panel were impressed by Ms Ott's high level of craftsmanship and her beautiful execution of each piece. The shapes within her pieces were described as beautiful organic geometry, yet the human hand is evident in their making, which ties back into the organic quality of the forms. The panel felt that the work is both microscopically and macroscopically successful and compelling. They loved how each piece looks as though it is vanishing at the edges and the blank space inside and around each shape looks like light is coming through the work rather than simply revealing the blank page. Ms Ott does a wonderful job of pushing and pulling the eye through each piece, creating a complex sense of space. Her works are not simple symmetry and, although they reveal an intensive process, they are not bogged down in technique.

Jungil 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 previously won the RISCA Fellowship Merit Awards in the Drawing & Printmaking and Crafts categories. Her work has been shown at Gallery Agniel in Providence, New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, Space 1026 in Philadelphia, and The Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, among others in the US and abroad. She lives and works in providence.

The RISCA Drawing and Printmaking Fellowship Panel appreciated Ms Hong's imagery, responding favorably to the sense of personal narrative. They observed a kind of folklore or mythology being constructed through the pieces that is creative and original. They felt the artist clearly has a high level of skill, and appreciated her "risky" choice of color. Ms Hong's works were described as playful and puckish, and viewed the compositions as strong and inviting.

Born in Connecticut, Barbara Kolb attended the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford where she received her B.M. (cum laude) and M.M. degrees. She has been the recipient of many awards, including Tanglewood and MacDowell Colony fellowships, a Fulbright Scholarship to Vienna, and two Guggenheim Fellowships. Kolb became the first American woman to receive the Rome Prize (1969 - 71) in music composition.

Among the many commissions received by Barbara Kolb are those from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Washington Performing Arts Society, IRCAM (Paris, France), and Radio France, and the New York Philharmonic. In addition, she has received eight National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Major performances include: New York Philharmonic under the direction of Pierre Boulez, the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, the latter both in Boston and on the orchestra's Japanese tour (1978), the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Robert Shaw, and the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz.

From 2001-2004 Barbara Kolb was composer-in-residence in Providence, RI under the auspices of a Meet The Composer New Residencies program. Her constituents were Festival Ballet Providence, WaterFire Providence, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. In addition to her creative responsibilities, she founded and directed a new music series, VIBE OF THE VENUE, performing works by Rhode Island composers and invited artists from various parts of the U.S. and abroad.

In 2004, Barbara was recognized as one of four "outstanding women of the year" presented by the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island. In 2005, she was one of three composers to receive a prestigious MacColl Johnson Fellowship ($25,000) administered by the Rhode Island Foundation and in its inaugural year. Also, in 2005, Barbara was a recipient of the 2005 Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Music Composition awarded by the RI State Council on the Arts.

Presently, Barbara is writing a piece for the Buffalo Philharmonic (JoAnn Falletta, conductor), and composing a new work for contrabassoon for Henry Skolnick.

Barbara Kolb is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

The RISCA Music Composition Fellowship Panel described Ms Kolb's compositions as very strong compositional work. They described her work as beautifully crafted, musical, lyrical, and inventive. They commented that the compositions are far from being typical contemporary orchestral work. The panel felt her piece "Kaleidescope" was especially adventurous and they appreciated the tension it contained between temporal structures, thus creating energy in the piece. Panelists described the voice lines and harmonies as beautiful and praised this composer's skilled and seamless orchestration.

Erik Carlson is a composer, media artist and architect based in Providence, RI.  His work examines sound as an evocative presence, often acting as a marker, in the physical and mental spaces we inhabit.  Since 2002 he has been recording and performing under the name AREA C, whose compositions work with timbre, texture and live loops, exploring cyclical relationships and the details of their decay over time.  Improvisation plays an important part in both recordings and live performances, encompassing extended explorations of minimal rhythm and melody, drawing on remnants of other times and places, outdated and untested technologies, signals sent out but never received

In 2009, Carlson received the MacColl-Johnson Fellowship in music composition and he is currently working on new commissions for the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium and the LEF Foundation.  His permanent sound installation ("Low Rez/Hi Fi," a collaboration with architect Meejin Yoon) can be viewed at 1110 Vermont Avenue in Washington DC.

AREA C's fourth full-length CD, titled "Charmed Birds vs. Sorcery," was released in February 2009.  The album reveals "an astonishingly refined and singular approach to guitar-based composition.. Glacial harmonics drift in and out of each channel, skittering, modulated notes pulse and surge, sputtering suddenly to luminescent manifestation before disappearing just as quickly."  Later this year, the Sedimental label will release AREA C's series of live collaborative performances at the Cormack Planetarium in Providence, RI.  

The RISCA Music Composition Fellowship felt that Mr Carlson submitted a sustained set of works, which were extremely well crafted and contained a high level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness. They felt the textures he created were engaging and the micro-rhythms were interesting. They commented on the resolution of harmonic structure and the lush, rich "tapestry" of sounds. The panel appreciated how Mr Carlson played with a sense of expectation and surprise, expressing that "progression and time are handled nicely, with strong development and a constant evolution of sound." 


Peter Lutz is a recent transplant to Providence via New York City, where he worked as a prop designer and a resin fabricator. Originally from Kansas City, Peter migrated to New York State to attend Alfred University where he studied mixed-media sculpture and printmaking. After graduating, he earned a prop-making internship in Prague, Czech Republic, working for American filmmaker Joseph Cahill on the sci-fi feature, ”The Night Fisherman”. Since moving to Rhode Island, Peter has worked with such artists as: Walter McConnell, Denise Pelletier and Daniel Clayman, Patrick Renner and Big Nazo Lab. He has also on occasion been a guest critic for RISD. Currently Peter is an instructor at the Steel Yard.

The RISCA New Genres Fellowship Panel was impressed by the scale and aesthetic quality of the Mr Lutz's installation works. They remarked that one piece evoked a sense of alchemy, and appreciated the sculptural and temporal quality of it, in addition to beautiful formal and hypnotic qualities. The panel felt that Mr Lutz's work is truly representative of New Genres art: incorporating sculpture, installation, time-based processes, unconventional materials, sound, and light into a unique artistic experience. They described his work as inviting, compelling and successful.


Esther Solondz is a visual artist who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. She received an MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design, as well as doing graduate work in film at New York University. She has been the recipient of several grants and awards, including three Rhode Island Arts Council fellowships (Photo 1981, Painting 1996, Sculpture 2002) and a New England Foundation for the Arts regional National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in Painting in 1992. Her work has been widely exhibited and reviewed over the last 20 years in one person and group shows at museums and galleries throughout the Northeast.

Esther has been working for several years with a variety of ordinary materials such as salt, water, soap, and rust to create her art.  These materials each have their own special properties that allow them to transform into highly various states, (ie. solid to liquid and then back again.) She utilizes these properties to let surprising things happen as the materials interact and change. Salt mixed with water transforms into crystals, wicks and travels, forms mounds or stalactites.  When salt is mixed with iron, rust forms in all its many guises and colors, sometimes eroding other materials, or leaving the accretion of marks behind.

The RISCA New Genres Fellowship Panel felt that Ms Solondz expertly executed the process of developing a concept for a work of art, following it through, and documenting it. Her processes of weathering and chemical transformation evoke a sense of evolution and the passage of time. The panel appreciated that the installation was located in a public space where passers-by would be able to track its progress over time. They also appreciated the prominent signage that explained the artwork to the public, and commented on the enjoyment that the public would experience in watching the piece evolve and come into being, as well as watching the work dissolve over time rather than being removed or broken down all at once.


Born in Pennsylvania, Sean has had an interest in the arts since childhood - drawing incessantly. Sean has always used elements of form, space and color to search for his voice and comment on a small part of the world around him.
His current body of work explores the modern landscape. Architectural forms become representations of man-made "fingerprints" integrated into the natural environment with varying degrees of harmony and tension.

Sean graduated from the Delaware College of Art and Design (illustration) in Wilmington, Delaware in 2001 then continued his formal education in Providence, Rhode Island, graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design (illustration) in 2004. For his final year at RISD, Sean was selected for the European Honors Program in which he was immersed in Italian culture, living in Rome for 9 months studying the Italian language as well as European artistic treasures firsthand. Sean has been focused mainly on painting since, doing freelance commissions as well as showing work regularly in Boston at the Copley Society of Art.

Sean has since settled in Providence with his wife Lisa and children Sophia and Ethan.

The RISCA Painting Fellowship Panel felt that Mr Thomas's work shows strong technique and a clear vision. His pieces were described as handsome, poetic landscapes, and the panel appreciated the subtle transitions of color and light in each piece. They felt that his works possess all of the right qualities of traditional landscape painting, yet their play on abstraction makes them unique and timely. Mr Thomas does a wonderful job of isolating forms and evoking a sense of space and atmosphere. His paintings are successful in their use of light, their balance of abstraction and representational detail, and in their overall scale and composition.


Shawn Kenney (BFA, RISD) has worked for almost 2 decades as an illustrator, designer and art director, never leaving his love of the craft of drawing and painting behind. His works are inspired by his artistic heroes (including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, the Wyeths) and the beauty of the natural world.

Together with food writer Lydia Walshin, he co-founded Will Paint for Food (www.willpaint.com) a project that supports hunger relief through the sale of his food-themed still life paintings. In addition to the food paintings, recent exhibits have focused on his bull images and a series of farm-themed nocturnal landscapes. 

He is represented in Providence through the Dryden Galleries/Providence Picture Frame and in South County by Charlestown Gallery.

The RISCA Painting Fellowship noted Mr Kenney's simple, well-realized compositions suit their small size and fill the canvas nicely. The panel felt that each piece represents a light-hearted thought or idea, such as a cake with unlit candles, which makes them more than simple still-lifes. The panel appreciated that these pieces demonstrate a serious approach to painting, yet possess a sense of humor and humility.