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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 FY2011.
A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Mark Adrian Harootian began his training at the Performing Arts School of Worcester, dancing with the Worcester Youth Ballet. He went on to receive his BFA in ballet from the University of Utah. He has performed and choreographed with Festival Ballet since 2004. The Choreography Fellowship Review Panel described Mark’s work as well thought-out and well layered with shifts and transitions that keep the viewer’s interest throughout. They were enthusiastic about awarding the Fellowship to this choreographer whose body of work they praised as “impressive, bold and confident”.
France Mayotte Hunter graduated Suma Cum Laude Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English Literature from Boston College and completed her MFA in dance at California Institute of the Arts. She began her professional dance career in New York performing in the film Hair directed by Milos Foremanand was subsequently invited by the choreographer, Twyla Tharp, to join her dance company. After three years dancing and touring with Twyla Tharp’s company and following the birth of her first son, Jason, France performed the role of Consuelo with the Broadway Company of West Side Story and later danced and acted in dozens of television commercials and commercial print ads in New York, including an award winning commercial for Grey Poupon mustard and one for Gerber Baby Food in which she appeared with her youngest son, Ian. France also designed and implemented a comprehensive dance curriculum (Pre-K-12th) for an independent school in Connecticut, Greenwich Academy, where she taught and chaired the Arts Department. Specializing in Mind/Body integration, France is an executive/performance coach and is presently a full time faculty member in Dance and Performance Studies at Roger Williams University. The review panel commented on the time and attention this choreographer invests in wonderful details such as subtle hand movements. They described her work as strong, thoughtful and touching.
Roberta Shapiro – Fellowship in Craft
Three years ago in 2007 Roberta Shapiro enrolled in a figure drawing class at the Rhode Island School of Design in hope of a personal and artistic challenge. Inspired by her grandmother, she completed the final project using embroidery and one of her grandmother's cloth napkins. In the three years since, she has left her career in the jewelry industry to devote her time to her personal art work. In that time her work has been exhibited at the Bristol Art Museum at Rogers Free Library, the Chazen Gallery at Wheeler and the Providence Art Club.
The panel loved the size, detail and subject matter of this work. One panelist commented that embroidery is making a come-back in the crafts world and the combination of that technique with snap-shot images of abandoned buildings and urban scenes is very timely/ The panel agreed that the strength of the imagery and the detail of the craft were enough to award this applicant the fellowship. They loved that this work “is what it is” and “is not trying to be too many things.” They each commented that they would like to own one of these pieces.
Chen Tzu-Ju – Merit in Craft
The panel loved the colorful and ornate quality of this jewelry. They discussed whether it is meant to be worn or if it is sculptural work in the form of jewelry, since it is made of paper that would not be extremely durable. They appreciated the intensity of the craftwork, with multiple layers of paper, lacquer, beading and metal work. They described the pieces as “fun” and “exuberant”. The panel felt that it is beautiful and finely crafted work that deserves recognition.
Sue McNally received her BFA from the University of Rhode Island and her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work is in the permanent collections of Fidelity Investment Corporate Collection, Boston, MA, The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, and the Newport Art Museum. She has been a resident artist at The Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo and most recently Ucross. The Drawing & Printmaking Fellowship Review Panel was unanimous and enthusiastic in their selection of this artist for the Fellowship Award. They loved her imagery and felt that, although autobiographical, it would feel relevant to any viewer. They described her as a great mark-maker who clearly draws constantly. They complimented her use of line as well as blank space and abstract form. They described her work as “fabulous” and “confident.”
Maria Napolitano received her M.F.A. in Painting from Syracuse University and her B.F.A. in Painting from UMASS Dartmouth. She has been awarded RISCA Fellowships in 1981 and 2004. She is also the recipient of the Bradford Swan prize in painting from the Providence Art Club and the Curators Choice Award from Fidelity Investment’s Print and Drawing Show. Her work is in Fidelity Investments’ permanent collection and she has work in numerous private collections. She lives in Providence. The review panel described her mixed-media pieces as raw and “not fussy”. They enjoyed her sophisticated use of chine colle in combination with tight and loose lines and brush strokes. They also responded favorably to her color choices and the sense of texture lent by added materials.
Sousa graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied painting and animation. His films, which include Minotaur (1999), Fable (2005), and The Windmill (2007), have been screened around the world in festivals such as Sundance, Ottawa, Annecy, Hiroshima, and at The Boston Institute of Contemporary Arts. In his work, Sousa uses animation and themes commonly found in mythology and fairy tales to examine archetypes of human nature, and the inner struggles between our intellects and our unconscious drives. Rather than following conventional narratives, he approaches filmmaking from a painter's perspective. He focuses on states of mind, evoking the fragility of fleeting moments, memories and perceptions. In addition to his independent projects, Sousa has worked as a director and animator with Cartoon Network, Olive Jar Studios, Global Mechanic, and Duck. He has also taught at RISD, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Wheaton College, and the Art Institute of Boston. He is a founding member of Handcranked Film Projects, a group of New England filmmakers actively engaged in the production of independent experimental films.
The two short animated films submitted by this artist, Windmill and Drift, were described by the panel as “stunning.” Each frame stood on its own as a solid and complete painting. The panel was impressed by the smooth and fluid movement and transitions, describing the animation as well executed. They recognized this applicant as a master of his craft who is able to use sophisticated software as a tool in realizing his artistic vision, rather than letting the technology take over. They complimented the color palette and textures of the work, describing the aesthetic as “luscious”. They felt that this artist excelled in every aspect of crafting his films. The sound design, pacing, imagery, textures, and painterly quality were all precise and gorgeous. The films evoke a feeling in the viewer that is powerful and difficult to describe. The panel was unanimous and enthusiastic about awarding this artist the Fellowship.
Lorelei Pepi is an internationally screened and award-winning independent animation filmmaker. Her work has screened competitively at many festivals, including Sundance, Rotterdam, Black Maria, Ann Arbor, Ars Electronica, Images Toronto, Annecy, OutFest Los Angeles, ImageOut NY, Leipzig, Holland Animation,and Oberhausen. Her work has been included in a number of touring shows and curated screenings, such as the Best of Ann Arbor, MadCat, " Scratching the Sex" in Oberhausen, "Women in Animation" by WIFVNE, and "Words in Motion: Transformation" in Ottawa.
She has directed and animated for both television commercial and series work, contributed work for an Academy nominated animation film, directed interactive web game development, worked in feature film animation, and been a Creative Director for an Interactive Media Group in Los Angeles. Her professional career also includes teaching at university level, with a visiting position at Harvard University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Rochester Institute of Technology. She currently teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her own education is with a BFA from RISD and an MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts.
The panel described this artist as smart and her animation as sophisticated. The panel loved some of the funny moments in the film Happy and Gay, such as butch animals dressing in drag, flies dancing on the edge of a martini glass or dancing buildings. They loved the music used for both films and felt that the artist’s aesthetic choices were strong.
From Luyi Shao: My name is Luyi Shao, and I am a 40-year old first generation Chinese-American residing in Providence, Rhode Island. I am a practitioner and instructor of the cultural and martial arts of kung fu and traditional Chinese Lion Dance. The lion dance is a traditional cultural art that combines kung fu-inspired movement by two performers in a lion costume with percussion music consisting of a drum, cymbals, and a gong. The art symbolically represents the fostering of positive energy and good luck while warding away negative energy. Lion dance is practiced in countries all around the world where an ethnic Chinese population is present; it is also a part of Vietnamese culture.
I began studying lion dance and kung fu in Washington, D.C. with the Wong People Kung Fu/Lion Dance Association, a nationally-renowned lion dance and martial arts organization. Through many years of training, I honed my knowledge and skills by practicing and performing throughout the Washington, D.C. area with this acclaimed group, at a wide variety of venues that included the Kennedy Center.
Upon moving to Rhode Island in 2006, I founded the Rhode Island Kung Fu & Lion Dance Club (RIKFC). Under my leadership and instruction, the group has shared this authentic Chinese cultural art with both Chinese and non-Chinese audiences throughout the state. Venues with majority non-Chinese audiences have included the RI Heritage Festival at the State House, various events within the Pawtucket Arts Festival, FirstWorks Providence, the Downcity Arts Festival, and WaterFire. The local Chinese population often calls upon us to perform at Chinese holiday celebrations and community events. Many Chinese business proprietors wish to have the lion “bless” their establishments. This ritual is viewed as a culturally sacred rite believed to bring good fortune; it is essential for lion dance practitioners to be aware of and follow the cultural traditions of this ceremony. From 2007 through the present, the group has also been invited to the largest Lunar New Year gathering for the Chinese community in the state, held annually at Bryant University.
The RIKFC is the most active lion dance group in the state, and the only one that follows the traditional cultural practices which I believe imbue this performance art with beauty and meaning. All of the authentic costumes we use are hand-crafted in the traditional style, each a unique work of art in its own right.
Ntahondereye Erneste is a traditional Burundian drummer, dancer and singer from the Central Africa. While in Rhode Island he has formed and lead a drumming group of Burundian men and boys called Inziragukanya. The name of our group comes from two words in Kirundi (our native language). “Gukanya” means “to freezing” and “inzira” means “don’t”. Together they refer to people who never freeze, who are active not passive, warmed up, awake and ready to go wherever they are called. This name is reflective of the Royal Burundian Drumming tradition in which the specially trained drumming groups could be called on at any time to announce and play for the king, princes or other dignitaries or for special events such as government meetings and celebrations.
Erneste has been asked by the leadership of the Burundian community to organize our drumming group, teach traditional drumming, dance and song and help our youth to learn about their music and culture. Drummers are traditionally male, but the drummers often played for the women dancers in Burundi during their performances. As our group grows in skill we hope to do this as well.
Drumming, dancing and song are central to my culture. They had many goals traditionally and here in our new home in Rhode Island they have a renewed purpose. As in Burundi, drums are played to make people happy. The beat is like a heartbeat; it is so strong it is impossible to think of unhappy things. It carries you. So many of us have experienced tragedies in our country, in the refugee camps and coming to a new and unfamiliar country. The drums remind us of good times and who we are as a people. They help us to feel strong and whole. The people who listen to us can feel this as well. Drumming helps us teach our Burundian community through the words and songs we use, telling stories of Burundian life and culture. We don’t want to lose our culture or forget it. Many of us and most of our children were born in the refugee camps and have never or very seldom been to our homeland of Burundi. Preserving our identity while becoming a part of the Rhode Island community is precious to us. We are anxious to share this rich heritage with our new brothers and sisters here in Rhode Island.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Work Sample: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/magazine/25lives-t.html?_r=1
Marie Myung-Ok Lee is a Visiting Lecturer in Race & Ethnicity and teaches creative writing at Brown University. She is the author of the novel Somebody’s Daughter, which was a Booklist Best Book of the Year and a WGBH Summer Reading Pick. Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, Witness, The American Voice, Guernica and has received an honorable mention by the O. Henry Awards. Marie has been a judge for the National Book Awards, a Fulbright fellow, and has held fellowship residencies at MacDowell and the Corporation of Yaddo. She won the Richard Margolis Award for social justice reporting. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, the U.K. Independent, and she is a regular writer for Slate. She is a founder of and former board president of the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York City.
On Feb. 11, 2010, Marie was one of three writers awarded the prestigious MacColl Johnson Fellowship grant, one of the largest “no strings attached” grants for artists in the United States, according to the Rhode Island Foundation. Award winners are chosen based on artistic excellence, literary development, and creative contribution to the literary field.
The panel felt that this was story was stunning and beautifully crafted. They felt that author’s choice of subject matter is unusual and risky, yet written about with a delicate manner. The characters are well-crafted and linger with the reader. The panel appreciated that the author addressed social issues, such as immigration, adoption and concepts of beauty, in a way that is accessible and very human. One panelist commented that the story radiates into the world we live in. Overall, the panel felt that the work was fully polished and very sophisticated, while also touching, humorous and poignant.
Max Winter - writing sample
Max Winter lives in Providence with his wife and son. He also teaches writing at the University of Rhode Island and coordinates their Ocean State Summer Writing Conference. There is another Max Winter who is supposedly one of the most googled poets in the United States. When Max Winter told this to his mother, she said, "They probably think he's you."
The panel felt that this author’s submission, Manatee, was a clean and well-crafted story with a good narrative arch and wonderful scenes. The panel described the work as having a large metaphorical sweep, strong prose and very natural dialogue. One panelist noted that the author possesses a wonderful way of writing in negative space and this style helped the reader to empathize with the sense of disconnectedness that the protagonist experiences. They also appreciated how the ending tied back to the beginning in a way that was true to the underlying themes of the story.
Michael DeQuattro began his career in music as a percussionist and continues to perform as a freelance musician and composer. His compositional approach draws on many musical styles and techniques including non-western, jazz, classical, pop, improvisational, and electronic. His formal training started at The Community College of Rhode Island where he received an Associate in Jazz Studies, moved on to Rhode Island College where he received a Bachelors in Music Education, and completed his studies with a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from The Boston Conservatory. Composition would not come until after the culmination of his formal training. Michael began composing in 2002 when asked by his friend and colleague Kathy Gordon Smith to write a piano score title “A Friend of Mine” for solo dance. The Music Composition Fellowship Review Panel described this composer’s work as passionate and ambitious. They responded to the range of works he submitted for review, which reflected Eastern European influences, minimalism, and dynamic beats. They were impressed with his command of intentional and improvisational modes and his ability to use them interchangeably. His work was described as exciting, gripping, eclectic and accomplished.
Chrissy Wolpert is founder of the Assembly of Light Women’s Choir. She received her BFA at Rhode Island College with a concentration in Voice. She is a composer and singer who started inviting a few women to her apartment to sing some songs she had been working on. It went so well that they kept coming back. The choir is a frequently changing “cast” of women from various backgrounds and degrees of vocal training and experience. Chrissy’s group was featured on a successfully released record named “All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood” by The Body with beautiful choral singing. The Assembly of Light Women’s Choir is about taking shape on its own terms, forming itself without pretense, and bringing brightness through the dark through music. The Music Composition Fellowship Review Panel was compelled by this artist’s composition as the creation of a communal and creative interaction with a strong human element.
Erik J. Carlson is a media artist, composer and architect based in Cranston, RI. His work uses sound, video and light to examine the ways we interact with our built and natural environments, and to explore our relationships to time and memory. Erik is currently completing a multi-media public art installation for the Denver Public Library, titled “Cloud Seeding,” and his interactive sound installation "Low Rez/Hi Fi," can be viewed at 1110 Vermont Avenue in Washington, DC (a collaboration with architect Meejin Yoon). His work has also been supported by the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium and the LEF Foundation. Since 2002, Carlson has been recording and performing under the name Area C, whose compositions work with timbre, texture and live loops, exploring cyclical relationships and details of their decay over time. In 2009 he received the Rhode Island Foundation's MacColl-Johnson Fellowship in Music Composition, and in 2010 he scored the feature-length documentary “Witness: Katrina” for the National Geographic Channel. AREA C’s latest CD, “Map of Circular Thought” will be released in January 2011. The New Genres Fellowship Review Panel loved the fact that two of the works submitted by this artist are social interventions - artwork that anyone could encounter and engage with as they walk through a city. The panel felt that Erik’s works are successful as public art, incorporating a high level of sound and composition with an excellent visual aesthetic and text.
Xander Marro is a fake scientist/olde style tinker who makes art at the Dirt Palace; a feminist cupcake encrusted netherworld located along the dioxin filled banks of the Woonasquatucket River (which is to say in Olneyville, Providence, RI USA). From this post she makes movies, quilts, puppet shows, prints and phone calls. Her adventures underground have included curating the "Movies with Live Soundtracks" film series and performing in various theatrick/musical formats as one of the variety of her alter ego's (Madame Von Temper Tantrum, Lady Long Arms, Lil Blood-n-Guts, Madame Von Malt Liquor, etc). In her spare time she is the Managing Director of AS220 where she crafts endless spreadsheets and reports documenting the possibility of an organized egalitarian approach to art making as a transmutative tool in generating beauty, achieving equality, next level human consciousness and putting a final end to humanity's terrible habit of endless war making. The New Genres Fellowship Review panel loved the hand-made quality of Xander’s artwork and the fact that the she creates every aspect of her installations. They felt that her work shows a command of multiple modes of art making including various forms of craft, illustration and silk screen, and filmmaking.
Thomas Lyon Mills was born in Geneva, NY and lives in Providence, RI. He received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and was on fellowship at the Yale University Summer School of Music and Art at Norfolk, CT. For over 20 years he has painted in the Italian catacombs and numerous European archeological sites. He is represented by the Luise Ross Gallery in New York and the Lenore Gray Gallery in Providence, and has also exhibited at The Drawing Center in New York, The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, The Boston Athenaeum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; and numerous venues in Europe including the American Academy in Rome and the residence of the United States Ambassador in Italy. He has lectured and critiqued at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; the Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI; Parsons School of Design, NY; Auburn University, AL; and both Temple University's and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute's programs in Rome. In 1996 he received RISD's John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has been the recipient of the RISCA Painting Fellowship Award in 1993 and in 2000. The Painting Fellowship Review Panel described Mils’ paintings as romantic, yet haunting, and filled with richness and depth. The panel recognized that his works clearly take considerable time to create, are highly considered and reveal an artist who is deeply engaged in his work and process. They present a powerful sense of place through both realistic and abstract representations of space. The panel was unanimous and enthusiastic about their selection of this artist for the Painting Fellowship Award.
Ruth Dealy is an artist who has lived and worked in Providence, RI for over 34 years. Her work falls into 2 major groups, self-portraits and landscapes. Both are constants, mutated by time, light and season. She is interested in the tension between what is seen and what is felt. She endured a gradual loss of sight over a period of two years, during which she created a series of paintings called “In The Land Of The Blind”. The experience changed her painting style from linear narrative to a place without time. She states, “Once I could see again I was thrilled with the presence of the blind paintings but I was, thank god, unable to reproduce that feeling of void, loss and terror. I have gone back to celebrating each leaf, twig and ray of light, but this time I am aware of the darkness.” The review panel recognized this artist’s paintings for their raw, energetic, powerful qualities, describing her as “courageous” and “unapologetic”. They appreciated that her imagery is completely invented and not derivative. They also appreciated the continuity of this artist’s body of work over several years, showing dedication to her style and craft. They described her work as strong and alive.
Born in NYC,
BFA Photography NYU, MFA Photography RISD
Victoria lives and works in Providence. She will be traveling around the USA this fall working on new signs and images for Thoughts on Romance on the Road. This project was recently featured as a 10 page article in the May 2010 issue of the British Journal of Photography. She is also a recipient of a 2010-11 Fulbright Scholarship with which she will be photographing and teaching in the Russian Federation next year for 6 months. She is head of Photography in the Design Dept at UMass Dartmouth, from where she will be on sabbatical for the year 2010-11. Her work in photography and video has been shown widely throughout the US and is featured in the photography collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The panel described these photographs as a mature body of work. They enjoyed the ways that the artist engages performance and guerrilla art in her practice, yet the final product is a series of beautifully composed and meticulously printed large-scale photographs. There is a risk to making this work, which transforms its environment. The artist confronts viewers – those who might pass by the marquees, as well as gallery visitors - in an unexpected way, with phrases that touch on issues of the personal and romantic. The fact that the phrases are placed primarily on theater marquees makes the viewer think about questions like - is romance only found in the theater or is romance just a kind of theater itself? The prints are not just beautiful photographs individually, but a comprehensive record of the artist’s alterations to public spaces. The jurors felt that this kind of thematic work has the potential to be gimmicky, but these photographs are compelling and the work of the artist’s hand feels deliberate and successful.
These photographs were described as interesting because they are not about any particular place or time. They are representational, but completely outside of any recognizable context. Jurors felt that the images were “very fun” and one panelist used the terms “embryonic” and “rock and roll” to describe them. The panel enjoyed the experimental and interesting subject matter and felt that this work was the most creative of all of the submissions.
Catherine Imbriglio is the author of Parts of the Mass (Burning Deck), which received the 2008 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Caliban, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, First Intensity, New American Writing, No: A Journal of the Arts, Pleiades, Web Conjunctions and elsewhere. A selection of her poetry has been anthologized in The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries, ed. Reginald Shepherd (University of Iowa Press, 2004). She is a recipient of an Untermeyer fellowship in poetry, a merit fellowship in poetry from the RI State Council on the Arts and a Brown University UCS award for excellence in teaching.
The panel described this work as brilliant. They appreciated the high level of skill and the amount of control being exhibited in the creation of this body of work. Impressed by the diction, variety in sentence structures and rhetorical strategies, one panelist commented that this poet is pushing to the outer edge of his or her linguistic resources. The panel enjoyed the beautiful cadences and the interesting combination of cohesiveness and looseness. They noted that the language itself, rather than its semantic references, is the subject of the work. Overall, the panel was impressed with the talent, knowledge, skill, ambition, scope and range of the work.
Peter Johnson has published four books of prose poems: Rants and Raves, 2010; Pretty Happy!, 1997; Miracles & Mortifications, 2001; and Eduardo & “I”, 2006. He has also published a book of short stories, I’m a Man, 2003), and two novels: What Happened (Front Street Books, 2007) and Loserville (Front Street Books, 2009). For his poetry, he has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Rhode Island Council on the Arts fellowship, and his second book of poems was awarded the 2001 James Laughlin Award by The Academy of American Poets. This award is given to honor a second book by an American author. His novel, What Happened, received the 2008 Paterson Prize for young adult fiction and was named the Rhode Island Book of the Year for secondary schools by The Alliance for the Study and Teaching of Adolescent Literature. It was also chosen as one of the “Best Books for the Teenaged” by the NY Public Library and “Best New Books for the Classroom” by Booklinks. He founded The Prose Poem: An International Journal, which he edited for nine years, and he is a contributing editor of, Sentence, and Slope. He lives in Providence with his wife and two sons.
The panel described this poet's work as humorous and imaginative. They enjoyed the mind and the emotion behind the work, in addition to the poet's consistently inventive and efficient use of language. Surprising from piece to piece, one panelist commented that the poems were turning in a way that they like for poems to turn, from one sentence to the next.
The panel was impressed by the poet's use of the prose poem format, commenting that they read as successfully, with implied silences and pauses, as more traditional forms of poetry. They were also impressed by the range of content and interested in the underlying social commentary. The poet moved effortlessly between the ordinary and the transcendent.
Bill Thomas is an internationally recognized musician and screenwriter residing in Portsmouth. Bill’s career as a singer/songwriter began while an officer in the United States Navy from 1965-1969, performing with various singing groups. During his time on station in the Mediterranean, he fell passionately in love with Greece and its culture, a passion that has inspired much of his artistic work to date.
Bill worked as a freelance songwriter and filmmaker for the CBS children’s program, Captain Kangaroo from 1974 -1983. During this time Bill produced more than three dozen music videos, working alongside friend and colleague, Denis Maloney, DOP. Bill wrote and produced the songs, and collaborated with Mr. Maloney on directing and editing the videos. In 1974 Bill worked together with friend and colleague, Noel Paul Stookey of Peter Paul and Mary, to create and produce a children’s radio program, The Sandman, and in 1987 he collaborated with Gary Lee to write the musical, Song of Santaluenza. In 1982 Bill created a pilot for a PBS children’s show, Books and Fudge, and in 2005 compiled and produced the children’s album, Time Can Be So Magic, a collection of his songs from Captain Kangaroo. Bill’s songs have also been heard on HBO and Sesame Street. Bill has performed with many musical groups throughout his life, and is currently a member of The Elderly Brothers of Newport.
Bill has recently developed his talent in screenwriting with this first screenplay, A Letter for Zorba. In addition to winning the RISCA Fellowship Award for Playwriting and Screenwriting, A Letter for Zorba was a 2009 Finalist at the London Greek Film Festival, and won a 2010 Honorable Mention at the Amsterdam International Film Festival. Bill holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rhode Island, and currently mentors high school students in songwriting and music composition.
The panel loved the opening of this applicant’s screenplay, A Letter for Zorba. They also loved the scenes depicting a teacher who is good at what he does and who gives a wonderful lecture. They loved the celebration of the rebel character, Theodorakis, and felt that character portrayals throughout the piece were strong and consistent. The panel explained that many manuscripts often fall apart at the end, but this piece stayed strong. They commented that the use of partial sentences in constructed dialogue can often feel glib, but that it works in this piece. The writing is well crafted and this writer clearly has an understanding of his art form.
Lawrence Goodman's plays include The Disappearance of the Jews, Keep Your Distance, An Evening of Highly Self-Indulgent Semi-Autobiographical Comedy, Rain Later, and The Zionist Conspiracy (in progress). His work has been performed at Perishable Theatre in Providence, The Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia, the HERE Arts Center in New York, and at the New York International Fringe Festival. He is the recipient of the 2002 Albert Benzwie Playwriting Award and was named a finalist in the 2008 National New Play Network's Timothy Smith Prize and the 2007 Maieutic Theatre Reading Series in New York. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont and a B.A. in English from Harvard College.
The panel complimented this writer on his ability to craft seamless personal dialogue. They referred specifically to a scene in which the character Martin balances a conversation with two women. They also commented that this applicant is able to convey the beauty and craziness of family and personal relationships. They felt that this writer has excellent skill and constructs wonderful scenes.
Josh Enck creates unique sculptural forms in wood and metal. Combining his training as an architect and furniture maker, he constructs pieces that are conceptually rigorous and well-crafted. His work draws inspiration from agricultural and industrial landscapes, but these forms are only obliquely visible in his finished pieces. Through painting and sketching, he experiments with forms on paper. He then builds everything himself, developing the initial sketch into a finished form in his studio.
In the construction process, Enck lets the materials dictate constraints and remains open to the unforeseen possibilities that arise when building by hand. He works through ideas that catch his interest, experimenting with scale, materials and construction techniques. This results in a portfolio that is an eclectic investigation and includes watering cans, large-scale furniture, wall-hung sculptures and coopered structures. Enck strives to develop a high level of detail on each piece, no matter the scale. His work juxtaposes organic and inorganic materials that gather markings of age, weather with interaction and collect narrations of use. The patinas on his work suggest histories not fully available to the viewer. The forms he creates feel at once familiar and ambiguous, allowing viewers to create their own references.
The panel felt that this artist is clearly embedded in the traditions and techniques of furniture making, but is pushing beyond those to create function-less furniture and pure sculptural work. They were most impressed by the artist’s command of his craft and acknowledged the difficulty of bending and working with wood in the round. They felt that many artists in the pool of applicants were testing materials and exploring ways to work with them, but this artist has clearly mastered his materials and is now able to focus on form. The work has a timeless quality. Shadows are a compelling aspect of each piece, adding interest, depth and complexity.
Joanne has shown in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces in the United States and internationally. She has received awards and recognition for her sculpture; among them the “Salonule Mic Bucuresti Award” for mixed media from the Visual Center for the Arts in Buchurest, Romania, the “Silvermine Board of Trustees Award” from the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, CT, and first prize for “Outstanding Artistic Merit in 3-D” from the Warwick Arts Association in the Statewide Convergence Festival in Rhode Island.
Favoring fibrous materials, Joanne mainly uses second-hand cloth and used tea bags in her work. She is drawn to process art, but sometimes favors conceptual and minimalist work. She has stated that the most fulfilling work in her repertoire is a combination of process, object, performance, and video.
“The concept of my work has been about trying to find comfort in a sometimes uncomfortable world. I use a variety of materials in my work, but found in used tea bags, a material that would reflect the ephemeral sense of comfort associated with the drinking of tea. Tea provides stability in its rituals, warmth on a cold day, and community when shared with others, but these provisions are, in reality, merely temporal. The work I have been making incorporate all of these characteristics, as well as the idea that everyone who is a part of my life, is now a part of my work as well, as each bag is individually steeped and consumed by friends, family, and acquaintances. The objects I have created are many and varied, but the creation of the Tea Quilts, which are reminiscent of the American tradition of the quilting bee, are the most inspiring.”
Born in 1958 in Providence, Rhode Island, Joanne received her AFA from the Community College of Rhode Island, her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and her MFA from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
The panelists described the quilt as “spectacular” and each piece was seen as beautifully and meticulously crafted. The artist submitted work consisting of used tea bags, meticulously crafted into various objects including a quilt, a robe, a vest and a book. They discussed how the robe and vest evoke a feeling of wrapping the body within the artwork and they wondered if the pieces have a smell that is missed in the photographic representation. They talked about the fact that the artist probably drank the tea made from these tea bags and how the work feels very personal – representing moments of tea entering the body and then the tea bags laying against the body. The tea bags are woven, stretched, stuffed, and bound, showing that the artist is capable of truly pushing unconventional materials. The panel felt that this is a strong body of work that is highly creative, labor intensive and well executed.