Lauren Giuliani, Frostic School of Art B.F.A. with an emphasis in Photography and Intermedia undergraduate major, was externally awarded the 2012 Gordon Art Fellowship from the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute located in Hastings, Mich. for her successfully awarded environmental visual art project proposal, "Hijacking Nature: Little Things Add Up." Set on 661 acres in Southwest Michigan, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is a blend of diverse habitats including wetlands, forests, marshes, streams, lakes, and prairies. As a mix between a nature center and biological field station, it offers programs to serve the community while also building partnerships with area colleges and universities to serve their faculty and students.
Bill Davis, Western Michigan University Sustainability Committee member and College of Fine Arts Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Photography and Intermedia, was externally awarded the position as her mentor. From a competitive peer-reviewed process, this fellowship recognizes and awards one student and that student's mentor to work for a period of four summer months in the initiation and completion of a student-developed project that explores natural habitats and the protective role those habitats play in collective human experience and existence. Lauren is installing non-invasive litter in the prairies and the woods. Specifically, her proposal is to surround large photographs with many 4"x4" photographs of individual circumstances, which when combined, cause the occurrence depicted within the large photograph.
The Gordon Art Fellowship is an important opportunity because it significantly and substantially supports the visual art B.F.A. student and that student's mentor to professionally develop in ways that are highly uncommon in funding for artists with scholarly commitments to sustainability- as partners in professional development, public presentation, and stewardship of biodiversity. It is a critically valuable step for B.F.A. students who desire to accept the highly challenging opportunity to propose, explore, and complete a supervised project in concert with other separately awarded student and professional scientists from a consortium of research and student-centered universities in Michigan. Unlike artist grants that offer support for solo projects, this very collaborative recognition and fellowship houses student scientists next to artists in ways that allow these two culturally valuable disciplines to present work for peer review, individually and co-develop emerging professionally produced scholarship, exhibit parallel or distinctly individualized and funded projects, and present progress in a midpoint lecture series on June 28, 2012 and results in a capstone lecture series on September 22, 2012 at the PCCI. Lauren Giuliani will exhibit the results of this work at the Western Michigan University Richmond Center for Visual Art in October of 2012. Check the Frostic School of Art website for exhibition details in the future.