Taylor Bishop, Frostic School of Art B.F.A. Photography and Intermedia undergraduate major, was externally awarded the 2013 Gordon Art Fellowship from the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute located in Hastings, Mich. for his successfully awarded environmental visual art project proposal, " Concealed Wetlands: Rendering the Invisible". 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 College of Fine Arts Associate Professor/Area Coordinator of Photography and Intermedia and StART II (Sustainability Across Research and Teaching) Co-leader, was externally awarded the position as his 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. Taylor Bishop will use infrared photography as a representation of how bleak and seemingly unimportant wildlife, forests, and nature have become to most of the developed world. The color of infrared photographs will represent the urbanization of nature and the man-made destruction of natural habitats. In recent years, Michigan's wetlands have been threatened. Bishop's project will mainly focus on the wetlands at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Recently, wetland destruction has been caused by commercial, industrial, and residential expansion. The estimated 11 million acres of Michigan wetlands existing in pre-settlement times has now been reduced to less than 3 million acres.
Regarding the fellowship funding and opportunity, Bishop said, "I will purchase a Nikon D7000 Camera along with a Nikon 18-70mm lens, Kallitype chemicals, and framing materials. I will have an opportunity to work on an amazing body of work without interruption."
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 27, 2013 and results in a capstone lecture series on September 21, 2013 at the PCCI. Taylor Bishop will exhibit the results of this work at the Western Michigan University South Kohrman Critique Space and Gallery K1206. Check the Frostic School of Art website for exhibition details in the future.
Taylor Bishop is a senior B.F.A. Photo and Intermedia major and has an Associates of Arts with an Emphasis in Photography from Grand Rapids Community College.