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CAA has awarded four 2015 Professional-Development Fellowships—two in the visual arts and two in art history—to graduate students in MFA and PhD programs across the United States. In addition, CAA has named two honorable mentions in art history and four in the visual arts. The fellows and honorable mentions also receive a complimentary one-year CAA membership and free registration for the 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Receiving fellowships in the visual arts are:

  • Delano Dunn, School of Visual Arts, $10,000
  • Derrick Woods-Morrow, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, $4,000 (gift of the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation)

The two recipients of the fellowship in art history are:

  • Marin Sarvé-Tarr, University of Chicago, $10,000
  • Emilie Boone, Northwestern University, $2,500 (gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust)

The honorable mentions for art history go to: Adrian Anagnost, University of Chicago; and Monica Bravo, Brown University. For the visual arts, honorable mentions are bestowed upon: Zhiwan Cheung, Carnegie Mellon University; Sarah Hewitt, Purchase College, State University of New York; Victoria Maidhof, San Francisco Art Institute; and Kaiya Rainbolt, San Diego State University.

DeWitt Godfrey, president of the CAA Board of Directors, will formally recognize the fellows and honorable mentions at the 104th Annual Conference during Convocation, taking place on Wednesday evening, February 3, 2016, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

CAA’s fellowship program supports promising artists and art historians who are enrolled in MFA and PhD programs nationwide. Awards are intended to help them with various aspects of their work, whether for job-search expenses or purchasing materials for the studio. CAA believes a grant of this kind, without contingencies, can best facilitate the transition between graduate studies and professional careers. The program is open to all eligible graduate students in the visual arts and art history. Applications for the 2016 fellowship cycle will open in late spring.

Fellows in the Visual Arts

Delano Dunn

Born in Los Angeles, California, Delano Dunn currently lives and works in New York. Through painting, mixed media, and collage, he explores questions of racial identity and perception through various contexts, ranging from the personal to the political and drawing from his experience growing up in South Central LA.

Dunn has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and Buffalo and is currently completing an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He holds a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo show at the 2016 Affordable Art Fair and a group show at Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut. His work is also on view at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington until March 4.

View images of Dunn’s work: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.



Derrick Woods-Morrow

Derrick Woods-Morrow was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is an MFA student in the Photography Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in Illinois. He holds a BA from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and earned a postbaccalaureate certificate from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) in Boston. Woods-Morrow’s work has been shown at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, Randolph’s Maier Museum of Art, the President’s Gallery at MassArt, the Sullivan Galleries at SAIC, and the ACRE residency, where he was a Terry Plumming Scholar. He has received the Carol Becker Merit Scholarship at SAIC.

Woods-Morrow’s work explores the problematic ideals of masculinity embedded in systems that constructs gay pornography, where intimacy is frail and domination and disregard are desired traits; where oppressive force is the norm; where the African American does not exist except as fetishized commodity; and where a prevailing use of heterosexual vocabulary continues to establish masculine credibility within queer imagery.

View images of Woods-Morrow’s work: Example 1, Example 2.

Fellows in Art History

Marin Sarvé-Tarr

Marin Sarvé-Tarr will complete a PhD in art history at the University of Chicago in Illinois in summer 2016. Her dissertation, “Seizing the Everyday: Lettrist Film and the French Postwar Avant-Garde, 1946–1954,” examines the films produced by members of Lettrism, Nouveau Réalisme, and the Situationist International; it also identifies informal networks between later rivals forged in cafés and ciné-clubs in 1950s Paris. Her project shows how artists’ collaborative films and public demonstrations impacted the agendas of publishers, cinemas, and museums that patronized artists, molded public reception of the arts, and figured social progress in reconstruction France. With support from the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, the Getty Research Institute, and the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust, Marin presented on religion and the avant-garde at CAA’s 2014 Annual Conference. She is also publishing a chapter on Lettrist cinema in a forthcoming volume from the European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum, to be published later this year.

Marin earned a BA in 2008 from Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she curated The Politics of Satire: La Caricature in Post-Revolutionary France at the Clark Humanities Museum. She contributed to exhibitions and programs at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, and the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Marin helped to organize Interiors and Exteriors: Avant-Garde Itineraries in Postwar France (2013–14) at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. As a 2015–16 Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Fellow for the Chicago Object Study Initiative at the Art Institute of Chicago, Marin is currently preparing object-based research and publications on Surrealism.

Emilie Boone

Emilie Boone is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She focuses on the history of photography, the art of the African diaspora, and American art. Her dissertation, “Visions of Harlem: Reconsidering the Studio Photography of James Van Der Zee,” demonstrates the intrinsic role of Van Der Zee’s images in constructing multivalent narratives of Harlem. Boone has written for History of Photography and African Arts and for Columbia College Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography and Washington University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in Saint Louis, Missouri. Most recently, she has contributed to an exhibition catalogue, From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography, for the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale in Florida. She also has an essay in the forthcoming anthology, Towards an African-Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance.

Boone’s honors include a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery, a Fulbright fellowship at the Notman Photographic Archives, a Terra Foundation Residency in Giverny, France, and an Eliza Dangler Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, 2013, and 2015, she was an invited participant of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A critical-studies residency at the Center for Photography at Woodstock led to her recent role as a selection panelist for the Woodstock Artist-in-Residency Program for artists working in the photographic arts. As a postdoctoral Mellon curatorial fellow, Boone looks forward to advancing her research, teaching, and curatorial engagement at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Honorable Mentions in Visual Art and Art History

Adrian Anagnost

Adrian Anagnost is a historian of modern and contemporary art whose scholarship investigates the intersections of urban space, political economy, and aesthetic practice. She earned a PhD from the University of Chicago in Illinois in December 2015. Her dissertation, titled “Contested Spaces: Art and Urbanism in Brazil, 1928–1969,” considers how the artists and architects Flávio de Carvalho, Lúcio Costa, Lina Bo Maria Bardi, Waldemar Cordeiro, Lygia Clark, and Hélio Oiticica engaged with the built environment as a concretization of social relations in Brazil.

Before coming to Chicago, Anagnost completed an MA in modern art from Columbia University in New York, with a thesis on the contemporary photographer James Welling. She also worked in the archive and registration departments of David Zwirner in New York. Anagnost’s writings on Waldemar Cordeiro, Carol Bove, Oswald de Andrade, and Pedro Almodóvar have appeared in the Chicago Art Journal, Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas, and ArtUS. Her upcoming publications include an article on the Polish Constructivist Teresa Żarnower for the Woman’s Art Journal and an essay on the work of the contemporary artist Theaster Gates.

Monica Bravo

Monica Bravo is an ABD doctoral candidate specializing in American art in a global context and the history of photography at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her BA in studio art from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 2004, and an MA in art history and criticism from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, in 2009. Bravo’s dissertation examines exchanges between modernist photographers in the United States and modern Mexican artists working in painting, poetry, music, and photography, resulting in the development of a greater American modernism in the interwar period.

Bravo has been a fellow at the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently a Wyeth predoctoral fellow at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC.

Zhiwan Cheung

They say that geography defines a person. Born in America and raised by Chinese immigrants, Zhiwan Cheung lives in a sort of permanent in-between state of being neither fully American nor Chinese. As a journey toward a home that does not exist, a rite of passage with no destination, he uses his work to search for a critical understanding of an impossible homecoming. Cheung’s practice focuses on the meaning and space between identities, examining the feeling of a liminal displacement through sculpture, film, and performance. In approaching this journey, he probes the intersection of national identity and the personal psyche with an open-ended, multimedia approach.

Performativity gets closer to the heart of all identity. It is no coincidence that many great actors continue to employ their characters long after the camera stopped running. For the best performances, the blurring between fake and real becomes so powerful that we cease to see the actor or the character: one is constantly subsumed by the other, leaving the residue of the actual and the imaginary to shift and ebb between various in-between-states. This sacrificing of the self and the fabrication of a persona speak to the destruction of the self for art. Or is it perhaps the other way around? James Luna, a Native American performance artist, once said, “How do you talk about things like intercultural identity[?] Do you talk about it in third person? If you sacrifice yourself, so to speak, then it becomes much more dynamic.” The sacrificing of the true self and the fabricated persona speaks to the destruction of the soul for art, or perhaps it is the other way around. Life is art. Art is life.

The intersection of national identity and the personal psyche is complex, not always clear nor fixed. As an artist, Cheung probes the paths and how and where they join and diverge. This personal odyssey explores the permanent liminal through diverse strategies and processes. It is a journey guided by an allusive visual language, with a mix of pop-cultural, art-historical, and aesthetic choices that also guide audiences into finding their own rites of passage.

View images of Cheung’s work: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

Sarah Hewitt

She vows
To make plastic art
Redefine plastic art
To make you love plastic art
To challenge and bewitch you with what you think is formal or plastic
To make you bow to her craft\
Redefine craft
To weave
To weave your mind
To weave your mind into confusion
To drag you into the sacred without your consent

Let the work be deep, dark, and dirty—gritty. It comes from a place of authenticity. Sarah Hewitt is not looking to create a spectacle for fun or frivolity. This is serious business for her. She is crafting a new fabric in a manner that is complicated—as complicated and fragile as our contemporary moments.

Hewitt’s works are exhibited around the country and have garnered many awards, grants, and residencies, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. This spring she will receive her MFA in visual art from Purchase College, State University of New York.

View images of Hewitt’s work: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

Victoria Maidhof

Victoria Maidhof has been fascinated by unconventional people for as long as she can remember. She was raised in a middle-class suburban neighborhood where her family stood out as eccentrics. They were the only secular family on the block, and her parents encouraged their children to run wild, play hard, and reject authority. Maidhof’s father told captivating stories about his unusual upbringing, many of which revolved around his mother, a paranoid schizophrenic, and his father, a merchant marine with severe posttraumatic stress disorder.

As Maidhof got older, she became curious about other people that lived unorthodox lifestyles. Having seen the work of Mary Ellen Mark and Diane Arbus, she knew that the camera could grant permission into the lives of complete strangers. In 2003, Maidhof moved to San Francisco to study photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in California. After completing her BFA, she returned to her home town, San Diego, with her now-husband Tahan in tow. They currently reside in La Mesa, where she works full time as a photographer. Maidhof is finishing her MFA through the San Francisco Art Institute’s low-residency program.

View images of Maidhof’s work: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

Kaiya Rainbolt

Kaiya Rainbolt earned her BA in English literature at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and studied studio art at City College of San Francisco in California, with a focus in metalwork. She currently attends the MFA program in jewelry and metalwork at San Diego State University. Rainbolt has participated in several national juried exhibitions and has been recognized with numerous scholarships and awards.

Though trained as a metalsmith, Rainbolt currently uses a wide variety of materials in her work, including fabrics, clothing, steel, lead, and animal hide. She is focused on creating work that has the potential to elicit a visceral response from the viewer in order to promote engagement in a way that makes it easier to participate in dialogue about socially sensitive issues. Rainbolt believes that an art object, as a representation of a particular human struggle, has the potential to span differences in experience, background, and culture in a way that creates connection, generates empathy, and fosters understanding.

View images of Rainbolt’s work: Example 1, Example 2.

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