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Meet the 2019 Professional Development Fellows

posted by CAA — Feb 14, 2020

CAA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Professional Development Fellowships. The recipient of the $10,000 fellowship in art history is Ace Lehner, University of California, Santa Cruz. The recipient of the $10,000 fellowship in visual art is Leah Schretenthaler, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The honorable mention for art history goes to Anne Marie Butler, Kalamazoo College, and the honorable mention in visual art is awarded to Madelaine Corbin, Cranbrook Academy of Art. All fellows and honorable mentions receive a complimentary one-year CAA membership and registration for the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago.

2019 Professional Development Fellowship in Art History 

Ace Lehner, University of California, Santa Cruz

Ace Lehner is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist specializing in critical engagement with identity and representation; history, theory, and criticism of contemporary art; photography theory; and queer and trans theory. Lehner’s artistic practice often embraces collaboration and primarily utilizes photography and video to mine the complex relation between representations and the constitution of identities. Lehner was recently a Presidents’ Dissertation-Year Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where they are completing their dissertation, ”Trans Representations: Contemporary Art Photography and Non-Binary Visual Theory,” and earning their PhD.

Lehner has chaired panels on trans representations at the College Art Association conference has spoken about their research and artistic practice at the International Center of Photography (New York, NY) and has been published in Art JournalREFRACTThe Wattis Institute for Contemporary ArtThe Journal on Images and Culture, and elsewhere. Lehner’s artwork has been exhibited internationally and will be featured in a solo exhibition at Practice Gallery in Philadelphia in June 2020. Lehner currently serves as the editor of the forthcoming book From Self-Portrait to Selfie: Contemporary Art and Self-Representation in the Social Media Age published by MDPI Books and works in the Education Department at the Dia Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, where they are currently piloting the museums’ first-ever queer tour programs. Lehner holds an MFA/MA in Fine Art/Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Lehner is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Honorable Mention in Art History

Anne Marie Butler, Kalamazoo College

Anne Marie Butler is Assistant Professor of Art History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI. Her research areas are global contemporary art, Middle East North Africa studies, gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory. Her scholarship considers issues of gender, sexuality, and queerness within the parameters of the nation-state, and the imbrication of state authority within social constructs. She is currently working on a book project about surrealism in Tunisia, in which she considers emerging and ongoing questions about how Tunisian artists critique embedded systems of power by examining surrealism as a methodology by which Tunisian women artists negotiate the discordant demands of the state apparatus and social norms. Additional scholarship in progress on contemporary Tunisian visual art addresses the overlap of surrealism and queerness, sexuality in surrealism, contemporary performance art, and negotiations of repression. She is also an activist who has worked in migrant justice and local LGBTQ history. In 2018, she founded the Middle East Studies Association Queer Studies Interest Group.

Dr. Butler received her MA from New York University and her PhD from the University at Buffalo. Her dissertation, “Unintelligible Bodies: Surrealism and Queerness in Contemporary Tunisian Women’s Art” (2019), revealed that many Tunisian women artists imagine queer bodies, bodily configurations, and bodily relationships that rebuke normative conceptualizations of the body, and argued that surrealism and queerness are strategies by which Tunisian women artists launch critiques of repressive systems that remain embedded within the Tunisian state and society.

2019 Professional Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts 

Leah Schretenthaler, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  

Leah Schretenthaler was born and raised in Hawaii. After relocating to the mainland, Hawaii continues to be a point of reference for her research and studio practice. Her work uses traditional photography, laser etching, and metal casting to create images. Through her art practice, her research presents a connection between land, material, and performance. Her ongoing series, The Invasive Species of the Built Environment, focuses on the controversial builds of her home state.

Schretenthaler completed her BFA degree from the University of South Dakota and holds a master’s degree in art education from Boston University. She is currently an MFA candidate. Recently she has been named one of LensCulture’s Emerging Talents of 2018 and was awarded second place in the Sony World Photography Awards. In 2019, she was awarded the  Rhonda Wilson Award through FRESH2019 at the Klompching Gallery. In the of fall 2019 she received the Film Photo Award. Her work has been displayed nationally and internationally including Kahilu Theater (Waimea, HI), Washington Pavilion (Sioux Falls, SD), Manifest (Cincinnati, OH), The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (Providence, RI), Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), and SOHO Gallery (New York, NY), as well as the Somerset House (London).

Honorable Mention in Visual Art

Madelaine Corbin, Cranbrook Academy of Art  

Madelaine Corbin is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Detroit, Michigan. She received her BFA from Oregon State University where she was an artist-in-residence in the departments of Inorganic Chemistry and Microbiology. Recent awards include the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Stuart Thompson Fellowship, the President’s Award in Sustainability bestowed by Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Sponenburgh Travel Award granted by Oregon State University.

Corbin’s practice is an archaeological journey to unearth the space between home and land, human and non-human, wild and managed landscapes, and the connection to one another through geographic distance. A fleck of ash, drop of blue, grain of salt, speck of dust, and particle of soil—a constellation of meaning is composed from these elements. Corbin’s practice earnestly endeavors to listen to, translate, and contextualize the conversation between the vibrancy of matter sensed by our fingertips and the expansive questions cultivated by the equally vast universe around. Spaces that invite wonder and interdisciplinary research coalesce to question the quotidian materials accepted as ‘normal’ when few things are actually so. Dirt, salt, and dust are not so simple. Interminable investigations into subterranean histories, values, politics, sciences, fictions, and natural phenomena re-evaluate the inherent meanings embedded in matter. Using her own relationship to ecology rooted in a valley town in Oregon as a starting point, Corbin articulates the complexity and range of relationships to the land beneath our feet, that which once was, and that which will never be.

About the Professional Development Fellowship

CAA’s Professional Development 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 2021 fellowship cycle will open in the late spring. Learn more.