The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute provides research support to faculty, staff and students in the arts as part of Awards in the Creative Arts. Each spring, the Arts Institute recognizes achievements and professional service along with supporting future creative endeavors and research. The recipients will be honored on May 8, 2018 in the Pyle Center on the UW–Madison campus. Interviews with each of the recipients will be available on the UW–Madison Arts Institute YouTube page in the summer.
The Arts Institute offered seven awards this year, amounting to approximately $85,000. The awards are divided into three categories: Arts Faculty Research, Arts Faculty and Staff Outreach and Undergraduate (every other year) and Graduate Student Achievement in the Arts. This year’s committee was Li Chiao-Ping, Dance Department; Mary Hark, Design Studies Department; Mark Hetzler, Mead Witter School of Music; and Dakota Mace (graduate student representative), Design Studies Department.
Donors that support the awards include Emily Mead Baldwin, the Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell family, Suzanne and Roberto Freund, Bassett and Evjue Foundations, Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Fund and Emily McKay and Ruth and Hartley Barker.
In addition to these recipients, winners of The Studio Creative Arts Awards and Arts Business Competition (article from April 12) along with some campus-wide awards will also be recognized on May 8. The Arts Institute and the Division of Housing support The Studio: Creative Arts Community, a creative living and learning space for 64 first-year residents in Sellery Hall. The Arts Institute provided funding for The Studio Creative Arts Awards and the Arts Business Competition.
Awards in the Creative Arts
Arts Faculty Research
Arts Institute Creative Arts Award:
Henry Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor, Department of Art History
Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts:
Andrea Harris, Associate Professor, Dance Department
Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Sally Mead Hands-Bascom Professor, English Department
Arts Faculty & Staff Outreach
Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts:
Jamie Henke, Distinguished Faculty Associate, Department of Liberal Arts & Applied Studies, Division of Continuing Studies
Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award:
J Myszka Lewis, Curator, Tandem Press, Art Department
Graduate Student Achievement in the Arts
David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts:
Helen J. Bullard, Ph.D. candidate, Interdisciplinary Art & Science
Collaborators Maria Amalia Wood, M.F.A. Candidate, Design Studies Department and Leigh Garcia, M.F.A. Candidate, Art Department
The Studio Creative Arts Awards
The Studio – Research Award:
Duncan Slagle, Classics–Ancient Greek, English–Creative Writing, Classical Humanities
The Studio – Service Award:
Shasparay Lighteard, Theatre and Drama and Afro-American Studies
Short Biographies (Alphabetical by last name) & Project Summaries
Helen J. Bullard (Sinaiko Frank)
Helen J. Bullard is a research-based storyteller and Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Art and Science. Her practice embraces written form, live and audio storytelling, video, sculpture, space-specific installation and photography. She earned her M.F.A. in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has presented her work nationally and internationally at venues in New York City and in Ireland, Australia and Sweden.
Her Ph.D. research draws together insights from medical, ecological and historical archives in order to tell the story of the horseshoe crab. Using video, sound, still image, sculptural and performative elements, she is developing a new exhibition (spring 2019) that will bring together historical, medical, ecological and cultural aspects of the lives of horseshoe crabs as a way to access larger ecological and ethical discussions around human infrastructure, industry, medicine, water and forced ecologies.
Henry Drewal (Creative Arts)
Henry Drewal’s undergraduate studio art background and an apprenticeship with a Yoruba sculptor in Nigeria led to an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in African Art History from Columbia University. Serving as the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at UW–Madison since 1991, his prolific career includes many published works, awards and curated shows as well as multi-sensorial exhibitions and films on African/African Diaspora Arts. His work in Sensiotics considers the crucial role of the senses in shaping body-minds and the arts.
Drewal will create a series of artful documentary films based on more than 40 years of research and filming African arts in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Morocco and African diasporic arts in Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico and India. With the assistance of a professional film editor, Drewal’s film series will make his research accessible to museums, festivals, educators, colleagues in African/African Diaspora arts and the general public through screenings and online viewings.
Leigh Garcia is a third-year M.F.A. candidate in printmaking. She has collaborated on socially engaged art projects with UW–Madison Water Library, Sea Grant Institute, Centro Hispano and Visual Edible Audible Events. As part of her M.A. exhibition, Garcia facilitated a drawing and letter exchange with men facing deportation in the Stewart Detention Center of Lumpkin, Georgia. Garcia is currently secretary of the UW–Madison printmaking club Fresh Hot Press and an instructor for Wheelhouse Studios and the Division of Continuing Studies.
Born and raised in Honduras, Maria Amalia Wood is currently a third-year M.F.A. candidate in Design Studies. She creates handmade paper and textile objects referring to specific memories, and her artwork “Hojas del Otoño” received first place at the 2017 Midwest Paperfest exhibition. Wood worked with international producers to develop fair trade products and was invited by the Honduran Congress to lead a community art project with indigenous women.
Garcia and Wood are jointly developing artwork acknowledging and celebrating the important but often hidden experience of Latina immigrant women. Their collaborative pieces using hand-made paper and printmaking processes are inspired by the narratives of ten local Latina immigrants. These works will be shown in Madison-area public libraries and Latino community centers in Wisconsin. In addition, Garcia and Wood will publish a catalogue and produce a short video to be shared among the Latino community.
Andrea Harris (Baldwin)
Andrea Harris specializes in the history of mid-20th century American dance and has served on the faculty of the Dance Department since 2009. She has also taught at the Universidad de las Américas, Sam Houston State University, the University of Oklahoma and Texas Christian University. Her dance performance credits include the Martha Graham Dance Company. Her most recent book “Making Ballet American: Modernism Before and Beyond Balanchine” was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.
Harris is currently developing a curated volume of essays entitled “Dancing the 1930s: Bridging Dance and Politics in the Depression Era.” Her unique format pairs experiential essays by artists who re-enact dances from 1930s America with historiographic essays situating these works in their social, cultural, economic and political contexts. “Dancing the 1930s” will create new methods and materials for teaching and research that connect the library and the embodied archives.
Jamie Henke (Bartell)
Dr. Jamie Henke is a Distinguished Faculty Associate and teaches face-to-face, online and honors music theory, composition and music appreciation for the School of Music and the Division of Continuing Studies. Her teaching is based on principles of learning through exploration and new technology, learning by doing, learning through collaboration and learning through creativity. Her top teaching awards include the Hilldale Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Henke published the first truly online music theory textbook and has a long history of innovative teaching using techniques including podcasting, collaborative learning, e-learning video and simulations and games. She created “Literally Arts” as a literacy and arts program for preschool children and has most fully and recently implemented the curriculum in Odyssey Junior, a program serving children and grandchildren of returning adult students in the UW Odyssey Project. This program ties a music, art and movement activity to children’s books.
J Myszka Lewis (Wiechers)
J Myszka Lewis received her M.F.A. from UW–Madison in 2015 and started working as curator at Tandem Press that same year, where she assists students and the public in accessing Tandem Press’ visiting artists and expansive collection. Lewis exhibits her printmaking and fiber arts work nationally and is one of the three collaborators of the SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE, a feminist collective that uses art, language and design to visualize the trivialization of women’s experiences in our culture.
Lewis will bring works from the SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE to new audiences at venues in Madison and around the upper Midwest. Works include “The Patterns’ Vicious Influence,” a series of subversive wallpaper designs, and “You Have the Right to Remain a _____.,” an interactive performance piece and portfolio of photographic portraits. Public artist talks and events will encourage community participation and foster dialogue around feminist issues.
Shasparay Lighteard (Studio – Service)
Shasparay Lighteard is as a Black, queer, performing artist from Austin, Texas, currently pursuing a B.A. in Theatre and Drama and Afro-American Studies at UW–Madison as a First Wave scholar. A two-time Lip Stick Wars Poetry Slam Champion, and a finalist in several other regional and national slam competitions, Lighteard has been featured on Button Poetry, Youth Speaks, BuzzFeed and Huffington Post. She was a National NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medalist and a speaker at the 2016 TEDxYouth Austin conference.
Lighteard intends to host a Black Arts Matter multimedia arts festival during the 2018-2019 academic year. The festival’s mission is to create space for Black art on campus and in the Madison community. This event will highlight bold, innovative and authentic works that celebrate Blackness while engaging larger conversations that underscore and challenge the ongoing dialogues about race and inclusion. This project allows her to pursue interests in arts management, event planning and production and will also include a workshop for 2018-19 Studio residents.
Cherene Sherrard-Johnson (Baldwin)
Writer, poet and scholar Cherene Sherrard-Johnson has served on the faculty in the English Department since 2000 after receiving her doctorate from Cornell University. She is Director of Graduate studies and a Senior Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities. “Vixen,” her debut poetry collection, was published in September 2017 and some of her other publications include “Dorothy West’s Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color,” “Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literacy Culture in the Harlem Renaissance” and “Mistress Reclining.”
Sherrard-Johnson is researching the history of salt as both a commodity and a metaphor for a new collection of essays. Using a critical and creative perspective, she will stop along the African Diaspora Heritage Trail and visit Caribbean plantations that used to produce salt and research the labor involved and salt’s uses. She will also research, respond and curate 19th century recipes by African American women with contemporary materials, into a full-length poetry collection called “Grimoire.” For an additional project, she will visit Italy where sculptor Edmonia Lewis had her studio in the late 19th century and will attempt to find the studio, still undiscovered, and will write a book about Lewis.
Duncan Slagle (Studio – Research)
Duncan Slagle is a queer writer & performer from Alaska & Minneapolis. He is a First Wave Scholar majoring in Classics-Ancient Greek, English-Creative Writing and Classical Humanities. He has performed at the Kennedy Center and the Guthrie Theater, among other venues. His poems appear or are forthcoming in “Drunk in a Midnight Choir,” “Frontier Poetry” and “Tinderbox Poetry Journal,” among other publications. He loves birds.
Slagle will continue work on a research-based poetry manuscript that aims to provide more visibility to queer voices and narratives, using the classical canon of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology as inspiration. His research explores some of the first representations of homosexuality in the ancient world with contemporary reflections collected within marginalized queer communities during a research trip to Italy. A version of the manuscript will be made available by spring 2019.