2020 Recipients

Please visit the online exhibition to view the work of the 2020 Weisman Recipients.

Julia Arredondo - Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts

QTVC Live!
QTVC Live! is an independent media channel that showcases artists and their work via a live sales platform. Think “QVC for the Vice Network”; QTVC Live! features modern salespeople selling contemporary art objects alongside the actual makers of the products. Each QTVC Live! episode is a 10-minute, interview-style broadcast from a DIY studio built in my apartment. Because QTVC Live! is in its beginning stages, I will be the show host, video editor, organizer, and creative director. Femmes of color are given priority to exhibit on the show, as historically this is the most underrepresented demographic in the art market to date. My goal for QTVC Live! is to gain visibility for makers of color, while exploring new models for career sustainability in the arts.

Aleksei Borovikov - Cinema Art + Science


Brother is a dramatic short film about a discreet gay immigrant from Russia who is going to marry his Mexican American partner and risks inviting his conservative sister to attend the wedding but eventually faces the ultimate choice between marriage and family bonds. The plot of the Brother is based on real stories of LGBTQ immigrants from post-Soviet countries who had to leave their families and places of origin in order to be themselves and live freely. Many of them are victims of intolerance, not only in a wide social environment but also in their families, among parents and siblings. Even after moving to other countries, many are afraid to be open.

Jessica Eckerstorfer - Creative Writing

Paranoid Tree Press
In collaboration with Alyssa Bluhm
Paranoid Tree Press is a monthly, independent literary and artistic collaboration that fuses storytelling with illustration. Via a monthly subscription, we send our readers a one-page print zine (with a digital counterpart) featuring an original microfiction story, accompanied by curated art that literally unfolds with the page. Beyond regular subscription programming, Paranoid Tree will build in-person and online communities with regular workshops, readings, and events. Our organization pushes diversity beyond the surface level by accepting free submissions and compensating all contributors, extending inclusivity to emerging artists whose work often goes unpaid. Our simultaneously innovative and time-tested format combats the paid-in-exposure attitude of failing literary institutions by setting a new standard of how work is recognized and valued.

Mary Gring - Interdisciplinary Arts & Media

Disintegration/The Cure
Disintegration/The Cure is an immersive, multi-media installation that encourages healing and acceptance through creative self-care. Inspired by problematic, high-stakes performance art and my personal experience with mental illness, Disintegration/The Cure subverts my compulsive behaviors through fixed, methodical artmaking processes. In this project, I film myself taking a shower—a mundane, universal action that I perform obsessively—by inserting an endoscopic camera into a bar of soap. Separately, I use materials such as dye, mica, and glitter to make as many bars of soap as possible. Together, the video performance and collection of soap will be presented as a large-scale projection and scented sculptural installation that invites viewers to confront the intimate, honest realities of my existence in a way that could seemingly swallow them whole.

Rebecca Hill - Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts

Collapsing Distance: A Correspondence
Collapsing Distance: A Correspondence is a nonlinear autobiographical narrative, told through and installation of seven mailboxes arrayed linearly, as if they were for houses on the same street. Audience members are invited through floor and wall text to interact with the pieces, and see what is inside. Each mailbox is stuffed with a number of collage greeting cards with interior text, which when read together tell the story of the first thirty years of my life. This project is the latest outworking of my artistic line of inquire that explores our relationship to place and to life's defining moments. The goal is to equip readers with a sense of recognition of shared life experience, and also to equip them with tools for resilience.

Selena Ingram - Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts

Fragile Morphologies of Pulp Bodies
Fragile Morphologies of Pulp Bodies is an installation of handmade paper that functions as a mirror to the ongoing interchanges between our bodies, water and domestic environments; sculptures of water fixtures like bathtubs and sinks, covered in organic detritus, hair and soil, dissolve over time into pulp as water flows through the structure. This project visualizes a specific nexus highlighting the fragility of our relationship to the water infrastructure we are dependent upon, and the way our own embodied boundaries ultimately dissolve into trans-corporeality. Part sculpture, part artist book, part pop-up amateur lab, part investigation of domestic sources of water, Fragile Morphologies of Pulp Bodies functions best as it falls apart, reckoning with our continuous but permeable state.

Patrick Keen - Television

Urban Environmentalism: Restoring the connection between modern life and environmentalism. (Working Title)
What is the balance between Urbanism and Environmentalism? Can these concepts coexist? These questions have led an inquiry into the ways in which I and other citydwellers contribute to or combat against environmental and wildlife degradation. Urban Environmentalism (Working Title) is virtual reality documentary project to immerse viewers into sustainability issues that derive from modern urban lifestyles. Exploring peculiar examples from four categories, Earth, Air, Fire (Power) and Water, viewers will be brought to the locations, histories, futures, sciences, and curiosities of environmental change. When face-to-face with the pollution they cause, the wildlife they harm, and positive initiatives in process, the profound experience of VR immersion hopes to inspire viewers, create action, and solve environmental issues facing cities and society.

Zoe Kriegler-Wenk - Theatre

Of Water and Wings: A devised theatre performance and workshop series
Tides churn, rain falls, a hatch opens. At the heart of the storm, a young girl sneaks out of her bedroom onto the deck of her father’s ship, searching for wings. Presented in combination with audience workshops, Of Water and Wings is a collage of physical theatre, digital media and oral storytelling that explores our most flawed and valiant attempts to gain admiration, sympathy, and love from those closest to us. By investigating and re-configuring the archetypical dichotomies of a traditional fairytale, Of Water and Wings questions the origins and outcomes of our desires to make memorable change and the qualities that make up the modern heroine.

Maria Li - Interdisciplinary Arts & Media

Cantonese for Midwestern Wives
“Cantonese for Midwestern Wives” is an illustrated dialogue between myself and my husband presented as an interactive multimedia gallery installation. At its heart, this work is a love story told in bits and pieces, observing the joys, humor, and challenges of combining lives. The autobiographical story offers a contemporary representation of companionship, and in our particular case an intercultural marriage.

Alina Markina - Music

Empty Homes
In collaboration with Gonzalo Varela
Empty Homes is a collaborative installation which creates an immersive multi-sensory experience by merging photography and music. The feeling of isolation is thoughtfully explored through eight photographs and eight pieces of music that coexist in an environment, inviting the attendees to sensitize about the subject while introducing them to an original type of multidisciplinary art. Through original photographs and music conceived to work together as units as well as an uncommon use of technology, in Empty Homes it is each of the photographs that fills the space with its aural form (or each of the pieces of music that becomes visual), making the installation a singular synesthetic experience.

Eseoghene Obrimah - Cinema Art + Science

For the Love of Monsters
While visiting her American relatives, Chidinma, a soft-spoken Nigerian girl, notices a shadow slinking around the house. She avoids it, spending very little time in her room and not sleeping at night, but the creature is still able to get to her and her cousin, Amaka. Her aunt and uncle refuse to believe that there’s a monster under the bed so, when the creature emerges again, Chidinma and her cousin are forced to stand up to not just it, but also the adults in the house. A drama/thriller about what happens when we allow toxic cultures live in our homes.

Ludvig Peres - Photography

This series freezes the continuum of the city and unmasks the deep-rooted fears and anxieties occupying my own mind. These anxieties manifest themselves in candid moments of solitary strangers surrounded by shadow and light. Illustrating how my emotions affect and alter my personal perception of the world around me. Photography serving as my way to visualize and process these complex emotions.

Jordan Putt - Photography

Field Book
'Field Book' is a meditation on place and the mythology surrounding life in the southwestern United States. I started this series while working as a Land Surveyor, a trade I learned from my father. Each day, I would walk through the desert landscape, using GPS to mark property boundaries and record map coordinates. Drawing on the early lineage of documentary surveys of the west, this work focuses on those who have typically been left out of the heroic stories of the western frontier, and remain on the periphery of urban expansion. 'Field Book' compiles archival survey documents with my own photographs of childhood friends, strangers and landscapes to create a visual survey of the city that raised me: Tucson, Arizona.

Andrew Shoemaker - Interdisciplinary Arts & Media

Sometimes a nicer sculpture is to be able to hang out with your friends and have fun
"Sometimes a nicer sculpture is to be able to hang out with your friends and have fun" is a series of collective art-making events resulting in a multi-media sound installation which will take the form of 512 sound-absorbing panels. My goal is art as friendship.

 In a 2019 article titled "Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore," Judith Shulevitz writes, “It’s a cliché among political philosophers that if you want to create the conditions for tyranny, you sever the bonds of intimate relationships and local community.” 

Creating stuff together is an age-old method of creating these kinds of intimate bonds. This act of 
hanging out is a way of pushing back against the prevailing conditions we live in now.

Rita Usher - Cinema Art + Science

Six Pack
In collaboration with Kelsey Burris
It is the summer of 2003 and street lights shine through South Central. Its curfew and the kids on the block scatter home except “Meesh” our 12-year old protagonist. She rebels by challenging Drew, the neighborhood pest to a bike race. After winning, she leaves the bike unattended and it is stolen. Begrudgingly, she tells her five sisters and together they embark on a journey to get the bike back. Nostalgia drove me to this project because I was coming-of-age during the early 2000s with five sisters. This project is a reflection of my childhood. I actualized this project in an “Ideation and Theme” class and my goal remains that, I strive to create art that delves into those formative moments adolescence of color experience.