Congratulations to the 2022 Albert P. Weisman Recipients.
Kelsey Bogdan - MFA Art and Art History
((PALACE)) is an immersive installation and body of research exploring the powers of joy and celebration as tools of resistance and reclamation. How are moments of joy revolutionary in healing oneself, and in reclaiming one’s body, space, and time? Materially focused on adornment, vibrance, and pupil-widening wonder, ((PALACE)) utilizes immersive hanging sculpture, reflection, light, and softness to both evoke and study safe, celebratory space. The installation exists alongside a series of educational workshops and events in collaboration with the Title IX office at Columbia College Chicago, and Chicago's premier feminist sex shop, Early to Bed.
Caitlyn Doran - MFA Art and Art HistoryA Bit of Light Reading
My new project, A Bit of Light Reading, is born out of a desire to electrify public spaces and help library visitors joyously recontextualize the seemingly ordinary aspects of common library moments. Local libraries are a perfect place to garner painting inspiration from and share finished pieces within. Libraries are rife with quiet moments that speak to concepts of time, energy, rest, and personal peace. These feelings are inherently tied to the way we regard everyday faces, places, and objects. A Bit of Light Reading provides me a new opportunity in my never-ending search as an artist to find ways to increase the enjoyment of life for myself and my viewers.
Guochen Duan - MFA Cinema and Television Arts
Finding the Bridge
I have practiced Wing Chun for a while now, and my passion for traditional Chinese martial arts grows day by day, to the extent that I have to make a film about Wing Chun. I have realized that many people have profound misunderstandings about “Kung Fu”. The contemporary scenes of traditional martial arts are rarely portrayed on screen; few have knowledge about the current status of Kung Fu development. In this film, I embed the action element into family theme and a modern society, in hopes of presenting a true image of modern practitioners, as well as breaking new grounds for Wuxia/action movie. My film's theme is “love and forget”. The film has finished the principal photography and moved to the post-production phase now.
Samantha Foster - MFA Art and Art History
Nurturing the Pixel
Nurturing the Pixel is an immersive installation composed of performance, prints, and pen plotter drawings that materializes the loneliness perpetuated by society’s dependence on online communication. This project analyses social relations in the post-Covid digital age. With the advent of social media platforms, loneliness has increased in a dramatic upward trajectory. This alarming rate has professionals dubbing this problem an epidemic of loneliness . Online communication systems mainly cultivates superficial connections, while authentic relationships are difficult to find and maintain. Likes are not the same as an in person conversation, or even a hug. Online interactions, especially social media, often fail those seeking intimate human trust and connection. The companies running these platforms put “profits over people” as seen in Frances Haugen’s Congressional testimony of Facebook.
Kaylee Fowler - Senior in Art and Art History
Queer Iconography for Modern Apostasy
The project Queer Iconography for Modern Apostasy will feature the symbols, icons, and figures I have developed in my practice over the years in a re-imagined and radicalized divine canon. Combining philosophical and spiritual themes gathered from a myriad of religious and mythological sources, this 14 x 25 foot acrylic painting will present a paracosmic reality where evolution, feminism, and queerness inform the gods we follow and the scriptures we create.
Sylvie Harris - MFA Photography
Maternal Lineage combines photographs and textiles to consider how domestic traditions are passed from one generation to the next and the importance of women in their preservation. I reference traditional quilt patterns, as quilts are omnipresent in many households as a tangible representation of domestic items created by women with lasting, inter-generational importance. However, the patterns are disrupted and repurposed to express the inevitable change and evolution of family traditions as different generations uphold contrasting priorities. The inclusion of my own pictures create a comparison between quilts and photographs as vehicles for the preservation of memory. The repetition of pictures and hand gestures exemplify the cyclical nature of domestic tasks and the generational continuation of these rituals and the spaces where they take place.
L.A. Hawbaker - MFA Creative Writing
MASKS Literary Magazine
MASKS Literary Magazine is an independent, biannual print and online publication amplifying emerging writers and artists. We publish new perspectives and seek to course-correct pay inequities in publishing. We provide a gateway and meritocratic space for artistic development and literary thinking. Our inaugural issues have prominently featured artists and writers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, multilingual, and other underrepresented communities.
MASKS was founded in the spring of 2021 as an independent zine at the Columbia Library's Aesthetics of Research: a program exploring the role libraries play in creative community building and resource-sharing in the arts. Our publication utilizes scholarly work to feature emerging artists alongside international canon—showcasing the evolution between a new world of inclusivity and the classic traditions that have come before.
Jessica Hayes - MFA Photography
When It Has Gone
I am working to build an immersive installation experience that gives viewers the opportunity to consider the aftermath of wildfires that influences the people who are most affected—those living directly in the path of the flames. Built from an archive of material from my own experiences with wildfires across the American West, the installation will use sculpture, image, and audio to create an experience to foster empathy for people who may have little experience with these devastating consequences of climate change.
Adele Henning - Junior in Design
LORA is a psychedelic, coming of age comic about two antisocial best friends, Lora and Sara. The two are inseparable and vaguely codependent, mostly keeping between themselves, watching cartoons, making art, and living relatively sheltered lives. Though nothing is blatantly wrong, Lora begins to feel as though she’s outgrown her ‘juvenile’ lifestyle, and develops an insatiable need to feel ‘grown up.’ Not knowing really where to start, and heavily influenced by the media she consumes, she feels as though she needs to experience peril in order to finally feel mature. LORA is a comic that examines the way our society conditions young people, especially teenage girls, to strive (and even compete) for a sense of tragedy in order to reach maturity.
Taylor Mason - MFA Cinema and Television Arts
SANTÉ is a dramatic short film about a trio of estranged siblings who must decide where to spread their dysfunctional father’s remains. The De la Torre siblings spent most of their lives not knowing (or pretending not to know) one another existed. They are only loosely connected by their wayward father, Santé, an Italian war veteran who struggled with addiction. After Santé dies, eldest sister Deirdre brings her siblings together to decide where to spread his remains. Her proposal triggers an altercation that leads the siblings to secretly take matters into their own hands, revealing the depths of each character's connection to their father. Santé explores themes of grief, addiction, trauma, and reconciliation, while capturing the complexity of bonds among multiracial and blended family units.
Erica McKeehan - MFA Photography
I have been photographing people within my peer group throughout the last decade; in my work, I create environmental portraits of burlesque performers and other sex workers. I started performing burlesque in 2017 and met many individuals involved in not only other forms of exotic dance but forms of sex work. Transformed and empowered by sharing my image and sexuality for an audience, I started creating portraits of others doing the same to ultimately show the diversity of people who come to sex work. The images provide a nuanced and powerful narrative that embraces and supports rather than harms and stigmatizes. I’m also forever interested in how my subjects perform sexuality in privacy as sex work spaces have shifted toward the domestic since the pandemic.
Calvin Ringenbach - Business and Entrepreneurship
Marshall Arts Crypto Gallery
Fully utilizing emerging technologies, Marshall Arts Crypto Gallery provides elevated artistic experiences, not bound by resources or physics. We display digital artworks in virtual reality, to expand the definition of Art. Existing in the metaverse, Marshall Arts is a non-exclusionary space accessible through optional donation anywhere in the world. Creating an inclusive community for contemporary artists, NFT exhibition spaces are available in the gallery inspired by Donald Judd’s Marfa, Texas Compound. Marshall Arts Crypto Gallery will form Columbia’s first NFT Crypto Art Club, launching careers for ourselves and students of all majors in the NFT marketplace. Works span across all mediums translatable to a digital space, not limited to, word, sound, 2D-works, motion-picture, and 3D-design. We’ll see you in the metaverse!
Purusottam Samal - Audio Arts and Acoustics
An Algorithmic Approach to Indian Classical Music based on the Acoustical Analysis of the Tanpura
Indian classical music is a form of classical music originating from the Indian subcontinent. Its magic is primarily experienced with different melodies constructed within the framework of the ragas. Indian classical music makes extensive use of quarter-tones and microtones, usually referred to as ‘Shruti', and is not represented by Western semitones. Computer music is the application of computing technology in music composition and has been restricted to the western system.
The goal of my project is to break down this barrier by exploring ways to analyze and represent these shrutis within a computer music system through a combination of digital signal processing, physical modeling, machine learning, and data science.
Kateryna Sazonova - MFA Cinema Television Arts
2389: Coming Home
2389: Coming Home is a sci-fi short thesis level film to be shot in the spring 2022 and finished by December 2022. Two humans, a scientist and a soldier from Martian colony, come to Earth destroyed by climate change and resource wars, to find out if it is livable once again; during the research they decide to alter their findings and prevent repopulation. It is Dune on a micro level and set in a forest. While on a bigger scale the story highlights the possible consequences of the environmental crisis we are embarking on now, on an individual level it explores the theme of finding a place of one’s belonging.
Holland Sersen - Interdisciplinary Arts
Micro Mod Educational Synth
The Micro Mod Educational Synthesizer is a product aimed to allow educators to teach students important concepts in music production, live sound, studio mixing, installed sound, and programming in a fun, interactive package for a fraction of the cost compared to other devices. The market for audio engineers, live sound technicians, and acousticians has been growing steadily over the past decade; however, affordable training materials are non-existent. The only way for schools to teach core concepts is either with expensive equipment or software that is not meant for teaching. The Micro Mod, a programmable musical instrument, would be a simple DIY kit that anyone could build while serving as a fundamental basis in learning audio. This device will teach students the foundations of audio.