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Newcomb Art Department

Newcomb Art News
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 09:53
Outstanding Faculty Research AwardElizabeth Hill Boone

Since 1994, Elizabeth has served as the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art. Author of six monographs, co-author of another two books, and editor or co-editor of fourteen other volumes, her work has been influential not only in art history, but in the related fields of history, anthropology and literary theory. In 2018, she was named the College Art Association’s Distinguished Scholar, the first Latin Americanist art historian to receive this honor since its founding in 2001. She was also the first Latin Americanist to hold the Andrew Mellon Professorship at the National Gallery of Art in 2006-8. In 2010 she was Professor invitée at the École Pratique de Hautes Etudes, at the Sorbonne. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Mexicana de la Historia and recipient of the government of Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle for her contributions to Aztec scholarship. Her latest monograph book, Descendants of Aztec Pictography: The Cultural Encyclopedias of Sixteenth-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2021), is the first synthetic analysis of the pictorial encyclopedias of Aztec culture created in the decades after the Spanish conquest. After 27 years at Tulane, Elizabeth is retiring at the end of this academic year. Her career at Tulane University has been extraordinary, to say the least, and we can think of no better tribute than to offer her the Research Award.

The April Brayfield Outstanding Faculty Teaching AwardSean Fader

Since his arrival at Tulane in 2018, Sean has helped to rewrite curriculum in the photo area, separating darkroom and digital practices; he has also overhauled the digital and darkroom spaces, enhancing usability and access. His courses are always overenrolled and his teaching evaluations are superlative. Here are some examples of his student evaluations: “Sean is extremely supportive and knowledgeable about what he teaches. He makes material exciting, engaging, and relevant.“, and “He is Thanos with all the infinity stones.”

Art Chair Stephanie Porras says, “I would particularly like to praise Sean for making adjustments to his teaching this year – not only folding in the switch to hybrid teaching, but also readjusting all his syllabi to center BIPOC scholars and artists. By overhauling his syllabi in this way, Sean modelled what it means to decenter and question the artistic canon. He shared resources with other faculty in the department and encouraged all of us to revisit the readings and artists we use to teach the history, theory and practice of art.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 12:33

The Newcomb Art Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Art History Student Awards.

The Henry Stern Prize for Best Paper in Art History: Abigail McDade

Abby McDade wins the Henry Stern Prize for her paper, "Social Practice Art: The Role of Audience Encounter," which discusses works by California-based contemporary artist Suzanne Lacy and the Pittsburgh-based artist collective Conflict Kitchen. Abby examines how these artists' socially-engaged works attempt to grapple with structural violence, by promoting community-driven resilience through shared meals, community discussions, and civic actions, as well as exhibitions and traditional art objects. Abby's paper is notable for its innovative use of both art historical analysis and public health research by Kaiser Permanente and the Prevention Institute. Abby is graduating with a B.F.A. in printmaking, and will be moving to New York to continue developing her artistic practice.
The Marilyn Brown Award for Outstanding Art History Major: Lindsay Hardy

Lindsay receives this award for both her excellent performance in her art history classes, as well as her significant research and writing achievements in her honors thesis. Lindsay consistently contributes insightful comments to class discussions, and she has tackled some particularly challenging and ambitious research topics. Her honors thesis, “The Casa Group: Confronting Tradition and Modernism Through Art in Post Protectorate Morocco,” argues that the artists and teachers of the School of Fine Arts in Casablanca (the “Casa Group”) actively valorized Moroccan culture, and therefore Moroccan national identity, after the country gained independence from France in 1956. Her thesis is highly original and demonstrates Lindsay’s superb abilities as a researcher and writer.
The Nell Pomeroy O’Brien Award for a sophomore in Art History: Alessandra Fraim

Ali has performed exceptionally well in her art history courses thus far, proving herself to be an excellent writer, a valuable participant in class discussions, and a perceptive viewer of works of art.  But what stands out most about Ali is her admirable enthusiasm for learning and her eagerness to challenge herself.  I'm consistently impressed by these qualities in her, which make her a particular joy to work with.

The Nell Pomeroy O’Brien Award for a junior in Art History: Alex Landry

Alex is an extremely talented student who has performed at the very highest level in her art history courses. She combines a keen intelligence with a profound curiosity about the material, and she consistently makes tremendously astute comments in class, elevating any discussion that she is part of.  Alex is constantly pushing herself to delve deeper into the material and to take on important questions, engaging with whatever topic is at hand in a remarkably sophisticated way.  It's been a great pleasure to have her as a student.
The Marilyn Brown Award for Senior Honors Scholar: Reina Proetzel

Reina has been an outstanding student throughout her time at Tulane. Her honors thesis, “The AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Artistic Response,” examines three artworks created in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990 within the contexts of politics and postmodern theory. Reina is a brilliant writer, and her sensitive exploration of these historic issues surrounding the AIDS crisis retains a human dimension while deftly pointing to similar, contemporary issues surrounding the epidemic of Covid 19.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 12:27

The Newcomb Art Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Studio Art Awards.

The Class of 1914 Prize in Art: Eden Weinstein
The first thing that struck me about Eden was her positive attitude and her willingness to think outside the box. Eden was willing not only to finish the task at hand, but to create something with quality and distinction.  She took constructive criticism well and was also willing to take the time to give a thoughtful critique of the work of others. I was constantly impressed with her ability to think and produce with a perspective both interesting and different from those around her. I feel assured that the qualities which caused her to thrive in the Tulane Art Department will be invaluable for her future endeavors.  On another note, I would like to add that I feel it important to reference her personal qualities along with her academic qualifications.  All in all, Eden is a unique individual with an extraordinary capacity to rise to any challenge handed to her.
The Alberta “Rusty” Collier Memorial Award in 2D Art: Elana Bush
During her tenure at Tulane, Elana has been a fixture in the photography area. Elana is a powerhouse. She is incredibly smart, makes beautiful photographs, and works incredibly hard. Additionally, the bar Elana sets for herself is exceptionally high and inspires everyone around her to be better and work harder to create. On top of all of that, she is generous. She is always willing to help her peers with a shoot or sit down to talk about their ideas. During her tenure at Tulane, she has become tremendously skilled in both digital and traditional practices and used these skills to explore ideas around queerness, digital spaces, censorship, and isolation. Her BFA show, Crescent, is poignant and visually lush. For Crescent, she documented the empty poetic spaces of New Orleans with her medium format camera and shifted the colors to create dreamy images of New Orleans shabby chic spaces. The images beautifully capture her love of New Orleans and the quiet beauty of our beloved city empty. Elana Bush has a bright future ahead.  

The Alberta “Rusty” Collier Memorial Award in 3D Art: Leo Fine
Leo is a dedicated, hard-working and creative artist.  He uses clear glass optics and traditional glass working techniques to create sculptures that represent both prehistoric and modern lifeforms and show the biological mechanisms that connect life together.  Leo sees sculpting natural forms in clear glass akin to sculpting in light.  Leo’s work challenges us to think differently, and he is most deserving of the Alberta “Rusty” Collier award.

The Sandra “Sandy” Chism Memorial Award in Painting: Murell Levine
The Tulane Painting Department would like to acknowledge Murell Levine for her exceptional commitment to painting. For Murell, the relationship between painting and life seem inseparable, partly due to the amount of time she spends in studio; but one also gets the sense that she carries that curiosity and excitement from the studio into the outside world as well. We have enjoyed watching her paintings evolve into a body of work so informed, yet personal. We are excited to select Murell for this year’s Sandy Chism award and look forward to seeing her paintings continue to develop.  

The Senior Honors Scholar in Studio Art: Jimena Padilla Pineda
Jimena joined the photo area in her junior year and landed directly on her feet. After just one semester, she successfully applied to receive her BFA in studio art, and immediately she was a force in photography. She has spent the past two years honing her craft both in film and digital photography and using her skills to intelligently think through image-making. Her BFA show, Conversations with Gen Z, combines portrait sessions with interviews, found imagery, and scans beautifully composited together to create poignant portraits of her gen-z peers. Her BFA show is supported by a beautifully written honors thesis that smartly outlines and examines ideas around generational identity, zeroing in on the gen-z generation in the time of covid. Jimena has proven to be an intelligent, critical, visually literate, and culturally aware image-maker.  

Juanita Gonzales Memorial Award in Ceramics: Kay So 
Kay So has distinguished herself as a young ceramic artist of particular skill, invention and energy. Kay’s exceptional work is complemented by her dedication to learning about all aspects of the clay studio. She is devoted to developing a detailed understanding of the chemistry of materials used in her work as well as the contemporary discourse of the ceramic art field. Kay demonstrates a deep curiosity about the potentials of the ceramic art medium and the initiative to test and explore the possibilities on her own. Definitely a strong presence in the clay studio, Her work is characterized by a clarity of shape and form, and a rich use of glaze surfaces.

Nell Pomeroy O’Brien Award for a Sophomore in Studio Art: Zachary St. Pierre 
The Newcomb Art Department would like to acknowledge Zachary St. Pierre for his exceptional work in Painting and Drawing. Last year Zachary demonstrated outstanding rendering abilities in his introductory courses. His interest and knack for form, color, and mark-making has developed into a series of optically complex and exquisite landscape paintings. We are excited to see what comes about in this nascent stage of his work and commend his hard work and enthusiasm. 
Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:05
Alexis Culotta wearing a floral blouse stands in front of a graffiti painting on a brick wall
Alexis Culotta, Professor of Practice in Art History, was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project, Fare la Bella Figura: Mapping and Documenting the Vanishing Tradition of the Roman Frescoed Façade. The funding will support archival research and fieldwork to document sixteenth-century frescoed façades in Rome leading to the creation of an online database and article.