The Partners for the Arts Emerging Artists Award are meaningful awards that support students wishing to explore uncharted territories. Total amount awarded this year was $1,180. Our 2019 recipients are:
Emilee Fitzgerald, art and design student majoring in sculpture and a minor in graphic design, uses her work to cope with her symptoms of mental illness and ADHD. Fitzgerald has always been interested in depicting emotions and shedding light through her artwork.
Fitzgerald described her latest project titled “Deficit:”
“The piece is a shelve on a wall, with six compartments. Each compartment holds an experience from my life or visualizes a symptom. This piece embodies how I feel and is meant to be relatable to its audience.” To create this piece Fitzgerald used found objects, wood, paint, and clear candle wax. She is always exploring different materials to use, and is drawn to woodworking, iron pouring, and transforming found objects.
Fitzgerald will attend a conference for iron pouring and will purchase supplies for future sculpture projects.
Rachel Fowler is pursuing her Ph.D. at the USM Center for Writers. Fowler has been published in Deep South Magazine and Ant Farm Journal, named the winner of a Prime Number Magazine Flash Fiction Contest, named a finalist in the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers, and nominated for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Intro Journals Project. Currently, she serves as an Associate Editor of Mississippi Review.
Fowler will build a collection of experiences to draw from while she studies abroad this summer with the British Studies Program on Gothic Victorian Literature to continue writing her collection of short stories, Mother Static. Her short stories focus on characters affected by music, visual art, or performance, so she plans on attending a play, two classical concerts, two museums, and a contemporary sound art performance for inspiration.
Averi Mazur is a sophomore majoring in performance and choreography. Mazur is originally for Oklahoma and danced at a local studio for eight years before moving to Hattiesburg to continue pursuing her education. It is because of the support of faculty along with the education, and hard work that Mazur is able to make connections in the dance world.
Mazur’s artistic statement highlights the significance of connecting with others through movement:
“Valuing the ability to connect through movement has always been at the forefront of my dancing platform. Finding a connection, a common energy within myself or another human is single handedly the most genuine connection someone can experience. In my choreography, it is the power behind a simple movement that allows the audience to be welcomed into their own minds, without speaking a single word.”
With this financial support from Partners, Mazur plans to attend a dance conference in Denver, Colorado.
Rodrigo Lara Alonso is a third year Ph.D. student in Music Education, as a student of Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo. He graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico before earning a master’s degree in Guitar from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a performer diploma from IU-Jacobs School of Music. Rodrigo is the founder and director of Octeto Sicaru, a prize-winning guitar ensemble.
The Emerging Artists Award will support Lara Alonso’s trip to the Latin American Forum of Music Education (FLADEM) in Colombia, where he will be presenting his current research on the philosophy of music education in Latin America.
Claire Brenia is a sophomore pursuing a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology and a minor in Art. Brenia has been studying art since her freshman year of high school. Through art, she found her way into theatre by painting sets for her high school theatre’s productions. From there, she took on set design, costume design, and even acting. Brenia is currently on a Scenic Design track and ultimately strives to be a scenographer.
This year, Brenia will be attending the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) with the hopes of finding a summer internship, so she can gain some real-world experience. To achieve this goal, she will work on her professional portfolio. Brenia will also purchase books and begin her own reference library that provides her with resources for both technical work and design inspiration. Brenia strives to create works through design that evoke critical thought, so audiences can experience, reflect upon, and grow from those reactions, and the Partners funds would ultimately cater to that whim.
The 2018 Emerging Artist award recipients are:
Alex Townsend is currently working towards earning his B.F.A. in Drawing/Painting and Sculpture. Townsend has exhibited work nationally and will be featured in the national, group exhibition “In the Belly of the Beast: A Metal Casting Exhibition,” in Birmingham, Alabama May 4 - August 26, 2018.
The Emerging Artist Award will support Townsend’s artistry, as he’ll be purchasing materials to support his research of casting three dimensional forms in bronze. Townsend will be presenting the explored techniques of bronze casting during his senior capstone exhibition.
Currently, Nickalus Rupert is a P.h.D. student at the USM Center for Writers, where he works as an associate editor for Mississippi Review. His fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming in such journals as Harpur Palate, Slice Magazine, The Literary Review, Passages North, Pleiades, Sonora Review Online, and Tin House Online, and can be found at Grist Online.
The Emerging Artist Award will support Rupert’s trip to The Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas, where his novel Giants of the False Desert is loosely set. By Fall 2018, he hopes to have a final, publishable draft of the novel. After completing his degree, Rupert will pursue an academic career as a creative writing instructor and/or editor.
Gabriela Salazar began dancing at a local dance studio in Mobile at the age of six. Salazar joined Davidson High School’s dance company in her freshman year and it was there where she realized she wanted to pursue dance at the collegiate level. At Southern Miss, Reedy has had the pleasure of furthering her training—developing her own artistic voice and preparing to become an educator for future dance artists.
Salazar plans to use the Emerging Artist Award towards her trip to London with the British Studies program. During her visit, she’ll work on a dance film, which will be showcased in the British Studies Concert held by the Department of Dance at the beginning of Fall 2018.
Guilherme Oliveira, Brazilian double bass player, began his D.M.A. in Performance and Pedagogy in 2017 with Dr. Marcos Machado. Oliveira has studied with many renowned bass players, like Milton Masciadri (EUA/URU), Michinori Bunya (GER/JAP), Joel Quarrington (CAN), and François Rabbath (FRA). In 2016, Oliveira was one of editors of the double bass book about left hand technique, TAO of Bass, written by Dr. Machado. In Brazil, his research named The Choice of Fingering in Double Bass Performance: A Study About the Process of Optimization of Schools Double Bass was selected for presentation at a Symposium on Music Research—SIMPEMUS 6.
Oliveira plans to use the Emerging Artist Award towards his trip to the 6th European Biennial Double Bass Congress & Festival, to be held at Institute of Musical Studies "Luigi Boccherini," where he will present his research to the European bass community. Oliveira will also have the opportunity to take masterclasses from international leading double bass players and be one of the many to grow the world's bass culture.
Payton Reedy, a senior pursing a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in Performance and Set Design and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, is a student leader and an active member of the Southern Miss Honors College, Chi Omega Sorority, Student Government Association, Alpha Psi Omega, and Art and Design’s Creative Collective. This semester, Reedy was the assistant set designer for Brecht’s Galileoand performed in the Three Short Plays by David Ives showcase.
Reedy has been working on her Honors Thesis focused on movement exploration in theatre, and the Emerging Artist Award will aid her efforts in gathering research and setting up a showcase for this creative project. Reedy will be able to buy needed movement books and gather materials needed to complete her thesis project.
The Emerging Artist Awards are possible thanks to the Partners for the Arts Endowment (Legacy Membership). Visit usm.edu/partners-arts to join or renew your membership!