Feb. 15, 2013 – The University of Utah College of Fine Arts is elated to announce that Assistant Professor Lauren Gallaspy has been honored with a Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant. The Grant, established in 1993, works to acknowledge exceptional painters and sculptors and provides the artists with an unrestricted financial award.
Brian Snapp, Chair of the Art & Art History Department, recently stated, “We are extremely proud of Lauren receiving this prestigious award.” He noted the award’s cachet, adding, “The Joan Mitchell Grant is well known as one of the more important recognitions for artists in this country. This is Lauren’s first year teaching for us at the University of Utah and we are thrilled to have her as a member of our faculty.”
The Joan Mitchell Foundation currently awards $25,000 yearly to twenty-five artists through a nomination process. Nominators from across the country are invited to recommend artists, at any stage in their career, and whose practice would significantly benefit from the grant. In an anonymous process, a jury panel then selects the twenty-five awardees. Nominators and jurors include prominent visual artists, curators, and art educators who are dedicated to supporting artists.
Upon hearing of her selection, Gallaspy said, “It feels, of course, gratifying and empowering to be recognized in this way, in particular, as an artist working primarily in a medium that is often overlooked by the broader art world.” Gallaspy, who received her BFA in ceramics at the University of Georgia and her MFA from Alfred University in Alfred, New York has been an active artist with a rigorous studio practice in both sculptural and functional ceramics.
The Painters and Sculptors Grant comes with no limitations or expectations. “The grant is generous in that it allows its recipients to use it in whatever way they feel would benefit their work and their lives as artists: no strings attached,” said Gallaspy. The grant’s committee only asks for the recipients to write two statements in how the grant has affected their practice—one after six months and another after a year of when the artist received the award. In this way, the Grant works to facilitate and cultivate the creative vision of the chosen recipient. Gallaspy continues, “Most importantly, receipt of this award exists as a kind of allowance—a prompt that, I think, many artists find themselves consciously or unconsciously looking for in order to get back into the studio, back to work and, in turn, to demonstrate that impulse to students.”
Snapp added, “It is exciting to see an artist such as Lauren who works primarily with clay be honored alongside previous recipients such as Laylah Ali, Nick Cave, Sue Williams, Tim Hawkinson and Alison Saar.” The University could not be more proud of Lauren and this impressive accomplishment. We eagerly look forward to seeing her continued work and growth as an artist and educator.