University of Virginia Presents Seven Arts Awards

June 1, 2011 — Seven University of Virginia students have received grants from the Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects program.

The grants support projects of creative expression, such as filmmaking, writing and dance. Modeled on the University's successful Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards program, they give the students up to $3,000 for projects that expand students' expression and showcase artistic accomplishments.

The University Arts Awards are funded by the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence and the Atlantic Coast Conference International Academic Collaborative.

The grants are available to all undergraduates, regardless of school or major.

"I am delighted by the growth in this program," Lucy Russell, director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, said. "There is a high level of student interest, as well as wonderful support from offices throughout the University. The award recipients are undertaking significant creative projects, and I am confident that each of them will learn from the experience."

Student projects this year include sculpture, writing, filmmaking and aerial acrobatics.

"I'm particularly inspired by the range of topics and media selected for this year," said Beth Turner, U.Va.'s vice provost for the arts. "I am also inspired by the artistic talent here at the University. These awards will help foster an environment where our students can create something new."

The recipients will work with faculty members to pursue their art in depth and experience a new level of quality and engagement, Turner said.

"The Arts Awards program began to give students who are interested in the arts an opportunity to engage in the same independent inquiry and creativity as those who work in science labs or engage in scholarship in the humanities," J. Milton Adams, interim provost, said. "Students' independent, creative art deepens their aesthetic understanding, helps them apply what they have learned in the classroom, and, for those who want graduate study or a career in the arts, it helps them prepare a portfolio of work."

The winners of the University arts awards are:

• Hannah M. Barefoot, 21, of Winston-Salem, N.C., a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in studio art printmaking and English, who plans to create a body of work, using sculpture and prints, that explores the creation of gardens and their ability to foster environmental change.

• Matthew Denton-Edmundson, 21, of Batesville, a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in English and history, who is writing a novel of revolution in contemporary America.

• Aashish Edakadampil, 20, of Mumbai, India, a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in media studies and transnationalism through film, theater and literature, whose project is to produce a "mockumentary" and a soundtrack that explore the role of media in identity formation, expose the biases of historiography and challenge the interpretations of religions from the East to the West.

• Julia King, 21, of Vienna, Va., and Milan, Italy, a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in neuroscience and biochemistry, who is writing a children's book on the brain with the intention of engaging children in neuroscience and science in general.

• Tianhao Lu, 20, of Shanghai, China, a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in economics and film studies, an interdisciplinary major program combining media study courses on film theories and studio art classes on cinematography; his project is to complete a 20-minute film that has a working title of "Shanghai Stories."

• Sarah Matalone, 21, of Great Falls, a rising fourth-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in modern studies and English, who is working on a collection of short stories focusing on "the modern experience, with its disparity between people, our loss of the ability to communicate with others, and the individual's descent into a robotic embrace of the mechanical over the human."

• Gracie Terzian, 20, of Oakton, a rising third-year drama major in the College of Arts & Sciences, whose project is studying the art of aerial acrobatics performed while hanging from a suspended fabric. She has also been named an Atlantic Coast Conference International Academic Collaborative Fellow in Creativity and Innovation.

— By Matt Kelly

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications