Three University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumni and employees from the Department of Art and Design have received a $4,000 fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.
The winners include Sofia Gonzalez of Little Rock, adjunct professor of textiles at UA Little Rock; Kerrick Hartman of Stuttgart, a UA Little Rock graduate and furniture design technician at UA Little Rock; and Hannah May of Hensley, director of art and design at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock and a 2012 graduate of UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis in ceramics.
Awarded annually, the Arkansas Artists Fellowship recognizes individual artistic ability and creative excellence in literary, performing, and visual arts. The fellowships enable artists to set aside time for creating their art and improving their skills.
“It is a great honor to receive an Individual Artist Fellowship for Contemporary Craft from the Arkansas Arts Council,” Gonzalez said. “As a transplant to Arkansas from California, it means a lot to be acknowledged and recognized for the textile work I have created since moving here in 2014.”
Gonzales will use the fellowship to buy supplies for a new series of sculpture pieces for her upcoming show in 2018.
“The award will allow me to say no to part-time jobs I often take on to supplement my teaching income and will make it possible for me to spend dedicated days in the studio,” she said. “In addition, I hope to use the funds to purchase fabric, natural dye equipment, and commission help to create various frames and supports for my textile sculptures.”
Three artistic disciplines are selected each year as categories for the awards. The three categories for this year are Literary Arts: Creative Nonfiction Writing; Performing Arts: Cinematic Arts – Director of a Narrative or Documentary Film; and Visual Arts: Contemporary Craft. A jury of professional artists, writers, and performers selected the recipients.
Gonzales, Hartman, and May were all selected for fellowships in the Visual Arts: Contemporary Craft category.
Additional fellowship winners include Caroline Beimford of Fayetteville, Jennifer Coffy Davis of Little Rock, Paige Martin Reynolds of Little Rock, Amman Abbasi of Little Rock, Russell Leigh Sharman of Fayetteville, and Charles Eric White of Little Rock.
In the upper right photo, Sofia Gonzalez is shown working on her art in her UA Little Rock office. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Arts Council.