OCAD University

Penelope Umbrico wins New York Foundation

for the Arts Fellowship in Photography

June 18, 2010

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) last week announced $805,000 in unrestricted cash grants to 118 New York State artists through the Artists Fellowship Program. Alumna Penelope Umbrico (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1980) is among the winners, selected from a record 6,279 applicants, which represents a 34% increase over the previous year.

From Foam Magazine #21:

“[Penelope Umbrico] attended Ontario Collage of Art in Toronto and received her M.F.A at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has had several solo exhibitions at galleries, including the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows in venues such as: the Museum of Modern Art, in New York and the Ansel Adams Center for Photography, in California. Penelope Umbrico’s work is a part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Catalogue Project Grant, an Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant and a Harvestworks Scholar Fellowship. She is currently core faculty at the School of Visual Arts, MFA Photography and Related Media program in NYC and the Chair of MFA Photography at Bard College.

Umbrico … often re-uses published images from magazines, ads or internet. The overwhelming flow of imagery that surrounds us in daily life is her working tool. The series Broken Sets (eBay) are cropped images of broken LCD TV screens for sale on eBay. The abstract, beautiful patterns almost remind us of modernist paintings. By collecting, appropriating and re-contextualizing images from internet sites, Umbrico redefines the question of authorship and ultimately the notion of art.”

The Fellowships are awarded in 16 disciplines, on a rotating basis. This year awards were made in the fields of architecture/environmental structures; choreography; fiction; music/sound; painting; photography; playwriting/screenwriting, and video.

“Clearly the economic climate today has hit the New York State artists especially hard. That, at least in part, is the reason so many more artists have looked to the NYFA Fellowships program for support,” said NYFA’s Executive Director Michael Royce. “We are glad to provide these funds during this difficult period.”

There will be 115 awards of $7,000 distributed, including three collaborations. The Fellowships serve as unrestricted funding for the artists, to be used in whatever manner best furthers their work.

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