Sweet Briar Friends of Art awards 2019 student prizes

Pannell Gallery
Barbara Miñarro’s fall 2018 exhibit in Pannell Gallery at Sweet Briar inspired Corin Diaz.

Six Sweet Briar students across various disciplines were awarded prizes this year by the Sweet Briar College Friends of Art.

The VCCA Internship Award went to studio art and art history double major Amelia Mendelsohn ’20, of Kingsland, Ga. Valued at $5,000, the prize celebrates the College’s partnership with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts by offering a paid internship to an incoming or graduating senior at the VCCA during the summer. While the student may be from any major field, she should have a record of achievement in art history, arts management, creative writing, music or studio art. Mendelsohn will work on organizing the VCCA’s Fellows Art Collection and documenting all of the pieces in it. She’ll also staff VCCA events and provide front desk support. The internship will last at least eight weeks, or 320 hours. Judges for this award included VCCA’s Kirsten McKinney, director of communications, and Sheila Pleasants, deputy director.

painting
Phoenix Brown’s painting “She Hasn’t Told Me Her Name Yet”

The Studio Art Prize, valued at $500, was given to studio art and archaeology double major Phoenix Brown ’20, of Greensboro, N.C., for her painting “She Hasn’t Told Me Her Name Yet.” Acrylic on canvas, the piece was inspired by Jules Olitski’s 1975 work “La Belle Dame 7.” Each year, Sweet Briar students are invited to submit original visual art in any medium recently created and inspired by any art work held in the Sweet Briar College art collection. Submissions should include a high resolution image and statement describing art work and inspiration. The judges for this prize were Sweet Briar studio art professor Laura Pharis and Friends of Art board member Anne Taylor Doolittle.

The Writing Prize, also valued at $500, went to classics and studio art double major and art history minor Jordan Elliott ’20, of Canal Winchester, Ohio.

“Jordan wrote a beautiful piece about the artist Helen Frankenthaler, drawing specific attention to a print called ‘Tiger’s Eye,’ which was recently in the exhibition ‘Highlights of the Sweet Briar Collection,’” said Annie Labatt, associate professor of visual arts and director of galleries and museums at Sweet Briar.

Sweet Briar students are invited to submit original writing in any form recently created and inspired by any art work held in the Sweet Briar College art collection. Submissions may be any type of original writing, such as poetry, short story, journalism or academic research. There is no minimum or maximum length requirement. The judges for this prize were Erin Pitt, a visiting assistant professor of archaeology and ancient studies, and Friends of Art board member Susan Geyer.

The 2019 Multidisciplinary Prize was awarded to Virginia Beach native and recent music grad Corin Diaz ’19 for a song called “If We All Loved.” The music was inspired by Barbara Miñarro’s installation in Pannell Gallery in fall 2018.

Hayley Kirby is interning at the Avoca Museum in Altavista.

Valued at $500, the prize recognizes original creative work in any form or medium recently made and inspired by any artwork held in the Sweet Briar College art collection. Examples of creative work in this category may be, but are not limited to: musical compositions, dance choreography, performance scripts or film/video. Creative work that crosses disciplinary boundaries is encouraged. Submission should include appropriate files for the creative work and an artist statement describing artwork and inspiration. The judges for this prize were Melora Kordos, a visiting assistant professor of theatre arts, and Friends of Art board member May Barger.

The Museum Internship Award, valued at $2,500, was awarded to two students: : Olympia LeHota, a B.F.A. candidate and double major in art history and dance who is pursuing an Arts Management Certificate from Asheville, N.C., and mathematics major and English and creative writing minor Hayley Kirby ’20, of Altavista.The prize supports students in an internship at a museum off campus. Host museums may be any size and may be located anywhere in the world. Museums may feature any kind of visual art or may focus on other disciplines. They should have at least one professional staff member and be dedicated to collecting, preserving and/or exhibiting visual arts or historical artifacts. LeHota is interning this summer at the Biltmore Summer Internship Program in Asheville, N.C., while Kirby is working at Avoca Museum in Altavista, once the residence of Colonel Charles Lynch, a Revolutionary War patriot.

For more information about the Friends of Art awards, email Annie Labatt at alabatt@sbc.edu.