Two Kent State Faculty Receive Guggenheim Fellowships

The School of Art is pleased to announce that current assistant professor in Foundations, Mahwish Chishty and professor emeritus in Sculpture, Paul O’Keeffe have both been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for 2017.  Both were selected under the Creative Arts category with a field of study in Fine Arts. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 173 Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists this year.  The recipients were chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants based on prior achievement and exceptional promise.

Initially trained as a miniature painter from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, Mahwish Chishty has aggressively combined new media and conceptual work with her traditional practice. Chishty became interested in military drones after her visit to Pakistan in 2011. By camouflaging modern war machines with folk imagery, Chishty is shedding light on the complexity of acculturation, politics and power.  She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at venues like University of Technology (UTS Gallery) Sydney, Australia; Boghossian Foundation– Villa Empain. Brussels; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MOCADA), Brooklyn, NY; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and Gandhara Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan among others. Chishty has recently shown her work in a solo exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Paul O’Keeffe’s practice spans across sculpture and installation and often explores prosaic objects laden with personal histories. Common domestic items are taken as points of departure in his work, such as the book cover designs, wallpaper and furniture from his childhood in Ireland in the 60s and 70s, or the punk music he encountered while in art school in London. In some ways O’Keeffe’s sculptures can be understood as oblique portraits of his family and surroundings, returning to designs of everyday items and magazines found in his father’s small advertising agency in Dublin, or objects precious to his mother who moved to Ireland from Sri Lanka as a teenager. As an immigrant to the United States, many of his pieces have explored the forms he encountered in radically shifting contexts, first in his moves from Dublin to London, then to Los Angeles, and finally to Cleveland, Ohio. His work is in public and private collections including The Arts Council of Ireland; Bayer USA, Pittsburgh; Progressive Insurance, Cleveland; Kaiser Permanante, Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library.

About the School of Art:  The School of Art at Kent State University was established soon after the University was founded in 1910 and maintains a tradition of excellence in visual arts education, creation, scholarship and leadership. Its undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual arts offer a range of directions and opportunities in the fields of arts education, art history, and a comprehensive array of studio disciplines including painting, drawing, print media & photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, jewelry/metals/enameling, and textile arts. The School of Art Collection and Galleries consist of six exhibition spaces located on the Kent campus, downtown Kent and at the Blossom Music Center and a collection of over 4,000 artworks and objects. The School of Art is located at the Center of the Visual Arts at 325 Terrace Dr. in Kent. The 27,900-square-foot facility — twice the length of a football field —had its grand opening in 2016 and houses all School of Art studios and classrooms under one roof.

Images: Top - Mahwish Chishty, X-47B, gouache on paper, 16” x 16”, 2012

Middle - Mahwish Chishty in her studio (Photo by Rachel Suzanne Smith)

Bottom - Paul O’Keeffe, As This Slips Away (Raft), 2016, steel, cast hydrocal, flashe and micaceous iron oxide paints, 6.5 x 26 x 47.25 inches

POSTED: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 4:04pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 1:32pm