School of art

School Notes: School of Art
January/February 2018

Marta Kuzma |

Alumni named MacArthur Fellows

Two School of Art alumni have each been awarded a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a “genius grant.” The grant awards an unrestricted fellowship to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby ’11MFA is a figurative painter whose large-scale works express the hybridity characteristic of transnational experience through choices of subject matter, materials, and techniques. Akunyili Crosby layers paint, fabric, and photographic source imagery that she transfers or collages onto her surfaces. Dawoud Bey ’93MFA is a photographer and educator whose portraits of people, many from marginalized communities, compel viewers to consider the reality of the subjects’ own social presence and histories. Through his expansive approach to photography, Bey is making institutional spaces more accessible to the communities in which they are situated.

Gift funds social justice program

An anonymous $750,000 gift from a Yale University alumnus will establish the Art and Social Justice Initiative at the Yale School of Art to explore the intersections of art through economic, social, and cultural perspectives. The program will contribute to scholarships, promote research, extend pedagogical offerings, and explore projects that foster critical and collective consciousness around social engagement and civic dialogue.

Marta Kuzma, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the School of Art, notes: “This gift represents a level of generosity that enables the Yale School of Art to address one of the most important issues in society today: equity in graduate-level education within which personal or social circumstances, race, gender, ethnic origin, or economic background might in no way serve as an obstacle to higher learning.”

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