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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Art/Talks: Scholarship Recipients Talk About Success

Each year, the Art Department at UMB awards three scholarships, the Sam Walker, Vivian Carolyn Savio, and Ruth Butler Travel Scholarships to students who go through a competitive application process. On Thursday, April 29, four students who have received these scholarships, Derek Mangus, Jonathon Colon, Lia Rousset, and Bryan How, discussed the process of applying and their successes after winning the awards.

Bryan How received the Butler scholarship in 2003, which enables students to travel to another culture, preferably one where English isn’t the primary language. How, who had an interest in landscape architecture, traveled to Ian Hamilton Finley’s garden, Little Sparta, in Scotland.

According to gardenvisit.com, “In the 1970s, Finlay was Scotland’s leading concrete poet. …Finlay became interested in working on materials other than paper, including wood, stone, glass and aluminum. One could not place these works in libraries but they fitted easily with buildings and gardens. Finlay remembered how the Augustan designers had placed inscriptions on wor[k]s and other features” and followed suit. How is currently interested in filmmaking and plans to create a documentary about Finlay.

Lia Rousset, the 2004 recipient of the Butler scholarship, plans to use her money over the summer to travel to a sustainable community in India to learn about earth and building. There, she will learning how to make “earth blocks” using only soil. The blocks, she said, are used much like bricks to make structures.

She found applying for the Butler a struggle because it forced her to create an objective for herself. At the same time, it was beneficial and “changed her life,” because it put her career in perspective. She commented, “It is important that people get out there and follow their dreams.”

Mangus, winner of both the Savio and Walker awards in 2003, explained of the application process, “People always say, ‘I don’t write; that’s why I’m an artist.’ It’s always difficult to write about your work.”

Mangus had a show on the fifth floor of the Healey Library in May of 2003. Colon, recipient of the Walker scholarship in 2004, is presenting his own show, “Crossing the Deep Blue,” on the fifth floor of the Healey Library from May 3 through May 28.

Colon told students that he reserved the space in January because he planned on having a show whether he won the award or not. “I’ve already spent the money before I got it. A very UMB way to do things.” He said he bought a “beautiful Sony projector and DVD player” to project his show onto the sail of a ship.

Students interested in applying for the scholarships are encouraged to do so with the art department in the fall, as awards are given in the spring. Although the application may be hard to squeeze into a busy schedule, the four students at the Art/Talks say, “It is definitely worth trying.”