Ava Bromberg, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Bromberg of Nottingham Road in Livingston, NJ, and a candidate for May graduation from Hamilton College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for 2002-2003. Bromberg, a Phi Beta Kappa student who has a double major of studio art and Asian studies, was selected from among 1,000 students who applied for the awards.
In a national competition each year, the Watson Foundation selects and provides funds for graduating seniors from America's leading liberal arts institutions to embark on a year of self-directed, independent study while traveling outside the United States after their graduation. This year 60 seniors were selected from 50 of America's top liberal arts colleges.
Bromberg has chosen a project titled "The Public Artist: Creating a Public Space in the 21st Century City." She proposes to answer the question: how is art relevant to the people of global 21st century cities? She will examine how artists are creating locally relevant and accessible art for public spaces in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; Bangkok, Thailand; and Sydney, Australia. Bromberg hopes to witness, through travel to these cities, how artists' responses to the call for public art changes with cultural, economic and political contexts. These cities will serve as examples of where the public and art intersect historically, the influence of funding and government support, and the potential for art to direct a culturally intact future.
Watson Fellows are chosen in a two-step process that requires nomination from a participating college, followed by a national competition.
The Watson Fellowship Program was created in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' long-standing interest in education and world affairs. The program identifies prospective leaders and allows them to develop their independence and to become world citizens. Watson Fellows each receive $22,000 for their year of travel and study. The year of travel provides Fellows an unusual opportunity to take stock of themselves, test their aspirations and abilities, pursue their own in-depth study and develop a more informed sense of international concern.