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12 Students Awarded Smallen Creativity Grants


Twelve students have been awarded Smallen Creativity grants that they’ll use to support senior art projects and independent study. 

Matthew Albino ’19 will produce a series of 10-minute comedy shows on queerness for an independent study project.

Elijah Barstis ’19 will design clothes as art for his senior project.  He explained, “This is a project where a trained painter, not a fashion designer, will go through the process of fashion design. As I create these modern fashion-inspired objects using raw materials, a tension between ‘corporate’ and ‘handmade creative’ is born.”

For his senior art project, “Toward Cultivating an Image of The Self-In-The-World,” Alexander Black ’19 will create works with wood.  ”At its core, my work examines the human as gestalt: we are more than the sum of our parts,” he said.

Frank Cadwell ’20 will use his grant to create a Four Movement String Quartet with Piano Composition about the cancer experience. He said, “Through various research and personal knowledge, I would collect information about life before, during, and after cancer and compose music that reflect this journey.”

For Olivia Fuller’s senior art project “Mental manifestation,” she will use analog photography to create a cohesive body of work that reflects the physical and emotional toll anxiety has on one’s body. Fuller will document “the effects of burning, scratching, cutting, and bleaching analog film in order to reflect this theme of mental and physical deterioration.”

Julia Gorlovetskaya ’19 will work on her senior art project “Russian Romantic Landscapes: A Contemporary Reinterpretation.”  She said, “As a Russian American, I have spent a considerable amount of time living in a village outside St. Petersburg Russia. It is here that I learned how to paint. While landscapes lack salience in the American marketplace, I intend to pay homage to my roots in a way that also satisfies the tastes of American consumerism.”

Elias Griffin ’20 will create a sculpture project “Where We Are: A Relationship with our Environments.” A New York City native, he’ll explore how the move to such a different environment at Hamilton “has given me the ability to appreciate how profoundly important my relationship to my environment is, be it urban or wild, constructed or organic.”

Maximiliano Hernandez-Zapata’s ’19 project, “Vernacular Photography: Exploring Cultural Nuance through Visual Documentation of the Mundane,” will explore cultural nuance of everyday life in several regions around the United States. “I will photograph people, their spaces, and their things. Ultimately, I will show that we are more alike than we would like to admit,” he said.

Anika Huq ’19 is creating a modern-day Terra Cotta army.

Kristen Keppler’s senior art project will explore the nature of space through sculpture. “I am interested in exploring the way in which humans decipher what their surroundings mean in regards to their place in the world,” she said.

Zeyan (Jerry) Tang ’21 will create a photo project, “A day of life in refugee families.”

Andrew Watson will create a senior art project of sculptures, “Watch Your Step: The Relationship Between People and Space.”  He said, “Through both large scale and small scale sculpture, I intend to influence the emotional and thoughtful interaction between people, space, and objects.”

The Smallen Fund aims to encourage student creativity among Hamilton students by providing funds for projects displaying originality, expressiveness and imagination. Former Hamilton Vice President for Libraries and Information Technology David Smallen and his wife Ann established the fund in 1993 in memory of their son Steven. Steven Smallen studied at Hamilton for a year while receiving treatment for leukemia, before losing his battle with cancer in 1992.

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