A ghost town in Sasco, Ariz., will be explored by two Smallen Creativity grant recipients.

Ten Hamilton students have received grants from the Steven Daniel Smallen Memorial Fund. The 2012 recipients are James Anesta  ’14, Emily Archer  ’13, Rachel Bristol ’13, Matthew Combs ’13, Danielle Lashley ’13, Sara Meissner  ’13, Cindy Reyes ’13, Nicolas Keller Sarmiento ’13, Taylor Coe ’13 and Evan Van Tassell ’13.

The Smallen Fund aims to encourage student creativity among Hamilton students by providing funds for projects displaying originality, expressiveness and imagination. Hamilton Vice President of 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.

The projects represent a range of subjects and mediums.

James Anesta will use his grant to produce his play “Hell the Musical” at Hamilton next fall. The dark comedy explores questions about the afterlife and the intricate relationship between our actions and the actions of those around us. The story follows Rick, a college student who lands in hell by accident after a miscommunciation through email between Lucifer and “the boy upstairs.”

Emily Archer will explore abstraction through the medium of printmaking. She’ll create installation pieces out of smaller prints for her senior project.

Taylor Coe and Evan Van Tassell will undertake a joint project involving American ghost towns. They’ll research and explore several ghost towns in New York and Arizona, then create a film and poetry project which will include a video essay of their experiences. The essay will be accompanied by poetry and short prose pieces inspired by these locations, which they’ll compile into a short collection.

Rachel Bristol will learn glassblowing by taking classes at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program and at Corning Museum of Glass.  She’ll also visit glass artist Josh Simpson’s ’72 studio and shadow him and his team for a few days.

Matthew Combs will explore insect portraiture, in order to make visible the enormous biodiversity the campus has to offer, mostly in the form of bugs. Through the use of macro digital photography and the Scanning Electron Microscope housed in the Taylor Science Center, he will catalog and capture the beauty of our arthropod community, resulting in a printed and bound book of images.

Nicolas Keller Sarmiento will make a short film in his native Argentina. His film will pose the question: If a modern day young woman were approached with the same task the Virgin Mary was given, would she take it? Or would she pass it on to someone else?

Danielle Lashley plans to create a large-scale, site specific installation related to the human body. She'll investigate the relationship of functionalityy and the body by creating sculptures called Body Homes. These body encasements will be a visual outward exaggeration, made of fabric and common objects on top of a casted human form -- such as toothbrushes, paper and food  -- and which distort the human form and reduce the functionality of its bodily movements.

Cindy Reyes will create an installation of ready-made and fabricated objects to personify the very basic yet quintessential desire of many-- the second chance for internal restoration. Casting Call will be an installation mainly comprised of two mannequins, one to present the struggle for rebirth and ultimate emergence while the other stands as the forgotten, and perhaps unseen, bright prospect.

Sara Meissner will use digital photography to capture instance of scarification, including those that are medical/surgical, accidental or self-inflicted.

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