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Winbury Essay Award Winners

Published February 6, 2019

The Department of Art History is pleased to announce that Annie Booth and Leah Sherman have been selected by their peers as the 2019 winners of the I. N. Winbury Award. The award, which includes a $200 stipend for book purchases, is presented annually by the graduate students in the department to one MA student and one PhD student. The selections were made from academic papers submitted for consideration.

In her paper, “Visual Sovereignty Talks Back: Artistic Intervention into the Epidemic of Violence Against, Indigenous Women and Girls,” MA student Annie Booth focuses on three works—two digital media and one performance piece—addressing the topic of violence against Indigenous women and girls. Snare, an experimental short film by Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe), A Red Girl’s Reasoning, the award-winning second film by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/ Sámi), and Vigil, a site-specific performance piece by Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe), each enact visual sovereignty, talking back to settler violence through themes such as materiality, language, land, cultural protocol, Indigenous feminisms, and the common thread of healing, hope, and survivance. Annie is grateful to Dr. Kristin Dowell: “Her encouragement, guidance, and confidence in her student’s abilities help us develop our best work.”

PhD student Leah Sherman’s paper, “Examining Internationalism in Postwar Italy: A New Assessment of Lucio Fontana’s Struttura al neon and the Argentinian Avant-Garde,” addresses the gap in scholarly attention surrounding Lucio Fontana’s spatial experiments, devoting special interest to his 1951 Struttura al neon, commissioned for the IX Triennale di Milano. Her study makes a case for the Struttura al neon to be read as an unprecedented contribution to European postwar modernism given its direct transatlantic dialogue with concurrent innovations in the Argentinian avant-garde, rather than more readily-available European or American examples. By closely examining Fontana’s artistic and personal relationships outside of Italian modern art, this project ultimately favors Italy as the location of cross-cultural exchange during the postwar period while offering a new interpretation of an early example of the Italian-born Spazialismo movement.

Congratulations to Annie and Leah on being recognized for the high caliber of their research and writing!