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Spencer Museum announces 2016 creativity award recipients

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art has announced the 2016 recipients of the Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards. Established by benefactor Lavon Brosseau in 2011, the awards honor thought-provoking creative work in the categories of writing and diverse media from undergraduate students in any field. 

This year’s competition saw the largest number of submissions to date from students across disciplines including visual art, creative writing, computer science, gender studies and journalism. Award recipients were selected by a cross-disciplinary review committee, which noted that the work submitted this year serves as a testament to how the arts permeate all fields of study.

In the writing category, Crystal Bradshaw, of Jetmore was recognized for an excerpt from her book “Eliza: A Generational Journey,” which deals with themes of heritage and identity in the time of slavery in the United States. Committee members described her piece as a “powerful statement of reclamation” and a project of “amazing scope and ambition.” Bradshaw is a junior studying English with a focus in creative writing. 

In the diverse media category, Nicholas Shaheed, of Lawrence, was recognized for his musical composition “Three Languages,” which explores the concepts of science and computing through a musical narrative in three movements. Committee members praised the piece for its successful integration of two disparate fields, calling it “transformative.” Shaheed is a senior majoring in computer science and music composition and theory.

The diverse media category received such strong submissions that the committee also awarded two honorable mentions. Alexandra Stanley, of St. Louis, received an honorable mention for her sculpture “Mannequin Made,” which the committee selected for both its visual and technical skill as well as its clearly developed ideas. Stanley is a senior majoring in visual art education.

Ashley Arnett, of Kansas City, Kansas, received an honorable mention for her multimedia artwork series “Hosts: Cordyceps Impetus.: The committee praised Arnett’s ability to push beyond the natural tendencies of the materials she used to achieve an “arresting” and “visceral” reaction. Arnett is a senior majoring in textile design.

Excerpts from the recipients’ projects are available online.