2022 Creative Arts Awards Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Awards in the Creative Arts! Full bios are available below, listed alphabetically by last name.

Sophia Abrams headshotSophia Abrams (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts)

Sophia Abrams is a Powers-Knapp senior at the University of Wisconsin–Madison studying journalism, Afro-American Studies, and Art History. Since September 2020, she has worked for the UW Archives as a Student Historian, creating an oral history project and exhibition on Black artists who attended UW-Madison. She is also a Developmental Project Assistant at PBS Wisconsin. As a HEX-U Scholar, Abrams partnered with Little Picassos to develop children’s arts programming. She participated in the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fall 2021 Museum Seminar. In August 2021, she co-curated In Transit, a student exhibition at Union South. During the 2021 summer, she interned at the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and SooVAC Gallery. Previously on campus, she DJed atWSUM and was the Wisconsin Black Student Union’s outreach coordinator and graphic designer. She has written for Illumination Magazine, and her art was featured in the Star Tribune.

The award recognizes Abrams’ accomplishments in creating an exhibition that centers Black art in Madison.

Jenny Angus headshotJennifer Angus (Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award) 

Jennifer Angus is a professor in Design Studies. Creating some of the most provocative work in an art museum setting, Angus’ medium is insects. Jennifer has exhibited her work internationally including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Spain. She has received awards from theCanada Council, Ontario Arts Council and the University of Wisconsin. In 2019she received the inaugural Forward Art Prize for outstanding women artists of Wisconsin. Angus’ exhibitionIn the Midnight Garden, was part of Wonder, the inaugural exhibition that reopened the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. She was one of nine artists selected by curator Nicholas Bell for this landmark exhibition. Reviews of Angus’ work have appeared in Art Daily, the New York Times, Art Papers, NY Arts Magazine, Architectural Digest, ArtNews and many others. In 2013, Albert Whitman and Company, Chicago, published her first novel, In Search of Goliathus Hercules to positive reviews. Publisher’s Weekly described it as “Roald Dahl meets Franz Kafka in this charming and unpredictable debut novel.”

Angus will use the award to mount a site specific installation from March 26 – June 19, 2022 at the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center, located south of the town of Spring Green. The project will be the first site specific installation the center has hosted.

Emily Arthur headshotEmily Arthur (Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts)

Emily Arthur (Cherokee and European descent) is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and serves as area chair of printmaking within the Art Department. Arthur received an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and has served as a Fellow at the Barnes Foundation for Advanced Theoretical and Critical Research, Pennsylvania. Additional education includes the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Georgia. Arthur is awarded to the Notable Women in the Arts, National Museum of Women in the Arts and has been nominated for a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum, MO; Tweed Art Museum, Duluth, MN; Denver Art Museum, Denver CO; Autry National Center of the American West, Los Angeles, CA; and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM.

Arthur will use the award to support travel, research, and the creation of original, contemporary prints to translate scientific findings in collaboration with the Moore Zoology Lab, which has monitored bird species of Mexico for 100 years.

Adriana Barrios headshotAdriana Barrios (Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award)

Adriana Barrios is a queer, biracial, Latina artist who grew up on the coastal borderlands of Southern California. Barrios received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a Master of Fine Arts Graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Barrios currently holds the position of Engagement Manager for Exhibitions and Programs at the Center for Design and Material Culture in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Barrios has exhibited her artwork internationally in Italy and Mexico and nationally in New York, New Mexico, and Texas. Barrios has received awards for her artwork including the 2020 Women Artist Forward Fund and the Nō Studios Artist Grant. Barrios uses printmaking, paper making, video, and installation as a way to record and respond to the environmental changes happening along the California Coastline due to human activity and climate change.

Barrios will use the award to to support the making of new artworks for a solo exhibition at Gallery Truzx located at Madison Area Technical College from March 7 – April 7, 2022. The exhibition is an immersive installation comprised of prints, 150 cast paper cinder blocks, live feed video projections, and glass enamel prints.

Cole Bartels headshotCole Bartels (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts)

Cole Bartels is a trombonist currently based in Madison, WI. He is the Instructor of Low Brass at Concordia University Wisconsin, maintains a studio of private low brass students from around southern Wisconsin, and is completing a DMA in trombone performance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition to his studies and teaching duties, Bartels is an in-demand freelancer of all musical styles in the region. Bartels has committed himself to the performance of contemporary music, especially focusing on works by American composers and historically under-represented composers. His extensive solo and chamber commissioning projects have helped to expand the repertoire for trombone, and to showcase the amazing capabilities of the instrument in contemporary contexts. His debut album, On the Brink, is due for release in 2022, featuring nine previously unrecorded works for trombone. Bartels holds degrees from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville (MM, 19’) and Concordia College (BM, 17’).

Bartels was nominated for the Judson Award by professor of trombone Mark Hetzler for being “…a true leader in our School of Music. His calm presence projects the confidence and deliberation of a person who is focused on specific professional goals, as seen in his efforts as an educator, professional player, researcher and entrepreneur.”

Marianne Fairbanks headshotMarianne Fairbanks (Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts)

Marianne Fairbanks is a visual artist, designer, and associate Professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work spans the fields of art, design, and social practice, seeking to chart new material and conceptual territories, to innovate solution-based design, and to foster fresh modes of cultural production. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Michigan. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including The Museum of Art and Design, NY, USA, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen Denmark, RAM Gallery, Oslo, Norway and The Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Fairbanks will use the award to expand her research to create textiles that can be decorative and sculptural, works that define spaces and stand on their own. This research will focus on learning methods of basketry, structural systems employed in nomadic portable architectures, and contemporary membrane architecture.

Emily Kammerud headshotEmily Kammerud (Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award)

Emily Kammerud enjoys exploring various media to create figure studies and still lifes. You won’t find her drawing inspiration from bowls of fruit or live models, however—her muses reside in the morgue where she works for the Department of Pathology at the UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Originally pursuing the sciences, Emily obtained her Bachelor of Science in Commercial Art with an emphasis in Fine Art. She’s returned to the science scene while continuing to foster her creative roots as a part-time freelance artist and former gallery assistant at Ephraim Pottery. Working as a Medical Program Assistant, Emily enjoys the rare opportunity to weigh the creative with the morose, a subject often met with intense aversion.

Kammerud will use the award to support It’s Okay to Look. The project explores death through both an artistic and educational means, offering the viewer an aesthetic response to the macabre showcased through an online platform, making the subject of death more palatable and encouraging of curiosity, thus letting viewers know, it is indeed, okay to look.

Baron Kelly headshotBaron Kelly (Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts and Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award)

Dr. Kelly is a four-time Fulbright Scholar and Professor of Theatre in the Theatre and Drama Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has a joint appointment with the Odyssey Project in the Department of Continuing Studies. His teaching of acting has led him to teaching and lecturing residencies in more than a dozen countries on five continents and in twenty American states. Baron has performed internationally for the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada; National Theatre of Norway; Yermelova Theatre, Moscow, Russia; Constans Theatre, Athens, Greece, Academy Theatre Dublin; Edinburgh Theatre Festival; Bargello, Florence, Italy; among others. Broadway credits include Salome and Electra. Numerous classical and contemporary roles for over 30 of America’s leading regional theatres, including the Oregon, Utah, Dallas Fort Worth, and California Shakespeare Festivals; Yale Repertory; The Guthrie; Old Globe San Diego; Mark Taper Forum, and South Coast Rep. He is the author of the book An Actor’s Task: Engaging the Senses (Hackett Publishing).

Dr. Kelly will use the award to direct a production of August Wilson’s Fences as part of the Department of Theatre and Drama’s 2022-23 season, and for symposia highlighting the historical achievements and contemporary relevance of Black Theatre artists and Black Theatre institutions.

Praveen Maripelly headshotPraveen Maripelly (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Praveen Maripelly, born in 1986 in Vellulla, India, is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in 4D at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Praveen earned his Master’s degree in Visual Arts (Printmaking) from the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S University of Baroda, India in 2009. Praveen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Painting) obtained from P. S. Telugu University in Hyderabad, India in 2007. He also received aYoga Teacher training Certificate by Yoganiketan, Vadodara, India (2010-11). Praveen’s artworks have been widely exhibited in lndia and internationally, particularly in Kunst Nacht-2019 (Kempten, Germany), Städtische Kunstsammlung Zwickau Max-Pechstein-Museum-2015(Zwickau, Germany); IPCNY-2011 (New York, USA). Praveen is the recipient of numerous grants, scholarships and awards including Inlaks Fine Art Award (2012), National Academy Award (2009), H. K. Kejriwal Young Artist Award (2010), 8th Bharat Bhavan Biennale Award (2008), Lalit Kala Akademy Grant for his solo exhibition, HRD Scholarship by Ministry of Culture (2009-2011), and KrishnaKriti Foundation Scholarship (2006-2009). Praveen’s works are held in prominent public collections such as G3 Collections (USA)and Waswo X Waswo print collection (India).

Maripelly will use the award to build a movable representational space of Prayog, an experiment in rural-global connection, at Art Lofts. Prayog is a Hindi word that means “experiment.” His abandoned ancestral home has been reconceptualized as a prayog and an interdisciplinary place for community that aims to blur and reconfigure both social engagement in the rural world, and rural and global cultures.

Molly Mattaini headshotMolly Mattaini (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Molly Mattaini (she/her) is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a Specialization in Theatre for Youth and a doctoral minor in Special Education. She began her program of study at UW as a master’s student in the fall of 2016. She received her undergraduate degree in Theatre from Loyola University-Chicago. She studies Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre, a genre within Theatre for Young Audiences which creates theatrical experiences for neurodiverse young people, particularly young people on the autism spectrum. She works with Prairie Music and Arts, Pink Umbrella Theatre, and Children’s Theatre of Madison as a Teaching Artist. She was named the 2019 Winifred Ward Scholar by the American Alliance forTheatre and Education, and has been published in Youth Theatre Journal and has upcoming publications in The Routledge Companion to Drama in Education and The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Young People.

Mattaini received the award as part of a group including Katherine E. Norman and Kailea Saplan. It will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations that support Teaching Artists’ ongoing development of anti-racist theatre education which uplifts diverse young artists and strengthens arts programming.

Lindsey Meekhof headshotLindsey Meekhof (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Lindsey Meekhof began studying for her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin in vocal performance in 2019. She earned a B.M. from the University of Michigan and an M.M. from Texas Tech. Recent performances in the 2020-2021 season include, I Wish It So: Marc Blitzstein – The Man and His Music and What’s Past is Prologue: The Unfinished American Conversation with UW Opera. In the 2019 season, Lindsey performed Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with UW Opera and Maddalena in Rigoletto with the South Bend Lyric Opera. In the upcoming season, Lindsey will perform the role of Edka in Two Remain (Out of Darkness), and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with UW Opera. In addition to performing, Lindsey has taught as an adjunct professor of voice at Saint Mary’s College and Indiana University South Bend. In 2021, Lindsey was awarded the Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Award for Continuity of Instruction.

Meekhof will use the award to address the problematic ways in which the operatic character Don Giovanni is often portrayed and offer a staging to acknowledge the “Me Too” movement and its potential impact on future productions.

Lianne Milton headshotLianne Milton (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Lianne Milton is a MFA Candidate in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She began her program of study in Fall 2019. Her practice-led research explores the complexities of the human condition, in particular, the maternal. It is concerned with interconnecting themes of history, identity, and transgenerational memory at the intersection of feminism, public health, and social justice. Her approach is informed by her experience as a journalist, social documentary photographer, and mother. Prior to grad school, Lianne lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where her photographic coverage for The Washington Post brought international attention to the Zika crisis. Her awards include the International Women’s Media Foundation fellowship, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant, Sony Global Imaging Ambassador program, and Yves Rocher Foundation Environmental Photography Award. Lianne organized and taught free documentary photography workshops in Rio de Janeiro for women photographers for two years as well as workshops for women photographers to provide support with resources and community in San Francisco.

Milton will use the award for an exhibition which explores reconstructed autobiographical narratives about her family history, transgenerational memory, and the Chinese diaspora.

Beth Nguyen headshotBeth Nguyen (Creative Arts Award)

Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the novel Short Girls, the novel Pioneer Girl, and the forthcoming essay collection, Owner of a Lonely Heart. She has received an American Book Award and a PEN/Jerard Award and her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Time Magazine, The New York Times, and Best American Essays. Her work has also been featured in numerous university and community reads programs, and is taught in high school and college classes around the country. Nguyen is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The award supports Nguyen’s next novel, Layaway. It depicts refugee and Southeast Asian American experiences through often-hidden financial interactions, and explores the intersections of race, class, and ideas about credit, debt, and capitalist models of work and earning.

Katherine E. Norman headshotKatherine E. Norman (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Katherine (she/her) is a white American Midwesterner, and is currently a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. At the UW, her research is distributed across the Educational Neuroscience Lab and the Community Arts Collaboratory, where she focuses on what and how people learn through pretend play and arts practices. She holds an MS in Educational Psychology and an MA in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a focus in Theatre for Youth from the UW–Madison, and a BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Katherine also maintains professional practices as an actor (EMC) and teaching artist. Favorite credits include work with Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, Interlochen Arts Camp, Whoopensocker, Children’s Theatre of Madison, the Oakhill Prison Humanities Project, Maher Ashram, the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, Door Shakespeare, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Double Edge Theatre, Adishakti Theatre/Dash Arts, Missoula Children’s Theatre, and more.

Norman received the award as part of a group including Molly Mattaini and Kailea Saplan. It will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations that support Teaching Artists’ ongoing development of anti-racist theatre education which uplifts diverse young artists and strengthens arts programming.

Henry Obeng headshotHenry Obeng (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Henry Obeng is a Ghanaian born artist who received a BA in Fine Art from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Henry’s passion for Hand Papermaking led him to do his graduate work in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Making use of hand papermaking and photographic processes, his graduate work has explored ideas informed by the natural world and his observations and experiences as an international person moving between cultures. The first iteration of Henry Obeng’s thesis, titled The Trail, exhibited in the SoHE Design Gallery in March 2020, explored his experience of being an international student during the covid lockdown. Henry was invited to join the diversity committee for the North American Hand Papermaking Association. He is currently a research assistant to Professor Mary Hark in Design Studies. Also, Henry was invited to apply for inclusion in the Hand Papermaking Magazine’s 14th portfolio of handmade paper, a highly regarded, international, bi-annual portfolio showcasing some of the best work in hand papermaking by artists.

Obeng will use the award to support The Trail. In this project, recycled Wisconsin Badger t-shirts are used as paper substrates, which are accompanied by photographic images of foreign botanical specimens.

Carlos Ortiz headshotCarlos Ortiz (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts)

Carlos Ortiz is a PhD. candidate of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He joined the PhD. program in 2016 after completing a B.A in Hispanic Literatures from CUNY–Hunter College and a M.A in Spanish at UW–Madison. His main area of study is Contemporary Latin/x American Theater and Performance and is currently researching artistic performances of the region that challenge the Western and anthropocentric idea of the human. Since 2014, he has been an active member of the UW–Madison interdepartmental theater group, Teatro Décimo Piso, where he has performed and directed. He was the co-chair of the 2018 Kaleidoscope Graduate Student Conference. His academic research has been awarded the 2020 Tinker-Nave Field Research Grant from the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, and the Graduate School Dissertator Fellowship from the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education during Fall 2021.

Ortiz was nominated for the Judson award by professor of Spanish and Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Paola Hernández, who wrote, “As a Latinx student, Carlos has made sure to bring Latinx issues to the stage, making the work of Teatro Décimo Piso under his guidance an important and crucial work for underrepresented students on campus.”

Kailea Saplan headshotKailea Saplan (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Kailea Saplan (she/they) is a third generation Filipina-American from the island of Hawai’i. They are a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a research assistant in the UW Community Arts Collaboratory. Their research sits at the intersection of arts learning, educational justice, and assessment. Kailea began her Ph.D. program in the fall of 2019; she holds an M.S. in Education from UW–Madison (completed Spring 2018), and B.A. degrees in Theatre and Philosophy (completed Spring 2016) from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Outside of research, Kailea has worked as a teaching artist for Whoopensocker, Madison Public Library, and Children’s Theatre of Madison, and was recently hired to revamp study guides for Theatre Espresso in Boston, MA, after presenting work at the American Alliance for Theatre Education annual meeting this summer. Additionally, she volunteers on the boards of Wingra School, Children’s Theatre of Madison, and Music Theatre of Madison.

Saplan received the award as part of a group including Molly Mattaini and Katherine E. Norman. It will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations that support Teaching Artists’ ongoing development of anti-racist theatre education which uplifts diverse young artists and strengthens arts programming.

Magdalena Sas headshotMagdalena Sas (David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts)

Recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellowship, Magdalena is a graduate of music conservatories in Poland, Belgium, and Austria. Since 2018 she is a doctoral student in Cello Performance at UW–Madison. Magdalena performs across Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and appeared in renowned concert halls such as Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, BOZAR in Brussels, Witold Lutoslawski Studio Warsaw, NCPA in Mumbai. In 2020-21, she was the Director of Program Development and Global Outreach at the International Cello Institute (ICI) in Northfield, MN, and a member of the C’ELLE team, a new initiative focused on supporting and promoting women cellists. Magdalena is also a founder of the Third Coast Chamber Collective, a group focused on promoting the transformative power of chamber music through educational, collaborative and commissioning outreach projects. Currently, Magdalena serves as an Adjunct Professor of Music at the Bemidji State University in MN.

Sas will use the award to present chamber music works written by three American female composers, Reena Esmail, Akshaya Avril Tucker and Asha Srinivasan in Madison in spring 2022.

Ana Tinder headshotAna Tinder (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts)

Ana Tinder is an undergraduate studying music performance at Mead Witter School of Music of University of Wisconsin–Madison. She began her studies in Fall 2018 and is expected to graduate in Spring 2022. Ana founded Mead Witter School of Music’s music theory and musicology study program and organized “Mead Witter School of Music Virtual Benefit Concert,” which raised funds to donate over eight-thousand meals to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Ana is Director of Grace Presents Concert Series, live stream coordinator for Mead Witter School of Music, Event Production Intern for LunART, and aDane Arts Grant Recipient for her spoken memoir on music-related injuries. Currently researching musician health initiatives, Anais hosting the Musician Health Symposium in November 2021 with Mead Witter School of Music and LunART. She will collaborate with esteemed presenters Dr. Linda DiRaimondo (MD), Professor Uri Vardi, Professor Jessica Johnson, Nicole Newman, and Natalie Weiss to raise awareness for injury prevention and musician health.

The award recognizes Tinder’s perseverance, work ethic, commitment to raising awareness about musicians’ mental health, and her ability to take action and make things happen.

Mengmeng Wang headshotMengmeng Wang (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts)

Mengmeng Wang is a DMA composition dissertator at University of Wisconsin–Madison and studies composition with Professor Laura Schwendinger. She also studies electro-acoustic music with Professor Joseph Koykkar and Daniel Grabois. She received her Master of Music in Composition from Shanghai Conservatory of music where studied composition with Guang Zhao. She is the winner of Mullen Sacred Music Prize and Mead Witter School of Music Concerto Competition. She has won awards at 1st eARTS Digital Audio China Competition and the 4th Chinese National Music Exhibition and Performance. She was a residency composer of Atlantic Center of the Arts in 2018. Her music was performed in SEAMUS 2021 digital conference, Chicago Composers Consortium Electro-Acoustic Concert, Atlantic Center of the Arts, Glasow UK, Ithaca (NY), June in Buffalo (NY), CCE concert at UW–Madison, and Beijing Modern Music Festival.

The award recognizes Wang’s writing of advanced and visionary works that employ concepts of color, architecture, and timbre in a way that is fresh and exciting.

Derick Wycherly headshotDerick Wycherly (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)

Derick Wycherly is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Printmaking area of the Art Department at UW–Madison. Derick began the MFA program in the Fall of 2019 after relocating from New York City. Derick received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design with a concentration in Film/Animation/Video in 2011. Derick’s Art and research use drawing through pattern design to make multiples and performances that bring people together in consideration of how gift-giving can be the connective tissue between one another and the land base they occupy. Derick received a fellowship to support his studies at UW–Madison as an Education Graduate Research Scholar in 2019 and 2021. Derick’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Canada, France, and Japan. Derick’s fine art prints can be found in the collections of Kent State University and the University of Indiana–Bloomington Print Archives.

The award will support Wycherly’s M.F.A. thesis exhibition in spring 2022, which centers the Indigenous methodology of gift-giving.