Congratulations to the recipients of the 2023 Awards in the Creative Arts! Full bios are available below, listed alphabetically by last name.
Sahada Jewel Buckley (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Sahada Buckley is a violinist and interdisciplinary artist from Fairhope, Alabama. Sahada earned Bachelor degrees from the University of Georgia in violin performance and music theory. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters degree in violin performance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, studying under David Perry. Sahada is a member of the graduate quartet, the Marvin Rabin String Quartet. Sahada won first place in the University of Georgia Concerto Competition in 2018. She has studied at institutions like the Interlochen Arts Academy, Meadowmount School of Music, BUTI Tanglewood, Atlantic Music Festival, and Decoda Chamber Music Festival. In April 2022, she performed with her duo, Girls With Hands, at the New York City Electroacoustic Improvisation Summit. An avid hiker, she through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2019 carrying a violin. Sahada is the Artistic Director of Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival, which will present its inaugural season in June 2023 in Fairhope, Alabama.
Esther Jihye Cho (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Esther Cho is a Korean-American interdisciplinary artist, designer, and papermaker based in Madison, Wisconsin. Her research-based studio practice focuses on devising narrative installations for archiving the history and retelling the stories of Asian Americans, children of immigrants, and Asian diasporas to consider the experience of identity, gender, loss of lineage, and cultural disconnect. She holds a BFA in both Craft & Material Studies and Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2022). In 2017, she received the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship from the Center of Crafts to travel to South Korea to study the process of making hanji (Korean paper) and its related craft forms. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she is pursuing her second Master of Fine Arts degree in Design Studies with a focus on papermaking and material culture.
Spatula&Barcode: Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson (Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts)
Spatula&Barcode, the whimsically-named collaborative founded in 2008 by UW-Madison Art Professors Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson, aims to “make fun occasions more serious, and serious occasions more fun.” Spatula&Barcode make “social practice art,” meaning that interaction among people is the main ingredient. They use media such as performance, video, photography, and design, but what matters most is the engagement of participants–they often say “the conversation IS the art.” They have staged mini-festivals of small-scale art experiences at home (such as their pandemic response, Home Stretch) and abroad including work on six continents. They frequently work with organizations to create works that offer new approaches to old conversations. They often share food as part of their work, and have created a series of Foodways projects around the world; the latest, in the Philippines, focused on Hunger.
Finn Enke is a writer, historian, teacher, and artist who grew up on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Compelled by the ever-changing meeting places of land, water and sky, their work engages the porousness of life-death, dis/ability, and the interplay of visible and nonvisible aspects of embodiment. Enke is author of Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (Duke, 2007) and the award-winning Transfeminist Perspectives Within and Beyond Transgender and Gender Studies (Temple, 2012). Enke is currently working on a visual memoir, With Finn and Wing: Archive of an Amphibious Childhood in a Nuclear Age, about growing up transgender in the midst of the anti-war, environmental, and feminist movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. Their current projects also include a comics and essay collection, Pedagogies of the Impossible: From the Trans on Campus Collection.
Ben Ferris (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Ben Ferris is a bassist, composer, and educator from Madison, Wisconsin. A student of NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis, he graduated with a music-education degree from UW–Madison where he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in String-Performance with Peter Dominguez. He leads, composes, and arranges for many ensembles, releasing his debut album, Home in 2016 featuring all original compositions. A founding member of Mr Chair, a contemporary chamber quartet with two records of original music, Ben also performs with Darren Sterud, Jon Hoel, Gabe Burdulis, and more. Ben was a finalist in the 2017 International Society of Bassists Jazz Performance competition. As an educator, Ben teaches private bass students and K-12 music in public schools for seven years. He is on the board of directors and faculty for the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists. Ben is a NS (Ned Steinberger) Artist.
Mimmi Fulmer performs repertoire from early music to works written for her. She has appeared as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival and Kennedy Center, and her career includes premieres of nine opera roles. The granddaughter of immigrants from Finland and Sweden, Ms. Fulmer is an advocate for bringing Nordic songs to American singers. She has presented programs of Nordic repertoire throughout the US, and is the editor of Midnight Sun, a three-volume anthology of songs from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark published by Subito Music. She has recorded with the Centaur, Albany, Innova, and CRI labels. Her CD, About Time, was called “a gratifying testimony to …composers in America” by Opera News online. Ms. Fulmer is Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her students are enjoying success singing at the Metropolitan Opera, on Broadway, and as educators at schools and universities.
Trace Leighton Johnson (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts and Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Trace Johnson is a cellist known for his effortless musicality and fierce commitment to music making of all styles and genres. Trace has appeared as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician in a wide variety of settings in the United States and around the world. Equally at home teaching in the studio or performing on stage, Trace is a devoted and thoughtful communicator who enjoys a varied career as a cellist, teacher, and musician. Trace holds a section cello position with the Sarasota Orchestra in Sarasota, Florida and has also recently appeared with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Sarasota Opera. Trace is a Collins fellow in the DMA program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Trace received his Bachelor’s of Music Performance degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio and Master’s of Music degree from Lynn Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida.
Helen Lee (Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts)
Helen Lee is an artist, designer, and educator. Her studio practice explores the intersection of identity and language through the materiality of glass. She earned her MFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BSAD in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work is in the collections of Minnesota Museum of American Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, and Toyama City Institute of Glass Art. Recent exhibitions include Through a Glass Darkly at Delaware Contemporary and the Translucency: the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial at the Kai Art Center in Estonia. Lee has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, California College of Art, Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Ox-Bow School of Art, China Academy of Art, Toyama City Institute of Glass Art, and the MIT Glass Lab. She is an associate professor and head of the UW Glass Lab in the Art Department and faculty director of The Studio Creative Learning Community.
Ruth Llana (Lyman S.V. Johnson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts)
Ruth Llana (Asturias, Spain) is the author of Tiembla (Point de Lunettes, Sevilla, 2014), winner of the University of Granada “Federico García Lorca” Poetry Prize in 2013; the artisanal chapbook Estructuras (Ejemplar Único, Valencia, 2015), in collaboration with artist Gabriel Viñals; Umbral (Malasangre, Oviedo, 2017); and La primavera del saguaro (EditorialUltramarinos, Barcelona, 2021). Her work has been translated in both English and Portuguese. Having joined UW–Madison as a Ph.D. student in Latin American literature in 2015, she is now finishing her dissertation in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with a minor specialization in the Interdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures. Llana has an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the university of Granada (2014, Granada, Spain), and an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the UNED (2016, Madrid, Spain). Her main areas of artistic practice are poetry, creative non-fiction, and short narrative. Her research interests include poetry, art, cinema, photography, and translation. Llana’s dissertation focuses on the intersections between Visual Studies, Queer Theory, Critical Life Studies and Affect Theory within the Latin American artistic and literary context. At UW–Madison, she was also involved with the student-run creative writing journal Zona de carga until 2020. Her Spanish translation of Mei Mei Berssenbrugge’s poetry collection, I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, was published in 2019 by Kriller 71 in Barcelona. In collaboration with Jesse Lee Kercheval, she has translated from Spanish to English, For the Seals/Para las focas, a chapbook by Uruguayan poet Juan Manuel Sánchez, published by Toad Press in 2019. In 2022, she published her Spanish translation of Muriel Rukeyser’s poetry collection US1 with Editorial Ultramarinos. Her research has been awarded with numerous accolades such as the Chancellor’s Dissertation Fellowship (2021), the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Dissertation Write-Up Award (2020), and the Tinker Nave travel grant (2018) with which she conducted dissertation research in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Maile Llanos is a junior studying at University of Wisconsin Madison as a Bachelor of Arts major and Spanish minor. Growing up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, she has an appreciation of the many plants and flowers of the region. Maile enjoys painting and creating botanical-inspired art. In high school, she became interested in creating arrangements when working at a greenhouse as a floral designer. She currently works at UW-Madison at the Chazen Museum of Art assisting with educational and musical events. In addition, she teaches painting and assists open studio hours at Wheelhouse Studio inside Memorial Union. Maile is passionate about environmental issues, sustainability initiates, and equity. After graduation, Maile hopes to find a position at a regional museum working on gallery installations, curation, or event management. Maile’s work has been displayed at the Peninsula School of Art’s Big Little ArtShow, and the Office of Financial Aid at UW Madison.
Sophie Loubere (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Sophie Loubere is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work is interdisciplinary and research-based, focusing on printmaking, book arts, photography, textiles, and creative writing. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Additional education includes Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Loubere is an award winning artist. Most recently, she was awarded the Caxton Club Grant for a project in book arts. She has taught classes, workshops, and demos at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Gage Academy of Art, Editions Studios, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
Matthew Francis Ludak (Lyman S.V. Johnson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts)
Matthew Ludak is a second-year MFA Candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who began his graduate study in the Fall of 2022. Before attending Madison, Ludak completed a certificate program in Documentary Studies from the International Center for Photography in New York City. While there, he was awarded the George Moss Scholarship and the Director’s Fellowship. In 2021 Ludak received an Artist Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In 2022 his work was shown in the Wisconsin Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art and the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City. In 2022 he had his first solo and international exhibition in Braga, Portugal, as part of their annual Photography and Visual Arts Festival. In October of 2022 Ludak was invited to attend the prestigious Eddie Adam’s workshop in Calicoon, New York where he received the National Geographic award for his work. Ludak’s photography is a combination of his interests in documentary practices. His work explores quiet moments in small towns, rural communities, and cities across the United States.
Praveen Maripelly (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Praveen Maripelly is an Indian artist who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in 4D at University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Visual Arts (Printmaking) from the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S University of Baroda, India in 2009. Also, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Painting) obtained from P. S. Telugu University in Hyderabad, India in 2007. He also received Yoga Teacher training certificate, Yoganiketan, Vadodara, India (2010-11). Praveen has received numerous grants, scholarships and awards including the Graduate Student Creative Arts Award (2022), the Artivism Student Action Program Award (2021 and 2022), Marie Christine Kohler Fellow (2022-2023), 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, an HRD Scholarship by Ministry of Culture (2009-2011), and the Krishna Kriti Foundation Scholarship (2006-2009). Since 2009, Praveen’s artworks have been widely exhibited both locally and internationally, in particular in Kunst Nacht, 2019 (Kempten, Germany), Städtische Kunstsammlung Zwickau Max-Pechstein-Museum, 2015 (Zwickau, Germany), IPCNY-2011 (New York, USA), Poly Art Center-Cornell, 2012 (UK), Art at Wharepuke-2015 (New Zealand), NGMA-2013 (Mumbai, India), Project 88 Gallery, 2009 (Mumbai, India), KHOJ, 2011 (New Delhi, India), and Art Konsult (New Delhi, India). The artist has also held residencies inside India such as Sandarbh and Inlaks collaboration residency, Space 118 (2012), PEERS (KHOJ) (2011), and Lalit Kala National Painting & Printmaking Camps (2012 & 2018). The works of Praveen are held in prominent public collections such as Multi Cultural Centre, Business School, UW-Madison, G3 Collections (USA), and Waswo X Waswo print collection (India).
James Carl Osorio is a master’s student in piano and historical musicology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received his undergraduate degree at Roosevelt University with a major in piano performance and a minor in history. A native of the Philippines, he has presented lecture-recitals on inclusive music pedagogy and Filipino classical music around the United States. The American Music Teacher, a peer-reviewed journal, published his article on the pedagogical value of AAPI repertoire in their February/March 2023 issue. He is currently working on his graduate recital and thesis on musicking within different camps in various locations during the Second World War. Previously, he has served as a pianist for numerous ballet schools and companies in Chicago. He is also a resident music director at Forestburgh Playhouse in New York. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at Ganz Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Harpa Concert Hall. Last year, he won several grants including the MWSOM Graduate Student Grant, Artivism Student Action Program Fund, and the inaugural Joan Spero and C. Michael Spero Graduate Student Award. He currently serves as a Teaching Assistant at the Mead Witter School of Music from which he received a 2022-2023 Innovation in Teaching Award from the UW–Madison LS Campus Wide TA Awards. He is a student of Professor Martha Fischer and an advisee of Dr. Nadia Chana.
Maia Therese Rauh (Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award)
Maia Rauh is a first semester Junior at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Maia initially was studying to receive her Bachelor of Fine Art within the School of Education. However, after discovering her passion for weaving after her first semester sophomore year, Maia transferred into the School of Human Ecology’s Textile and Fashion Design Program in January of 2022. Interested in continuing her studies within the Art Department, she completed a certificate in Three Dimensional Design. Within the School of Human Ecology she has declared to take the Textile Design path with a concentration in Weaving. Within Professor Marianne Fairbanks’ weaving course, Maia received second place in the Annual Sergenian’s Rug Design Competition and the Janet L. Birch Professional Development Fund in Weaving and Textile Design. Maia received the Chipstone-CDMC Undergraduate Research Fellowship in which she presented on the Works Projects Administration’s Milwaukee Handicraft Project. Maia currently works as Fairbanks Research Assistant primarily in the Hemp Research Lab.
Orion Lee Risk (Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts)
Orion Risk (they/them/he) is a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies and MA student in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, specializing in performance studies and feminist care theory. Most generally, their work explores discourses of care in gender, communication, and performance, taking performance as method and object. Orion’s practice-based scholarship through the UW Center for the Humanities featured nationally (Fringe PVD; Free Fringe Philly; Rising Fire Theatre; Minnesota Fringe). Key recognition: UW’s Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Graduate Student Award; National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar. Research honors: Mid-America Theatre Conference (Emerging Scholar); National Communication Association, Performance Studies Division (Top Student Paper). A co-authored article is in press with international journal Performance Research. Orion holds a MA in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies (UW–Madison) and an interdisciplinary BA in culture and performance (University of Northern Iowa). Orion began studies at UW–Madison in fall 2019.
Douglas Rosenberg (Creative Arts Award)
Douglas Rosenberg (MFA, San Francisco Art Institute) is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and author, Professor of Art and former Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work in performance, video, installation, and other media has been exhibited internationally for over 30 years in museums, festivals, galleries, and elsewhere. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and keynote talks as well as books including: Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image, published by Oxford Press and The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies, which was awarded the prestigious Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research. He is a founding editor of The International Journal of Screendance and acknowledged as a leading scholar in the field and his work has been supported by numerous grants and awards including: the NEA; The Rockefeller Foundation; The Soros Foundation; the MAP Fund in New York; and the James D. Phelan Art Award in Video. In 2022, he was awarded a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship. His most recent film, Song of Songs, has been screened at over a dozen prestigious international screendance festivals in museums across Europe and elsewhere, including, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, Cinedans Fest, Eye Museum, Amsterdam, London International Screendance Festival, Manifest Dance-Film Festival, Pondicherry, India, InShadow Festival of Screendance, Lisbon, XIX Punta del Este Jewish Film Festival, Uruguay, and the Museo de Trajes, Bogota, Columbia. Hi book of essays on art and culture, called Staring at The Sky, is under contract with Korpen Publishing in Gothenberg, Sweden and expected to be released in 2023/24.
Katie Ryann (Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award)
Katie Ryann is a rising choreographer who is inspired by shared and unique feminine experiences; the good, the sad, the ugly, the seductive and the dramatic. In 2019, she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Dance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. At UW–Madison, Katie studies Contemporary dance and Ballet and has since performed in and choreographed six of her own works titled Stained Glass, Both Sides, In Bloom, Trail of Glamor, Paths, and FREQUENTLY: A LOVE LETTER TO MAN. Throughout her three years at UW–Madison, Katie has specialized in exploring feminine perspectives and interdisciplinary art projects. These projects include her dance film, Both Sides, where she collaborated with film maker Ari Cavaliero as well as her collaboration project, Paths, with trumpet performance major Nick Hill.
Anamika Singh (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Anamika Singh (b. 1995 in India, lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin) is an artist whose work analyses the spatial and operational conditions of carceral economies and contested necropolitical histories. She received her BFA from Cooper Union School of Art and is currently a 4D MFA candidate at UW–Madison (2025). Situated at the intersection of video, sculpture, poetry, and conflict studies, her practice asks: “How and why are particular histories of violence rendered familiar or abstract to us?” Singh has been a recipient of the Benjamin Menschel Fellowship, Ashkal Alwan HWP fellowship and Futuress Design Fellowship. Her work has been screened at the South Asia Institute Chicago, Fracto Film Festival in Berlin and Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap. Singh has been a visiting professor at Rutgers University-Newark, guest lecturer at the Architectural Association, London and a guest critic at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York.
Skyler Simpson (Graduate Student Creative Arts Award)
Skyler Simpson works with graphite, gouache, and oil paint to create narrative portraits of women. Situated between memory and mythology, her intricate paintings pull from personal and imagined experiences to explore tension in the home. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2018, she worked as a painting intern at Anderson Ranch Arts Center during the summer of 2019. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an expected graduation in 2024. Simpson has exhibited work throughout the United States.
Michael Velliquette is a mixed media artist whose work investigates the junctures where materiality meets conscious awareness. His intricately crafted and contemplative sculptures make use of modest and often ephemeral materials such paper. A working artist for 20 years, Velliquette has participated in over 150 exhibitions in museums and galleries in the US, Europe, and Asia. His work is in the permanent collections of the Chazen Museum of Art; the Racine Art Museum; The Progressive Corporation; The West Bend Insurance Collection; The Linda Pace Foundation; Boston Children’s Hospital; The John Michael Kohler Art Center; and The Microsoft Collection. He has participated in residencies and cultural exchange programs including the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence; the SIM Residency, Reykjavik; the John Michael Kohler Art/Industry program; and EUARCA, Kassel, Germany. In 2021 he was an artist resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Velliquette is an Assistant Professor of Foundations in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Sachie Ueshima, soprano, a native of Japan, began pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance at University of Wisconsin–Madison in Fall 2020, studying with Dr. Julia Rottmayer. Her principal area of arts practice is in classical vocal study and she is also pursuing a doctoral minor in choral conducting. She holds an Artist Diploma, Master of Arts in Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees from Queens College/City University of New York. She recently performed the role of Krystyna Zywulska in Heggie’s Two Remain (Out of Darkness) with University Opera at UW–Madison. Her other operatic credits include Soeur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Pamina and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, and Lady with a Hand Mirror in Postcard from Morocco. She recently received a second place award in the Women in Art Song & Oratorio Professional Division of the American Prize