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Demonstrating Exceptional Creative Ability in the Arts 

The Guggenheim grant will allow Carson to devote herself fully to painting. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 13, 2016) – University at Albany Professor of Art JoAnne Carson has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for 2016.

Carson is among 178 scholars, artists and scientists honored from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants across the U.S. and Canada.

“Professor Carson is not only a gifted painter and sculptor but also a valuable teacher and mentor to our students. We are very proud of her accomplishments,” said Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Elga Wulfert.

Often characterized as “midcareer” awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

“The fact that I was awarded both a University Award and New York State University Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research or Creative Activity no doubt had a positive influence on the deliberations of the Guggenheim jury,” said Carson. “The Guggenheim Foundation recognizes individuals who have a record of consistent and ongoing professional achievement and these University awards helped to establish that I met that criterion.”

She joined the UAlbany faculty in 1985, was promoted to full professor ten years ago, and has twice served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History.

“I have been an artist for almost 40 years and I have come to recognize and accept that moving between sculpture and painting – and now landscape art – is a core feature of my practice. What connects all my work is the desire to create a world that is at once whimsical and monstrous, a salutation to the resourcefulness of living beings and my own delight in creating new things at which to marvel,” said Carson.

With a career that is both expansive in form and method, the artist has made significant and major works in a range of media including constructed paintings, sculpture, and more recently, land-art. Her work is in numerous public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Fort Worth Art Museum, The Joslyn Museum, The Smart Museum of Art, and the Frederick Weisman Art Foundation.

She has been honored with the American Academy in Rome Fellowship; the National Endowment for the Arts Award; Awards in the Visual Arts 4; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize.

The Guggenheim grant will allow her to take a sabbatical from teaching in order to devote herself fully to painting. “My project is clear and straightforward: to expand the scale and complexity of my pictures to equal the forcefulness and materiality of my three-dimensional work in sculpture and landscape art,” said Carson.

Her paintings of the past three years – a series titled Rewilding the Dream – are the first two-dimensional works she has done since the early 1990’s. “They serve as a testament to the belief that, in spite of the fearsome decline of our environment, life continues on and often with exuberance – albeit in new forms,” she said.

Since its inception in 1925, the Foundation has granted more than $334 million in Fellowships to more than 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, poets laureate, and winners of the Pulitzer Prize.

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