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2017 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition Award Winners

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design’s 2017 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, featuring the exceptional works of our undergraduate students in art and design, was celebrated on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 with a reception in the new downtown Stamps Gallery.

The jurors for the exhibition – Amy McCarter, president of McCarter Design, Mark Newport, Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Greg Tom, Gallery Programs Director at Eastern Michigan University – selected 80 of the 439 works submitted for inclusion in the exhibition. Of those 80, the jurors recognized ten works with awards. We asked the award-winning students to talk about the work that was selected and to let us know what they're currently working on.

Lindsay Abdale: The Universe in a Tree
Guy Palazzola Memorial Award


In this piece, I explore repeated patterns in textures and materials in nature. The work compares the woodgrain textures of the pine tree slab at multiple scales (macro and micro) with human skin textures that I carved and printed, also at multiple scales. This comparison relates the human within the context of an environment.

I am currently completing a B.S. in Geology, where I am continuing to study repeated paterns in nature, but with a research application. I am excited to continue to combine my interests in the arts and sciences.

Call Your Mom: Powerplay
Guy Palazzola & Robert D. and Betsy D. Richards Memorial Award


Call Your Mom is a performance collective consisting of Mia Massimino, Emma Bergman, Sophie Goldberg, and Eliza Cadoux. The group's screendances Bed (2016) and Powerplay (2016), made respectively as part of the performance piece This Close and the upcoming performance installation Household, work with the daily dances of intimate relationships. Bed extracts dynamics of bed as sanctuary, as shared space, and as battleground, humorously translating unconscious movement into coordinated action. Powerplay interacts with narratives of youth and punishment as the members of Call Your Mom fluidly embody dominant and disciplined roles.

Call Your Mom is currently finishing their third show, Household, an immersive performance installation surrounding domesticity and difficulty. Audiences will move through the rooms of an actual house, reckoning and playing with mythologies of home. The show will take place on March 10 and 11 from 7-10 pm.

Alana Cohen: Orlando
Irene Bychinsky Bendler Award in Design


This past summer, I installed breaking news notifications on my phone. I noticed that when I opened my phone after receiving a breaking-news alert, the notification disappeared without expanding on the information. This led to me subconsciously forgetting about the breaking news alert entirely within minutes. One morning in June I woke up to a notification informing me that over 50 people had died in a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. I felt such fear and sadness in that moment and decided rather than swiping away the notification and moving on with the rest of my day to translate my emotions into art. I am now challenging myself to create pieces responding to each disturbing breaking news update I receive.

Eva Cohen: Chuck Up Close
Irene Bychinsky Bendler Award in Design


Inspired by the artwork of Chuck Close, I designed an exhibit to shed light on his artistic process and the power of creative expression. Close’s battle with learning disabilities and the loss his father at a young age, combined with prosopagnosia (face blindness) and a spinal artery collapse that led to partial paralysis all had one constant: the process of creating and making art. As Close uses his making process as a means of art therapy, I hope to spread awareness of this powerful tool through my traveling exhibit.

Currently, I am deeply involved in my senior thesis, a campaign to spread awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) to the millennial generation. In efforts to make a historically horrifying disease approachable and conversational, I am designing a collection of emojis to represent the signs and symptoms of MS. To see more about my process, feel free to visit:

Jordyn Fishman: Famous Roars
Robert D. and Betsy D. Richards Memorial Award


There is a concept in law called multiple consciousness. What it means is that you are able to not only understand the oppressions that you directly experience, but you are also able to develop an understanding of the oppressions of others. That is what my works, Both Hearts Go Thump Thump and Famous Roars are about.

Currently, I am focusing on the topic of income inequaily in the United States. I am working on creating a mixed media instalation combining painting, video projections, and the spoken word to analyze the topic.

Albert Foo: Ann Arbor Long John Bakfiet
Irene Bychinsky Bendler Award in Design


Two years ago, I travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark where I witnessed how the bicycle changed the way people lived. This includes how people went to work, dropped off their kids, and go from bar to bar on a Saturday night. Copenhagen was also where I discovered the cargo bicycle. The cargo bike is a long-john styled bicycle where the front end of the bicycle is elongated with a platform that can hold everything from groceries to furniture. With a starting price of around $3000 for most variants, I came home after 3 months in Copenhagen with a goal to build one of my own. As urban centers continue to change at a rapid pace, the bicycle is transforming the way city residents visualize modern transportation.

This summer, I plan to experiment with tactical urbanism concepts and user interfaces (UX). Other project ideas include nomadic structures and outdoor forest sculptures.

Natalie Giannos: Antithesi
Robert D. and Betsy D. Richards Memorial Award


Antithesi puts on display the contrast between an important ancient relic and comparatively mundane modern object. It shows a classically rendered ancient Greek bust placed next to a more graphic pair of scissors, making it clear how different the two are but exploring how they are also the same in their mutual representation of their respective cultures and eras. It comments on how we characterize periods of time and the way in which that characterization changes as time passes and the present becomes the past.

I'm currently finishing up my foundation year at Stamps, exploring different media and kinds of art and seeing what falls into place. I hope to pursue more drawing and printmaking next year, especially figurative and representational work.

Tyler Krantz: ZOO Letter Forms
Irene Bychinsky Bendler Award in Design


My goal when creating a piece of work is to tell a story within that space. In ZOO Letter Forms, I developed three habitats for animals beginning with the letters used to spell Zoo. The series is digital, composed of over 60 layers of line, color, and shape. The enclosures are inspired by the Vienna Zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which was founded in 1752 and serves as the oldest animal menagerie in the world.

I'm currently working on my second year studio project, where I'm exploring the intersections between history and design. Continuing my work with the digital medium, I'm creating a series of illustrations and paintings based around an invented Art Deco city.

Hannah Mabie: Moving Paintings
Guy Palazzola Memorial Award


Moving Paintings explores the way people interact with paintings and how paintings interact with their environment. I am intrigued by the conscious and subconscious connections created while observing art, and how a painting can affect the space it inhabits. The changing images create a different painting and experience in every moment. I explored this idea by creating an installation piece that allows the viewers and the piece’s surroundings to become a part of the work. This piece was made in collaboration with Daniel Korth, sound artist, and Spencer Haney, dancer.

My recent focus is in painting and illustration. Currently, I am working on a collaborative installation, an educational biology video game, and illustrating a series of children’s books. Additionally, I teach at Flipside Art Studio in Ann Arbor.

Gus Schissler: Sultry Poultry
John H .McCluney Memorial Award


Sultry Poultry is a boudoir photoshoot starring a raw chicken. She has a parsley boa, daddy issues, and a fowl taste in men. Her name's Francesca. Set your oven to broil.

I'm currently the Art Director for Gwydion Inc., a local startup focused on Virtual and Augmented Reality. However, my creative practice has shifted towards interactive and digital media, which includes creating (and falling in love with) computer program boyfriends and desktop incinerators.

Title image: Guy Palazzola & Robert D. and Betsy D. Richards Memorial Award winners Call Your Mom (Eliza Cadoux, Emma Bergman, Mia Massimino, and Sophie Goldberg) with Stamps Dean Guna Nadarajan (center)

Exhibition opening images by Ryan Reiss. Video by Levi Stroud. All other images courtesy of the artists.