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Alison Burnell Receives U-M Library Innovation in Research and Creativity Award

Burnell Great Lakes

Alison Burnell (Stamps BFA 18) is a recipient of the 2017 – 2018 Innovation in Research and Creativity Award for her BA Capstone project, The Great Lakes: Catalysts of Industrial Evolution. U‑M Library Undergraduate Research Awards, sponsored by the JABberwocky Literary Agency, recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of students who demonstrate excellence in library research conducted in support of an undergraduate student project. Projects can be in any format or medium, including term paper, website, documentary, or art installation. 

The U‑M Library Undergraduate Library Research Award Committee is pleased to award the inaugural Innovation in Research and Creativity Award to Alison Burnell for her creative work The Great Lakes: Catalysts of Industrial Evolution. Consisting of five large vertical illustrations, each panel depicts the growth of modern industries and processes in the Midwest during the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century,” with each panel devoted to one of the five Great Lakes.

In the process of creating her work, Burnell pursued her research from many angles: she researched the history of industry in the Great Lakes region in order to determine which scenes to depict for each lake; and also various illustrators in the fields of nature illustration, poster art, art nouveau, and others in order to draw inspiration for her own work.

The final result of her research and creativity was the aforementioned series of illustrations, which were exhibited during the 2018 Stamps Senior Exhibition, and an accompanying twenty-five-page booklet that discusses her research and creative process. Through her creative work, Burnell demonstrates how academic and library research can inform and enhance creative projects.

2017 – 2018 Winners | U‑M Library