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Awarded Residencies
2005-2006 Fellowships and Residencies Awarded

Three ceramic artists were named winners of the Archie Bray Foundation's annual fellowship awards. The Lilian fellowship was awarded to potter Deborah Schwartzkopf, sculptor Koi Neng Liew was awarded the Taunt Fellowship, and the Lincoln Fellowship will go to artist Melissa Mencini. Each fellowship awards $5,000 and a one-year residency at the foundation to artists of exceptional accomplishment and promise. Beneficiaries are expected to embrace the Bray experience of community and exchange, and have the opportunity to focus their attention towards producing and exhibiting a significant body of work.

Artists Richard Notkin and Dan Anderson joined Bray resident director Josh DeWeese in selecting the award winners. "The caliber of the work as a whole was among the highest, and quite possibly the best, of any scholarship, exhibition, or award I have ever juried," said Notkin.

Click here to view 2005-2006 Fellowship Monograph written by Melissa Post.

Schwartzkopf is a graduate of the University of Alaska-Anchorage art program, receiving her BA in 2002. She studied for a year at San Diego State University before going on to Penn State where she earned her MFA. Schwartzkopf focuses her attention on producing functional ceramics, marrying the practical and traditional with the inventive and contemporary. "Within my work refinement and elegance interact with a sense of play," she says.

Liew, originally from Singapore, studied painting and earned a fine arts diploma from the country's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. He received his BFA in ceramics in 2001 from Alfred University in New York, and his MFA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Liew sculpts large-scale figures, created out of his examination of life and universal human emotions. Drawing from his own experiences, the artist composes groups of humans and anthropomorphs, rendering metaphors of growing up in a male-oriented environment.

Mencini earned her BFA in ceramics and glass from Bowling Green State University in 2000, and an MFA from University of Illinois-Carbondale in 2003. Although the artist explores functional ceramics, her most recent body of work is sculptural, referencing historical medical devices. Before arriving at the Bray, Mencini was a resident artist and education coordinator at Atlantic Pottery Supply in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Of her work, Mencini says by distorting and abstracting an object's small details, she can add "new sensitivity to the original forms" and reinvent them "on a scale that relates to the human body."

The Taunt, Lincoln, and Lilian fellowships are awarded in February each year and are made possible by Robert and Suzanne Taunt, Joan and David Lincoln, and an anonymous donor. The fellowships reflect the donors commitment to ceramic excellence and innovation, as well as their regard for the significance of the Bray's artistic community. The Archie Bray Foundation was the first artist residency program in the United States devoted solely to ceramics. For over fifty years the Bray has brought together artists with diverse backgrounds and approaches to the medium, creating an environment conducive to artistic exchange and individual expression.