AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Fellowship grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts will provide two Auburn University alumnae and a current faculty member with the means to foster current and future art projects.
Kyes Stevens, founder and director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, and Brooke Bullman, a writer from Huntsville, each earned a $5,000 fellowship in literature. Chuck Hemard, an associate professor of art at Auburn, received one of two $5,000 fellowships in media/photography.
Fifteen individual artists from around the state were recognized by the council for their artistic excellence, professional commitment and maturity. Recipients are encouraged to use the funds to set aside time to create art, improve their skills, or to do what is most advantageous to enhance their artistic careers.
“This support will not only offset production and travel expenses and allow me to produce work of the finest quality, it also reaffirms my professional practice and creative worth over time,” said Hemard, a photographer. “While the work I’m making is based in the American South, I have ambitions to seek audiences regionally, nationally and possibly internationally. This fellowship directly supports that initiative and thus moves my career forward.”
Stevens, who received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, said the award will not only provide her time for her current book on the evolution and impact of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, but it will also afford her the resources to work on developing new poetry projects.
Stevens has been published in multiple literary genres and teaches poetry for the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, which provides art instruction and other educational opportunities to residents of Alabama’s prisons.
Bullman, a fellow Auburn alumna, viewed her receipt of the fellowship as a sign of encouragement for her current project – a novel-in-stories about two families from Alabama.
“Since I’m writing a novel that I hope represents the South with richness and authenticity, this is quite meaningful to me,” she said. “As an emerging writer, the distinction and recognition provided by this grant is particularly important to my career. I’m deeply honored to be included in a group of such talented artists.”
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