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News . Feature Stories . Eight CIA Artists Receive Excellence Awards

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April 23, 2013

Eight CIA Artists Receive Excellence Awards

Ohio Arts Council announces statewide grants to artists and arts organizations.

Eight CIA Artists Receive Excellence Awards

Eight CIA artists were among 47 artists statewide to receive Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, the agency announced this month. The five alumni and three current faculty members will each receive $5,000 to support their “growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond,” according to the announcement.

“We know that CIA graduates and faculty contribute enormously to the culture of our state and our nation,” said CIA President Grafton J. Nunes. “These awards provide tangible validation of their contributions as working artists producing important art.”

Alumni winners of the Individual Excellence Award are painters Judy Takacs ’86 and Susan Danko ’98; glass artist Michael Mikula ’87; photographer and multimedia artist Lori Kella ’97; and sculptor and installation artist Scott Stibich ’10.Stibich works as a technical assistant in CIA’s Sculpture Department and has earned notable commissions for public art projects through Cleveland-based LAND Studio.

CIA faculty members who received the awards are Bruce Checefsky, a photographer and experimental filmmaker who is an instructor and director of CIA’s Reinberger Galleries; Mary Jo Toles, professor of photography and digital imaging; and Mari Hulick, associate professor of graphic design. Toles and Hulick last year collaborated on Palimpsest, a series of photographic books exploring Cleveland history and available on blurb.com. The Arts Council grant will support this ongoing work they call the Rustbelt Legacy Project.

According to the Arts Council, “Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community.”

The Arts Council also makes grants to arts organizations. Adjunct faculty member Liz Maugans was named on two of these organizational grants: a $1,000 award in support of the Alliance for Artist Communities conference and a $25,000 grant for Zygote Press, the Cleveland-based nonprofit fine art printmaking studio that she heads.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. Grant applications were reviewed by Ohio Arts Council staff and diverse panels of arts experts. The OAC board, consisting of 15 gubernatorial appointees and four nonvoting members from the Ohio legislature, makes final decisions based on panel recommendations.

Above: "Jade Cornerstone,” 2012, 10x10x4 inches, Michael Mikula ’87.

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