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August 12, 2016

Travel scholarships help artists see the world

Six CIA grads to study U.S., Europe and beyond

Travel scholarships help artists see the world

Six members of the Cleveland Institute of Art’s class of 2016 are making plans for travel that will inspire new projects and build upon work they started as students.

Winners of CIA’s traveling scholarship program, which is awarded each spring to graduating seniors, receive money toward travel that allows them to dive deeper into their creative process.

Three Agnes Gund Traveling Awards went to Grace Gongaware, a Biomedical Art major; Hien Nguyen, Graphic Design; and Meghan Calvert, Ceramics. Each has earned $4,500 toward their travel.

Gongaware, from Export, Pa., intends to visit Ghana to participate in a five-week volunteer program about sickle cell disease. She will be part of a group that aims to improve global health-care services.

Calvert, of Mentor, Ohio, said that when she found out she won the scholarship, she was “shocked, to say the least, and just overwhelmed with the fact that my proposal now becomes a reality!”

She plans to travel to Nicaragua as part of the nonprofit Potters for Peace. “They create ceramic water filters for the community as well as teach them valuable pottery skills,” she said. “It’s a brilliant organization that uses clay, in a broad sense, to sustain life.”

Nguyen, of a Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, plans to the use his scholarship to continue his travels throughout the United States, which he estimates will last through 2019. “This opportunity allows me to create a well-thought-out documentary project about Vietnamese culture in the United States,” he said.

The Helen Greene Perry Traveling Scholarship, $4,000, was granted to Gretchen Hilty, an Illustration major from Mantua, Ohio. “It was like a validation, and it made me feel like all my hard work had really paid off,” Hilty said.

Her senior thesis project was built upon fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. She plans to travel to Germany to soak up the people and atmosphere to better create character sketches.

“Physically, I will take inspiration from all things visually and will be making sketches of the land, buildings, mountains, forests, people, and castles,” she said. “Ethereally, I will contemplate the atmosphere and the mood of every place I visit. One's art can be affected by many internal goings-on, and I plan on taking advantage of that to bring in another layer to my illustrations.”

The Mary C. Page Memorial Scholarship, $3,500, went to South Euclid resident Amber Ford, Photography major. She plans to “travel to New Orleans and photograph the diverse and rich culture of the ongoing rebuild of the city and the amazing people living in it.” She expects the trip will result in “not only connecting with great people and gaining new experiences, but also a new body of work that I can exhibit.”

The Nancy Dunn Memorial Scholarship, $3,000, went to Madeleine Toth, Graphic Design.

By traveling to Amsterdam, Basel and Barcelona, Toth plans to compose formal studies of the design language in the different cities. “Through studying the basic forms letters take, and how color, texture, and environment all affect the legibility of the letter,” she said.

Above President Grafton Nunes poses with Biomedical Art major Grace Gongaware, who won the First Agnes Gund Traveling Award; Graphic Design and Photography major Hien Nguyen, who won the Second Agnes Gund Traveling Award; Ceramics major Meghan Calvert, who won the Third Agnes Gund Traveling Award; Illustration major Gretchen Hilty, who won the Helen Greene Perry Traveling Scholarship; Photography major Amber Ford, who won the Mary C. Page Memorial Scholarship; and Graphic Design major Madeleine Toth, who won the Nancy Dunn Memorial Scholarship.

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