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Two UB architects awarded artist fellowships

Fargo dining room

Dollhouses climb up the wall of Dennis Maher's dining room. A New York Foundation for the Arts grant will enable Maher to continue his work on his home, a project titled "Fargo House." Photo: Douglas Levere

By RACHEL TEAMAN

Published December 6, 2013

Two UB architecture faculty members have been awarded highly competitive grants through the Artist Fellowship Program of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Joyce Hwang, associate professor, and Dennis Maher, clinical assistant professor, were named fellows in the Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design category. They are among only 91 artists or collaborative teams selected from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants statewide.  

The program is open to artists at all stages in their careers, and each fellow or team receives an unrestricted cash grant of $7,000 to use in any way to further their creative work.

Habitat Wall

Joyce Hwang will use the New York Foundation for the Arts award to advance "Habitat Wall," an urban habitat project for bats and birds. Photo: Courtesy of Joyce Hwang

Hwang will use the award to continue work on "Habitat Wall," a sculptural habitat for birds and bats that addresses the condition of habitat loss in cities.

“I am honored to be selected as a NYFA fellow this year, and excited that the award will enable me to continue constructing an urban habitat project that I have had to put on hold until now,” she says.

Maher will use the prize to continue work on his Fargo House, an experimental art/architectural project he has been developing within a house formerly slated for demolition on Buffalo’s West Side. The home’s interior is filled with imaginary cityscapes crafted from objects Maher picked up at thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales and demolition sites.

“I’ve recently completed a large installation within Sibley Dome at Cornell University, and I’m excited to return the fragments of this work to the house, where they will be used to construct a new dome within the living space,” Maher says.

First launched in 1985, NYFA’s Artist Fellowship Program has provided more than $27 million in unrestricted cash grants to artists in 15 disciplines at critical stages in their careers. Awards are made in five disciplines a year on a triennial basis. Past recipients include the winners of five Academy Awards, five Tony Awards, eight Pulitzer Prizes and 17 MacArthur “genius” Fellowships.

NYFA’s 2013 Artists’ Fellowships are administered by NYFA with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation and one anonymous donor.