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Faculty Members Honored by Connecticut Artist Fellowship Program
Three University of New Haven professors are among an elite group of artists from across the state who have been recognized by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, an honor that supports the continued development of their work.
March 13, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
D. Edward Davis, Ph.D., a practitioner in residence in the University of New Haven’s Music Department, still follows the advice of one of his college professors who told him he should "apply to as many opportunities as possible, but then forget about the application." This way, he won’t spend time worrying about whether or not he was accepted.
"It feels amazing to have my creative work recognized, especially at the state-wide level, where the level of applicants was certainly high," he said. "I hope the Fellowship will help me bring my music to new listeners, and, perhaps, increase my opportunities for performances in the state."
Davis, who writes music for instruments and electronics, draws inspiration from the world around him. He describes his pieces as "slow-moving and contemplative," and he often incorporates field recordings – sounds captured from the outdoors – into his music.
The Connecticut Office of the Arts recognized 51 artists from across the state as recipients of the Artist Fellowship Program, which provides grants to encourage the continuing development of artists.
Dr. Davis was one of three University of New Haven faculty members to receive Artist Fellowship Awards, along with Simon Hutchinson, Ph.D., assistant professor of music technology, and Jacquelyn Gleisner, M.F.A., practitioner in residence in the University’s Art Department.
Gleisner, who is expecting her first child, says the recognition was especially meaningful.
"This award supports the creation of new work, and I am really excited about how becoming a mother will impact my artistic life," said Gleisner, who founded Connecticut Art Review, a platform for the visual arts. "I'm very grateful to receive funding that will help sustain my practice during this transition. I also felt very humbled to be included among such an accomplished and varied group of artists."
Gleisner, whose work is influenced by the Pattern and Decoration Movement, has shown her work across the country and around the world. Her work is currently being shown locally in the Ely Center of Contemporary Art’s "Extra Human" exhibition and as part of Mill Street, a group show in New Haven.
Dr. Hutchinson, whose music includes acoustic instruments, custom-designed electronic instruments, and digital games, repurposes everyday technology for creative expression. He transforms objects, such as smartphones and videogame consoles, into instruments to, as he says, "highlight the humanity of technology."
Excited about the doors the award will open to him as an artist, Dr. Hutchinson is pleased to share the recognition with his students.
"It’s very meaningful to me to have my creative work validated by an organization like the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and it’s great motivation moving forward," he said. "Artistry takes a wide variety of forms. To encourage a diversity of voices, it’s important that some art can be decoupled from the concerns of short-term profit, allowing artists to explore ideas outside of the mainstream."