Hunter MFA Graduates Win Important Fellowships from the NY Foundation for the Arts
Hunter alumni Jocelyn Lee (MFA '92) and Chris Weikel (MFA '12) have been awarded prestigious fellowships by the New York State Foundation for the Arts. In a competition judged by statewide peer panels, Lee, a photographer, and Weikel, a playwright, were among 91 winning fellows in a field of 2,922 applicants.
The fellowship provides each artist with a $7,000 cash grant supporting his or her creative work. Past NYFA Fellows include the winners of Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes and MacArthur "Genius" Fellowships.
Lee graduated from Yale and won a Guggenheim Fellowship before coming to Hunter, and her work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally. Her published statement about her 2008-'09 exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery described her artistic motivation:
"I photograph because I am interested in people, what it means to be alive, and how we make sense of the world... I am interested in looking at states of being: birth, childhood, aging, physical fragility, death, sensuality, the animal world and people in nature."
Because artists can apply for the NYFA Fellowship at all stages of their careers, it is especially noteworthy that Weikel was selected so soon after earning his graduate degree at Hunter. He studied under Tina Howe and Mark Bly at the College.
Weikel has repeatedly won critical praise and theater awards for his plays. The New York Times's rave review for his Dickens parody, Penny Penniworth, praised its comedic "brilliance" and declared that "it deserves to be a staple."
Hunter congratulates these wonderfully talented alumni on their continuing creative achievements and new fellowship awards.