Albany - The State University of New
York honored four students for exemplary achievement in the Arts, with the
presentation of this year’s Thayer Fellowship and Patricia Kerr Ross Awards, on
Thursday, April 12.
A Thayer Fellowship in the
amount of $7,000 is awarded to one student, or shared among several students,
who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the
arts. The Patricia Kerr Ross Award, for $1,000, is given to a student, or
shared among several students, who have demonstrated excellence, originality,
and promise in the arts. Both awards are intended as a bridge between SUNY
study in the arts and entry into a professional career in the arts.
“SUNY deeply appreciates the
continuing support of our art students through the Thayer Fellowships and the
Patricia Kerr Ross Awards,” said SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan. “Congratulations
are well in order for these talented SUNY students for winning such prestigious
and competitive awards. Providing some of our most creative art students with
financial assistance as they face the challenges that come with professional
life is very gratifying and we wish this year’s winners success as they begin
their new careers.”
“The quality of the artistic
work of this year’s winners is truly outstanding,” said Artistic Director and
SUNY Potsdam Distinguished Professor of Art Joseph Hildreth. “The panel of
judges made difficult decisions among many fine submissions, but in the end
they chose very well. SUNY, and its outstanding faculty, can take great pride
in the achievement of our very talented students as they make their way in the
This year’s Thayer Fellowship
and Patricia Kerr Ross Award recipients were presented with their awards at the
spring SUNY Student Art Reception, at the SUNY System Administration building
in Albany. This year’s winners are as follows:
- Adrienne Elisha, of the
University at Buffalo, won a $3,000 Thayer Fellowship for Music/Music
- Nelson Wei Tan, from the
University at Buffalo, won a $3,000 Thayer Fellowship for Film and
- Bethany Moore, also from
the University at Buffalo, won a $1,000 Thayer Fellowship for
Music/Musical Theatre, and
- Ryan Homsey of Purchase College, won
the $1,000 Ross Fellowship award for Music/Music Composition.
The Thayer Fellowship was
established in 1985-86 by the late Walter N. Thayer, Chairman of Whitney
Communications, New York City, in honor of his wife, Jeanne C. Thayer, who was a SUNY
trustee from 1974 to 1984 and an active supporter of the arts. The Thayers
wanted to assist SUNY's most talented young artists at the most difficult
period of time for a young professional, when the struggle to make a living can
overwhelm even the most dedicated individual. The fellowship helps the artist
take advantage of important opportunities.
Patricia Kerr Ross dedicated
30 years of service to SUNY, where she began in 1969 as Assistant to the
University Dean in the University-wide Program in the Arts. Ross directed the
University-wide Programs in the Arts from 1971-91, and over the years, was also
a board and committee member, panelist and speaker for a variety of
arts-related organizations in New York State. She was a founding board member of the Gallery
Association of New York State in 1973 and the Association of SUNY Arts
Presenters in 1982. Following her death in 1999, Ross’ $30,000 bequest created
the Patricia Kerr Ross Award to benefit graduates in the arts by enhancing the
outreach of the Thayer Fellowship program.
The artistic director for the
Thayer Fellowship and Patricia Kerr Ross Award is Joe Hildreth, a Distinguished
Service Professor of Art and a past president of the SUNY University Faculty
The panelists, who select the
finalists and make the final determination of the winners, are:
Dance: Ms. Penelope
Dannenberg, Director of Programs, New York Foundation for the Arts; Music: Mr.
Frank Oteri, Editor NewMusicBox American Music Center; Visual Arts: Mr. George
Hofmann, retired Studio Art Professor Hunter College; Creative Writing: Mr.
Michael Perkins; Theatre: Ms. Edith Meeks, Executive Director HB Studio;
Film: Ms. Maria Gonzalez, awards and creative development-media specialist,
New York Foundation for the Arts.
Nearly 100 applications for
the awards are received each year. The applications are evaluated by a Jury
Panel of experts in the various arts disciplines. The finalists are then interviewed
in person by the Jury Panel, and their work is reviewed during performances, readings,
screenings, and exhibitions. At the end of this process, the jury panel
determines the winners.
The State University of New
York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States,
educating more than 417,500 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs
on 64 campuses.