The University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Art recently announced that Jill Font, Ashley Urueta and Gabriela Alvarado were its recipients of the 2020-21 Arleigh B. and Maxie G. Templeton Endowment for Three Dimensional Fine Arts.
The endowment was created in 2017 to assist outstanding undergraduate 3D art majors with a specific project or to pursue research. Each student received $2,000 that could go toward supplies, workshops, materials, educational travel, and small/limited-cost tools or equipment.
Faculty members in the fields of sculpture, ceramics, metals and jewelry nominated students who submitted a portfolio and application to the department’s Art Faculty Review Committee. The application included digital images of current work, a description of the planned project/research, a budget, an artist’s statement and a resume. The process is similar to a request for a professional arts grant.
David Griffin, chair and professor in the Department of Art, called a faculty nomination “high praise” of a student’s artistic and academic abilities. Font was selected for sculpture, Urueta for ceramics and Alvarado for metals/jewelry. Recipients are called “Templeton Student Artists.”
Griffin said awardees typically work on their research projects and body of work through the academic year and end their project/research with a solo exhibition during the spring semester. The recipients then write a final letter of conclusion to the endowment.
“The quality of (this year’s) applications were very high,” he said.
The student’s project proposals explained how they planned to use the endowment funds for travel or to participate in intensive virtual workshops that would enhance their field knowledge. Two mentioned planned purchases of equipment that would help them create and research their art. All provided detailed concepts of what they intended to create for their exhibition.
“This endowment usually goes to our most outstanding young artists,” said Vince Burke, associate professor of art and head of the ceramics program. “Many of them go on to graduate school and continue as professional artists.”
The estate of Maxie Templeton, wife of former UTEP President Arleigh Templeton, established the endowment to honor Wiltz Harrison, a highly respected sculptor and jeweler who taught in UTEP’s Department of Art from 1948 through 1976. He was known for his rigorous artistic and academic standards, his enthusiasm in the classroom, his advocacy on behalf of his students and his sense of humor. He established the department’s metals and ceramics programs and was named a professor emeritus.
Author: Daniel Perez – UTEP Communications