Aaron McIntosh, whose concentration was in fibers, is the recipient of the $15,000 award. His BFA quilting exhibit was held last month at the Craft Center.
“My work explores the interconnected relationships between societal organization, group identity and personal identity,” he said. “It sorts abstracted objects and shapes into arrangements that represent social order, group dynamics, struggle for identity and loss of individuality inherent in social culture.”
The Windgate Fellowship is one of the largest national fellowship award programs offered to art students. Fifty-three universities across the nation were each invited to nominate two graduating seniors or fifth-year students — their best and brightest — for a chance at being selected for one of the awards.
Student applicants completed online applications, submitted images of their work and wrote proposals defining how the $15,000 award would advance their careers.
A panel of three nationally recognized art professionals reviewed the applications on the basis of artistic merit, the promise of the individual’s future work and potential for the applicant to make contributions to the advancement of his or her field. Out of the total number of applicants, only 10 were selected from the national pool, each receiving a $15,000 Windgate Fellowship.
McIntosh said he plans to use his award for researching the unique intersections of cultural character, gender identity and fiber art in museums, textile collections and art galleries. He plans to attend the International Quilt Study Center’s Symposium and to take three summer workshops with noted fiber artists at Arrowmont School of Crafts and Shakerag. His courses and research will culminate with the creation of a body of work representing things he learned.
The Windgate Fellowship award program is a three-year pilot program administered by the University of North Carolina Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Hendersonville, N.C.
The Center also partners with four museums to award $5,000 Windgate Museum Internships. Museums in the 2006 program include the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis., and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass.