McGeady Faculty Development Fund Awards

March 28, 2017

Abra Ancliffe (left), Stephen Slappe (right)

Ancliffe is lead faculty of PNCA's Printmaking program, and Slappe is lead of the college's Video + Sound program. The award is juried by PNCA's Personnel and Tenure Committee.
Barry Pelzner, a member of the committee, notes, "The winning proposals were selected for, among other criteria, the precision and clarity of the applications, their evidence of commitment to the applicant's discipline or field of research, and their proposal of a project likely to contribute to the applicant's creative and intellectual development.  Many more worthy proposals were received than could be funded, and the jurying was exceptionally difficult."

Ancliffe will go to the Harry Ransom Center of University of Texas-Austin for a Fellowship position to conduct research toward her project Astronomia Nova Florilegia, a series of artist’s publications about the hidden labor of meaning-making, self-publishing, and the revolutionary act of gardening.

Astronomia Nova Florilegia centers around the residual presence, labor, and botanical interests of one anonymous woodblock cutter who worked on astronomer Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia Nova, published in 1609. Ancliffe notes that, "Renaissance book production involved many specifically-skilled laborers, including block cutters, who carved images and visual diagrams out of wood blocks to be printed alongside set type. In Astronomia Nova, multiple diagrammatical woodcuts include 33 stow-away images of flower sprigs, floating inside arcs of orbits, and leafy bundles nestled in the corners of heliocentric schema. This cutter personalized their blocks by carving flowers, complete with stems, leaves, and stamen; some with gently nodding heads. The disjunctive imagery (one didactic and useful, the other seemingly decorative and aesthetic; one celestial and distanced, the other earthy and graspable) fractures Kepler’s intended reading and another author is present: the block cutter."

Slappe's award supports the development of Future Forum, a new program with Portland's Open Signal to provide artists media training for social impact. 

Future Forum will offer a select cohort of 12 artists training and access to professional media production equipment and facilities, exhibition opportunities, and opportunities for mentorship and interaction with professionals in the field. . Slappe envisions the program as

In addition participants will also work with Open Signal's partners, offering media arts to schools and community organizations focused on marginalized populations.

Read about Ancliffe's previous work at UT Austin and the Harry Ransom Center.