Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts announced the two winners of its annual Meadows Prize today. Nadia Sirota is a musician and a founder member of theÂ American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and her 2009 debut album was aÂ New York TimesÂ album of the year; Tania Bruguera is a Cuban-born artist whose work was featured in Documenta 11.
So why is this award a big deal? Well, recipients of the Meadows Prize receive a $25,000 grant and participate in artistic residencies at the Meadows School. But what makes the prize both unique andÂ efficacious is the extent to which past winners have led projects while at SMU that have had a wider impact on the Dallas community. For example, the art group Creative TimeÂ completed a (somewhat controversial) report of the state of Dallas’ art scene. Playwright Will Power’s time at SMU has now evolved into an extended residency with the Dallas Theater Center. What can we expect form this year’s winners? Hint: Think West Dallas. Jump for my thoughts and the full release:
The choice of Bruguera sticks-out to me.Â The artist is currently working on a project with the Queens Museum, operating a storefront in the Corona neighborhood — a vibrant, diverse, and largelyÂ HispanicÂ area that abuts the museum’s Flushing Meadows Park home — where staff and volunteers offer “educational, artistic and consciousness-raising activities” for immigrants. In recent years, The Meadows School has been exploring various ways of engaging with Dallas’ immigrant andÂ indigentÂ neighborhoods, particularly West Dallas, and the school has shownÂ considerableÂ interest in “art as social practice,” a discipline that leverages artistic thinking towards projects that seek to have some kind of social or community effect. So look for Bruguera to be involved in some kind of community project during her time in Dallas, perhaps helping to launch a temporary orÂ permanentÂ art center in West Dallas, which is an idea the school has been toying with for a few years. Here is theÂ full release with complete bios:
SMU’S MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AWARDS ANNUAL MEADOWS PRIZE TOÂ MUSICIAN NADIA SIROTA AND INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST TANIA BRUGUERA
Sirota and Bruguera Receive $25,000 and Artistic Residencies at Meadows School
DALLAS (SMU) — The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University has announced the recipients of its fourth annual Meadows Prize arts residency — violist Nadia Sirota and interdisciplinary artist Tania Bruguera. The Meadows Prize is awarded to pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile, active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within the Meadows School.
“The aim of the Meadows Prize is to connect artists at the forefront of their fields with our students and with the community — artists who produce new ideas, new work or new methods,” said JosÃ© Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “Nadia and Tania push the boundaries of contemporary music and performance art, and our students will have the incredible opportunity to work directly with them. We are eager to see what develops from their residencies in Dallas.”
Nadia Sirota is best known for her unique interpretations of new scores and for premiering works by some of the most talented composers of her generation, including Marcos Balter, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly.Â She is a founding member of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), yMusic, and the Wordless Music Orchestra and is a regular guest with groups such as the Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound and Continuum.Â Her debut album,Â First Things First, was aÂ New York TimesÂ 2009 record of the year.Â In addition to her work as a performer, Sirota has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in its new contemporary music performance master’s degree program since 2007.Â She will be in residency at SMU April 1-14, 2013 and October 7-19, 2013 and will collaborate with student musicians on the development of new compositions and performance techniques.
Tania Bruguera is a Cuban-born interdisciplinary artist working primarily in behavior art, performance, installation and video — with much of her work pivoting around growing concerns about the political representation and conditions facing immigrants. Her work has been featured in Documenta 11 in Germany and in the Venice, Johannesburg, SÃ¡o Paolo, Shanghai and Havana biennials. In March 2011, Bruguera began a five-year social project, Immigrant Movement International, the first year of which was sponsored by Meadows Prize winner Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art. IM International functions as a think tank for immigrant issues; from its storefront headquarters in Corona, Queens, Bruguera and other staff and volunteers offer free educational, artistic and consciousness-raising activities to a community of immigrants. Bruguera is a proponent of “arte Ãºtil” (useful art), meaning art that can be implemented in people’s lives in ways that address social and political problems. In February, she will launch a new project with the Queens Museum and Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, culminating in the transformation of the old building of the Van Abbemuseum into the Museum of Arte Ãštil this fall.
Bruguera will be in residency at SMU April 7-20, 2013 and September 22-October 5, 2013.
Inaugurated in October 2009, the Meadows Prize is presented each January to up to two pioneering artists. It includes support for a four-week residency in Dallas, in addition to a $25,000 stipend. In return, recipients are expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and collaborating arts organizations, and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas, such as a work of art that remains in the community, a composition or piece of dramatic writing that would be performed locally, or a new way of teaching in a particular discipline.
For more information about the Meadows Prize and an exclusive interview with Nadia Sirota, visit smu.edu/meadows.
Hailed byÂ TheÂ New York TimesÂ as “a bold new-music interpreter and the violist of choice among downtown ensembles these days,” violist Nadia Sirota has been praised for her “command and eloquence” (Boston Globe) and for being one of New York’s “brightest, busiest players” (Time Out New York). She is best known for her unique interpretations of new scores and for commissioning and premiering works by some of the most talented composers of her generation, including Marcos Balter, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly. Her debut album,Â First Things FirstÂ (New Amsterdam Records), “a collection of vital, imaginative recent scores” (New York Times), was aÂ New York TimesÂ 2009 record of the year. A regular guest with such groups as the Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound and Continuum, she is a founding member of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), yMusic and the Wordless Music Orchestra.
In addition to performing classical concert music, Sirota has performed with such songwriters and bands as Max Richter, JÃ³hann JÃ³hannsson, Stars of the Lid, The Swell Season, Sam Amidon, Doveman, Bryce Dessner, Gabriel Kahane, Ben Frost and Valgeir SigurÃ°sson, and can be heard on new and recent albums by Grizzly Bear, JÃ³nsi, The National, Ratatat, Doveman and My Brightest Diamond, and on Arcade Fire’sÂ Grammy-winning albumÂ The Suburbs.
She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she performed as co-founder of the AXIOM ensemble, initiated the Castleman/Amory/Huang studio’s New Music Project, and created the “Juilliard Plays Juilliard” program for student composers and performers. After winning the top prize in Juilliard’s 2005 concerto competition, she performed Hindemith’sÂ Der SchwanendreherÂ with conductor Marin Alsop and the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. As a chamber musician, Sirota has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, Itzhak Perlman and the Silk Road Ensemble, as well as with members of Kronos Quartet, the Chiara Quartet and the Peabody Trio. In fall 2007, she joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music for its new master’s degree program in contemporary music performance.
Sirota has performed in-studio forÂ Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NPR’sÂ Morning Edition, BBC Radio 3,Â CBS Morning EditionÂ andÂ A&E Breakfast with the Arts. Â Up to August 2012, she hosted “Nadia Sirota on Q2,” a four-hour daily program devoted to contemporary music on WQXR’s Internet radio stream Q2. Prior to that she hostedÂ Overnight MusicÂ on WNYC and WQXR.Â Overnight MusicÂ was awarded an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Radio and Internet Broadcast in 2010, and was described by Alex Ross ofÂ The New YorkerÂ as “radio we can believe in.”
Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Her work researches ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life; she seeks to create a public forum to debate ideas shown in their state of contradictions and to focus on the transformation of the condition of “viewer” into one ofÂ “citizenry.” Bruguera uses the terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte Ãºtil” (useful art) to define her practice. She works on appropriating the resources of power to create power, and on creating political situations through art.
Bruguera has been a participant in Documenta 11 in Germany as well as in the biennials of Venice, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Havana and Site Santa Fe. Her work has also been exhibited at the New Museum in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (The Netherlands); Museum fÃ¼r Moderne Kunst (Germany); Helsinki Art Museum (Finland); Whitechapel Gallery (England); Centro de Arte ContemporÃ¡neo Wifredo Lam (Cuba); and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Cuba). She has performed at the Kunsthalle Wien (Austria); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Belgium); Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico); Museo de Bellas Artes (Venezuela); and the Institute of International Visual Arts (England), among others.
Bruguera has lectured extensively at such venues as The New School in New York, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal College of Art in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1998 she was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2000 she received the Prince Claus Prize from The Netherlands.
Her work is part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, artists’ books collection; Bronx Museum of the Arts; JP Morgan Chase Bank; Museum fÃ¼r Moderne Kunst (Germany); Daros Foundation (Switzerland); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Â and Centro de Arte ContemporÃ¡neo Wifredo Lam (Cuba); and the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (England).
She was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; San Francisco Art Institute; Headlands Center for the Arts; ART/OMI International Workshop; Khoj artists’ residency (India); Western Front (Canada); and Gasworks (England).
Bruguera is a graduate of the M.F.A. program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, where she founded and directed Arte de Conducta, the first political art studies program in the world.Â Currently she is a visiting faculty member at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the IUAV in Venice and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
ABOUT THE MEADOWS PRIZE
The Meadows Prize replaced the Meadows Award, which was given annually from 1981 to 2003 to honor the accomplishments of an artist at the pinnacle of a distinguished career.Â Â Meadows Prize recipients must be pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile, active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within the Meadows School: advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, communication studies, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre.
The Meadows Prize is sponsored by the Meadows School and The Meadows Foundation.
The first two winners of the Meadows Prize were Grammy-winning contemporary music ensembleÂ eighth blackbirdÂ and New York-based public arts organizationÂ Creative Time. Eighth blackbird’s residency focused on developing new curriculum to help musicians become more entrepreneurial and engaged in their own career plans.Â It became part of a new Meadows School initiative that included the launch of the nation’s first minor in arts entrepreneurship.Â Creative Time’s residency took the form of three visits to Dallas to meet with a wide range of members of the arts community, including artists, collectors, gallery and museum executives, critics, government officials, educators and others, culminating in a report with recommendations for growing and nurturing the arts in Dallas.
The second two winners were playwright and performerÂ Will PowerÂ and choreographerÂ Shen Wei, artistic director of New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts. Power’s work in Dallas was a partnership between the Meadows School and the Dallas Theater Center. During his Meadows residency in fall 2011, Power and a group of theatre students created a new play,Â Alice Underground, which was performed at the Meadows School. Shen Wei’s residency in Dallas resulted in an original work,Â The New You, choreographed for SMU dance students and presented at their 2012 Spring Dance Concert.
The winners for the 2012-13 academic year were two Irish artists–choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh.Â Both were in residency at Meadows in fall 2012 for four weeks, during which they collaborated with theatre students to create a new work.Â Their residency concluded with a performance of the piece, and discussions are now under way to give the work a wider showing.
ABOUT THE MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
The Meadows School of the Arts, established in 1969 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has achieved prominence as one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. It comprises 10 academic divisions: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre. The goal of the Meadows School of the Arts is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers, as well as to provide opportunities for all SMU students and the broader Dallas community to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts.
While maintaining the highest level of craft in all of its disciplines, the Meadows School aims to be the most innovative arts and communications school in the country, developing new curricular initiatives including the first master’s degree in international arts management and a number of interdisciplinary minors such as arts entrepreneurship. The Meadows School is a leader in developing pioneering outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and social change.