Snyder Wins a Guggenheim
Last week Professor Dean Snyder, head of the Sculpture department, learned that he is one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists in the US and Canada to earn a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship to support further work in their fields. Chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants overall, he won a Fine Arts Fellowship in the Creative Arts category for both “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”
Snyder is no stranger to fellowships and awards. His work has been supported by the British Arts Council, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and many others. But when he learned that he’d been awarded a Guggenheim, he felt a new sense of achievement.
“It means a lot,” Snyder says. “You don’t go into the application process lightly. I went through some serious health issues in the fall, so, philosophically, I feel like the timing is beautiful. Sometimes things in life happen for a reason.”
Although he is still digesting the news and only beginning to make plans, Snyder says that he intends to filter a portion of the no-strings-attached prize money into his Pawtucket studio and do some traveling related to current projects. One destination will be Kansas City, MO, home of Zahner Fabrications, the plant that is manufacturing several large stainless steel spider webs he designed.
Beijing will also be on his itinerary in the near future. Snyder has been partnering with a stone studio there and was recently commissioned to design several sculptures he’ll be working on this summer. His relationship with the studio began in 2008 when he designed a sculpture for the Beijing Olympics.
Of course, Snyder will also make good use of the fellowship resources to advance his sculpture – especially in materials and processes related to aerospace composites, which have been primary to his studio practice in recent years. And he will continue to focus on his teaching and on leading the Sculpture department, where he has taught since 2000.
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