Lisa Crafts, adjunct assistant professor in Pratt Institute's Film/Video Department, has been named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, one of 180 artists out of the 3,000 who applied from across in the country to receive this prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City. Crafts, an animator, After Effects artist, and painter, joined Pratt in 2005.
The 12-month fellowship will enable her to work on Overgrowth, an animated film and installation work informed by current scientific and social writings about the impact of humans on the natural world.
“I'm incredibly excited about this project, and so grateful for the time to work on it that this Fellowship will provide,” said Crafts, a self-taught artist who hails from Massachusetts and moved to lower-Manhattan in the mid-1980s. She has previously received grants from The Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as a summer residency at The MacDowell Colony.
Crafts will be the third member of Pratt's Film/Video Department to have earned the prestigious and highly competitive Guggenheim Fellowship. Jacki Ochs, adjunct associate professor, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001 and Leighton Pierce, the chair of the department, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000.
Often characterized as “mid-career “awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are given to artists who demonstrate exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Crafts' independent films have been shown in festivals, museums, theaters, and on television in Europe, Japan, Korea, and throughout the United States, and she has been commissioned to do animation for independent documentaries, Sesame Street, and the American Movie Classics television channel.
“Professor Crafts' Guggenheim Fellowship will support a new project that I expect to be as quirky, dark, and funny as her previous films,” said department chair Leighton Pierce. “She is responsible for one of our most popular courses-Graphics and the Moving Image-a course that bridges techniques of motion graphics, animation, and live-action short film making. Professor Crafts is a great educator who has also balanced a successful professional film career (earning many commissions) with her own personal studio work.”
Prior to teaching at Pratt, Crafts taught at Parsons, Boston College, and Tufts University's Experimental College. She has given guest lectures at many schools, including Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design, and has served as curator of animation programs in the U.S. and Japan.
“Every artist's work involves exploring ideas and developing new technical skills on their own,” said Crafts. “An important objective of my teaching is to provide students with the tools and confidence that allow them to keep expanding their work into new realms after graduation.”
L-R: Lisa Crafts; still from Overgrowth, the animated film Crafts will complete under the Guggenheim Fellowship. Images: Courtesy of Lisa Crafts.
Amy Aronoff at 718-636-3554 or firstname.lastname@example.org