2019 Arts Council Distinguished Artist Awards
Two years ago, the UVA Arts Council announced an annual awards program that will recognize outstanding students in five arts disciplines (music, studio art, dance, drama, and architecture) at the University with at $2,000 prize. The UVA Arts Council Distinguished Artist Awards program, spearheaded by Tim Michel (Arch '76) and whole-heartedly approved by the entire Council, was created to celebrate an undergraduate’s achievement in the Arts, and to provide a new vehicle for faculty to publicly acknowledge their outstanding students. The awards are intended for rising fourth-year students, and nominees are selected by department chairs, based on criteria including superior execution of the art form, a deep understanding of the subject matter and artistic process, and originality and creativity.
Kristen Barrett (Drama)
Kristen Barrett has built an impressive resume across Grounds as a writer, director, and producer. She has also become a tireless advocate and an important leader in the effort to build bridges between communities through the arts. She has produced and served as head writer for the acclaimed Black Monologues series and has helped produce the Drama Department’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Reading Series. She helped organize a creative response to the events of August 11 and 12, 2017, a collaboration between the Drama Department and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies. As President of Paul Robeson Players, Kristen has been a leader in producing and directing theatrical events that promote diversity and inclusion, including a 2018 innovative staging of Romeo and Juliet for the Robeson Players and Shakespeare on the Lawn.
Erin Perry (Dance)
Over the past three years, Erin has developed into a compelling performer, a promising young choreographer, and a clear leader with the dance program community. Her work as a performer and choreographer has taken her out of her comfort zone and brought her many opportunities to combine her extraordinary talents with a sense of professionalism that has helped her excel as an artist. This past year, she choreographed two pieces for the Dance Program’s mainstage productions, including Cascading Elements, a co-creative collaborative process with undergrad Paul Redling. The process created the challenge of reconciling her own vision as an artist with an artist from another discipline, teaching her how to maintain her own artistic voice. The piece, Etch, earned the coveted closing spot in the Spring Dance concert.
Anna Warner (Studio Art)
Anna’s work has consistently shown a degree of sensitivity and intellect that rises above expectations. Her pioneering approach, independent drive, and commitment to self-awareness finds her continually exploring new forms, representations, and ideas. Exploration comes naturally to this Miller Arts Scholar and Art major as she seeks new challenges in her art and expands, both physically and conceptually, the boundaries of imagination. Anna will be in the Distinguished Major Honors program in Studio Art next year.
Tianyu Zhang (Music)
This fourth-year student has distinguished himself in music scholarship, composition, and performance. His interest and talents range across styles and disciplines, from popular music to funk, jazz, and experimental works. Equally adept at electric and upright bass, Tianyu is also a skilled singer and electronic musician. His fearless engagement with new ways of conceiving and expressing music is exemplified by his reimagination of a John Coltrane piece for his DMP audition. He plays in jazz combos regularly and in the New Music Ensemble, where he was one of two performers this year to premiere a new work by Judith Shatin. He spent a great deal of time learning the unique graphic notation devised for the work.
Andre Victor Grospe (Architecture)
This dedicated, hard-working, and intelligent architecture student applies himself completely to his creative design work, which is recognized for its keen ability to synthesize ideas into form and space. Andre Victor Grospe's rigorous work ethic is demonstrated through his impressive GPA as well as the overall quality of his works, which consistently sets a high bar for his peers. He combines courses in his major of Pre-Professional Architecture with a diverse array of courses outside the studio curriculum that reflects his overall sense of curiosity, critical inquiry, and commitment. Andrew is an active member of the Raven Society and the vice-president of UVA’s chapter of the American Institute for Architecture Students.