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Internationally recognized artist Kerry James Marshall receives award from university’s College of Fine Arts

Marcia Gay Harden, a 1980 graduate of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, and Renee Zellweger, a 1992 graduate of the university’s College of Liberal Arts, have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Kerry James Marshall, one of the most closely watched artists of his generation, has been selected as the recipient of the “Distinguished Artist Fellowship and Stillwater Foundation Grant” by the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

The award will result in a seven-week residency in the Department of Art and Art History, from March 21 to May 8, 2004.

Marshall is a painter, photographer, printmaker and installation artist, whose remarkable talent has earned him a coveted MacArthur “genius” award. His works can be found in more than 30 public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

“Marshall is an artist who merges social consciousness with formal excellence. He is one of the most talked about and looked at contemporary artists of today,” said Michael Smith, assistant professor of transmedia/performance in the Department of Art and Art History.

Marshall is best known for his monumental figurative paintings, whose subjects stem from social history, the civil rights movement, and his own experiences as an African American. Marshall’s art is rich in literary and historical allusion, eye-catching and provocative.

“You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955, and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility,” Marshall said. “You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it. That determined a lot of where my work was going to go.”

Working in a studio space accessible to students and faculty by arrangement, Marshall will hold a seminar investigating his artistic philosophy and methodology. He will also present two public lectures. The first lecture will be at 5 p.m., March 31 in the Art Building, room 1.102 at The University of Texas at Austin. The second lecture will occur toward the end of his visit and additional details will follow. All lectures and seminars will be free and open to the public.

“Having exposure to an Artist-in-Residence of this caliber is beneficial both to undergraduates beginning their artistic career and to experienced graduate students ready to enter the professional world of art,” said Ken Hale, chair of the Department of Art and Art History. “Students will gain not only personal contacts critical to the training of successful young artists, but also specific technical and conceptual knowledge that will inform and shape their artistic growth.”

Marshall is a professor of studio art at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Marshall received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an honorary doctorate from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021.