Art Professor Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

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Kathy Goodell, a professor in the Painting and Drawing program in the Art Department, was recently announced the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Awarded through the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Goodell won the fellowship in the category of creative/fine arts. Goodell was one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists chosen from a pool of close to 4,000 applicants.

The application itself required four letters of recommendation, a three to four page narrative about the applicant’s career and 18 images. Applicants are allowed to use any of their work from the previous five years, but Goodell only submitted work from the past year in efforts to highlight the amount of work she produced in one year. The application also required a proposal of what the applicant would do for the year with the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Through the Fellowship, Goodell will continue her vision-based project “Mesmer Eyes,” a 24-foot-long piece comprising 10,800 small, elliptical paintings and 21 optical lenses suspended from the ceiling.

“I want to expand on the work I’d done the previous year. I’ve needed time and funds to buy materials and I specified that I wanted to do more technical things,” Goodell said. “I’m interested in how I see, perception, what we filter out and how we focus, how that affects us internally. I’m interested in what’s tangible and also what is metaphysical.”

Goodell said she is due for a sabbatical so with this fellowship, she plans to travel to Europe for a month and is considering going to India, but she will mostly work in her studio here in New Paltz.

Though this is the 89th annual competition, this is not the first time Goodell applied for the fellowship.  Most recently, she applied for the fellowship in September and was exclusively notified by email in March. On April 11, the New York Times publicly announced the recipients of the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Lynnette Hudson, a fourth-year studio art major was called over by Goodell after she read the email.

“She asked me to read and reread the email to make sure we were reading the same thing,” Hudson said. “She went into the classroom and she said she got the fellowship. It was a good moment.”

Goodell said she is excited about the fellowship award.

“I don’t normally jump and scream but I did when I found out that I won the fellowship because the Guggenheim is such a rigorous process,” Goodell said. “It’s like a love pat for my peers and a vindication for my life’s work.”