Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., May 20, 2014—The Williams College Office of Fellowships has awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowships to five graduating seniors pursuing careers in the arts: Vera Gould, Sato Matsui, Nickolas Maziarka, Randy Reyes, and Elizabeth Stern.
The Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship is a cash award established in 1940 that is granted to a member or members of the graduating class to support their continued work in the creative and performing arts. Prizes of $18,000 are awarded in the categories of writing, art, dance, theater, and music.
Vera Gould, a chemistry and math double major, plans to use her Hutchinson Fellowship to make art inspired by her scientific perspective. “Science and math offer a beautiful way of perceiving the world,” she said. “The ideas in biology, chemistry, math, and computer science have shaped my understanding of physical reality as well as my own psychological state. Visual art is the only way that I have found to truthfully express the beauty of these ideas.”
Gould, who is from San Francisco, is particularly interested in evolution and how complex systems evolve from simpler systems. “My aesthetic is quite decorative, with lots of abstract flowery patterns and swirly lines, but it often has a sinister element,” she said.
Gould’s work this semester has focused on a merging of 2D and 3D art with an eight by twelve foot tapestry-like piece using acrylic, enamel, and spray paint on raw unstretched canvas, adding found fabrics, feathers, branches, and glass beads. The piece was on display at the Williams College Museum of Art during the senior art major exhibition.
Sato Matsui, a music major originally from Chitose, Japan, who now calls Williamstown, Mass., home, says that winning the Hutchinson Fellowship will allow her to attend an intensive composition program in Paris this summer and then begin a graduate program in composition next fall.
Her long-term vision is to help revive a more vibrant classical music culture. “Our generation is interested in building healthy, inclusive communities,” she said. “I think art should further exude this energy.” As a composer, she hopes to bring music to the generation she identifies as “tackling social issues like LGBTQ rights, immigration laws, gender equality, and access to universal health insurance.”
“To me, the failure of modern classical music to bring together a community reveals a major flaw in our music culture, and I hope that my music will invite rather than select listeners,” she said. “I want classical music to be an exciting social scene once again with an audience that feels deep connection with the music of today.”
Nickolas Maziarka, an English and computer science double major from Round Lake, Ill., will use his Hutchinson Fellowship to support himself while living and writing in New York City. He plans to strengthen his portfolio in order to apply for an M.F.A. in writing.
“I’ve been interested in writing almost as long as I’ve been interested in reading seriously,” he said. “Feeling a strong connection with literature on the receiving end, I began to wonder what it might be like to create literature of my own.”
Maziarka hopes that his writing will not only explore larger issues, but also help him develop a better understanding of his role in the world. “Hopefully I can locate in my writing a human quality that will be rewarding, and maybe impactful, for people who read my work,” he said.
Randy Reyes, from West New York, N.J., is completing a contract major in experimental dance and performance studies. He will use his Hutchinson Fellowship to travel to Berlin to participate in the SMASH summer dance intensive training in experimental physical performance. While in Berlin, he will perform a solo piece or present a film excerpt from his Williams thesis “Expanding Traces, Intimate Spaces” as part of the 10th anniversary of Tanzfabrik, the dance school at which he was a student during his junior year abroad.
Reyes said that “the creative process of performance-making is much more than the product. It is about engaging audiences and performers in a transformative experience that allows us to see that we are connected to something more grand than ourselves.”
Reyes is auditioning for a one-year choreography program at SEAD Academy in Salzburg, Austria, and said he was “in the midst of deciding between Salzburg or doing community outreach work through performance-making in New York City.” Eventually, Reyes plans to pursue a master’s degree in performing arts.
Elizabeth Stern, a theater and English double major from New York, N.Y., will travel to Turkey, where she studied in the fall of her junior year and where she conducted an in-depth ethnographic research project on Turkey’s state theatre system. She hopes to continue this work in Istanbul and write a play about her experiences before returning to New York City to pursue a career in playwriting and new play development.
“I want to probe questions I have explored in my English thesis on Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism, and with which I am experimenting in an independent study in advanced playwriting with Professor Amy Holzapfel,” she said. “How does the creation of cultural and national barriers help us construct a sense of our personal identity?”
“On the fault-line of East and West, Turkey is at the heart of these critical considerations,” she continued. “I especially want to tackle these questions in the theatre because it has always been a creative and artistic haven of empathy that can inspire change. It is thus an ideal medium for interrogating supposedly stable or inherent geopolitical and cultural conceptions.”
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.