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The Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship Announces 2017 Winner

The Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship is pleased to announce that the 2017 Fellowship Jury has selected Katrina Fuller, 16, as this year’s winner. Since its founding in 2014, The Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship has sought to empower young artists to realize extraordinary independent projects. A merit-based award of up to $10,000, the Fellowship calls upon young artists from any background or country to submit proposals for the independent creation of artworks. As in previous years, the 2017 Fellowship was open to young artists aged 14-18.

Katrina Fuller, a student at Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY, proposed through intense research and study, to create a large deteriorating anthropomorphic coral reef. In her winning proposal, Katrina wrote, “With the support of the Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship, I hope to make a coral reef comprised of human biological structures that are motifs in our naturalenvironment. I am especially fascinated by the parallel between neural and seascape patterns such as: neuron dendrites and the branches of a gorgoniansea fan, or cerebral sulci and diploria strigosa sea sponges. In relation to our impending self-induced sixth extinction, I aim to challenge the American exceptionalist character that has sculpted a nationwide assumption of superiority over nature. I believe that humanizing nature will conjure an intimate sense of empathy with our natural environment, an empathy that is of greater urgency than most people seem to realize.”

Fuller’s ambitious project involves extensive research and development to understand her subject matter. She is interested in not only the biology of the human form, but also the harmful impact of human social behaviors. Her specific concern lies in climate change. She is interested in ways in which she can construct anthropomorphic coral reef structures to raise concerns about the devastating changes our planet is experiencing. Through an internship at the SUNY Downstate Neuropathology Department, Fuller has been fostering a fascination with neuroscience that will inform her sculpture of a deteriorating coral reef.

Fuller’s proposal was chosen by a distinguished jury including independent art dealer Helena Anrather; photographer Antonio Bolfo; artist Ben Thorp Brown; artist Ian Cheng; artist Meena Hasan; Kelly Kivland, Associate Curator, Dia Art Foundation; Gracie Mansion, Senior Specialist, artnet Auctions; artist Rachel Rose; Xiaoyu Weng, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director, David Zwirner Books.

The annual Fellowship Dinner, hosted by Jeffrey and Priscilla Ahn, took place on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at The Metropolitan Club of New York. The evening’s program honored Fuller and acknowledge the contributions of the Fellowship’s Patrons and the 2017 Jury, with opportunities for attendees to pledge gifts to the Fellowship. The festivities included an award ceremony; remarks from members of the Fellowship’s Board of Directors, comprised of Priscilla Ahn, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, and Melissa Ko; and a special lucky draw donated to the event by Americana Manhasset. The event also featured a look back at 2016 Fellow Richard Medina's completed project, Arizona Remains, a sculptural work created from casting a dry river bed on a small plot of land in Arizona which Richard purchased as part of his fellowhip project. Arizona Remains was exhibited as part of a larger solo show for Richard, SEX LAND POWER, that took place on November 20, 2016 at Project 1612 in Peoria, Illinois.

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