LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas has announced the 2022 recipients of the Jack & Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards. Established by benefactor Lavon Brosseau in 2011, the awards honor innovative and risk-taking creative work in the categories of writing and diverse media from KU undergraduate students in any area of study.
Submissions included glass work, installations, textiles, photography, poetry, printmaking and textiles. They represented a range of disciplines, including English, visual art, classical humanities, art history, religious studies and creative writing.
In the writing category, Joshua Rubino, of Salina, was recognized for his poetry collection “small significant things,” which is part of his departmental honors thesis. Rubino’s poems consider the mystery of small things while connecting with nature and using evocative language and experiential metaphors. Rubino said he hoped the poems “show that existence is much messier than one might admit, and that it is precisely this messiness that makes it beautiful.” Rubino is a senior in English with a minor in religious studies.
In the diverse media category, MJ Johnson, of McLouth, and Emma Hug, of Lenexa, were recognized for their experiential artwork “Fast.” This immersive installation explores the lived experience and lasting impact of trauma and sexism. Johnson said a goal of the work was to “remove the weight off of the shoulders of survivors.” Johnson is a junior in visual arts, and Hug is a senior in fine arts; both are minoring in the history of art.
An honorable mention in the diverse media category went to a collaborative work by Rubino and Connor O’Neill, of Overland Park, for their book “Since I Was A Boy,” which combines poetic explorations of masculinity with conceptual bookmaking. O’Neill is a junior in visual communication.
More information about the awards and excerpts from the recipients’ projects are available online.
Image: Installation photo from “Fast” by MJ Johnson and Emma Hug.