Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum announces 2023 Brosseau Creativity Award recipients

Tue, 04/11/2023

Video still from “Sweeping up the Pieces: The Story of the Lost City of Tenochtitlan” by Raquel Ordoñez.

LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas has announced the 2023 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 videos, paintings, photographs, prints, poetry and prose. Students represented a range of disciplines, including English, neurobiology, theatre, urban planning and visual arts.

In the diverse media category, Raquel Ordoñez, of Goodland, was recognized for her video “Sweeping up the Pieces: The Story of the Lost City of Tenochtitlan.” Ordoñez, a senior in environmental studies and urban planning, created her video for a digital storytelling assignment in a History and Theory of Planning course taught by Bonnie Johnson, professor of urban planning. Ordoñez wanted to represent “the strength of Indigenous teachings that have lasted through destruction and fragmentation” and described the video as her “love letter to the lost city.”

In the writing category, Samiya Rasheed and Isabelle Parisi, longtime friends from Overland Park, were recognized for their illustrated creative essay “Electrochemical Translation: The Continued Relevance of Loewi’s Experiments.” Rasheed is a senior in biology and psychology, and Parisi is a senior in human biology and visual arts. The work centers on a metaphor comparing the translation of electricity and chemicals in neurons to miscommunication among family members. According to Rasheed, this was a true collaboration with Parisi that became “our own experiment into where the lines between science and art collapse.”

There were two honorable mentions in the writing category. Brad Mathewson, a senior in English and theatre from Topeka, wrote a personal essay, “How Cowboys Do.” Mathewson drew parallels between “the unattainable legend of the Kansan cowboy and the mythicization/allure of homosexual spaces and ‘ideal masculinity.’” Additionally, Jamie Hall, a junior in English from Shawnee, collaborated with Janie Rainer, a junior studying anthropology, microbiology, Spanish and creative writing from Overland Park, on the poetry collection “I LOVE DOGS.”

More information about the awards and excerpts from the recipients’ projects are available online.

Image: Video still from “Sweeping up the Pieces: The Story of the Lost City of Tenochtitlan” by Raquel Ordoñez.

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