Professor Receives Al Smith Fellowship Award from Kentucky Arts Council

Szorad photo

Felicia Szorad, professor and coordinator of the Metals/Jewelry Program at Eastern Kentucky University, has received one of eight Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship awards from the Kentucky Arts Council (KAC).

The program supports Kentucky artists engaged in creating work of high quality and recognizes creative excellence in practicing, professional Kentucky artists. The fellowship awards are named after Al Smith, a retired Kentucky journalist and past arts council board chair. Each recipient is awarded $7,500.

Szorad, who joined the EKU faculty in 2001, previously received a Kentucky Arts Council Professional Assistance Grant and a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant. In 2009, she received the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Award in recognition of her work in jewelry and metalsmithing. Szorad has exhibited her work nationally.

One of the seven other fellowships went to EKU graduate Brandon Smith, now a lecturer at the University of Kentucky. Smith, who specializes in painting/acrylic, earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Eastern in 2000, and has exhibited his work in more than 10 states.

"Across the nation today, artists are changing and improving their communities, playing major roles in community development and revitalization," said KAC Executive Director Lori Meadows. "Programs like the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships have the potential to make a difference for much more than the artist who receives them. The arts council is glad it can continue to offer this support to Kentucky’s artists."

The selection process for the fellowship awards uses a "blind jurying" system that does not provide the selection panel with applicants' names; the panel reviews the work samples and applications according to application numbers only. Criteria for the awards include artistic excellence and professional achievement.

Also, 2010 EKU graduate Lyndsey Fryman received an Emerging Artist Award from the KAC. Her specialty is ceramics.

Published on July 23, 2013