April 21, 2015

Digital Arts Writing Awards recipients

Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation
Recipients of the 2015 Arts Writing Fellowship Awards from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. Left: Jon Ippolito. Right: Joanna McNeil. Photo: Clayton Cubitt.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation announces today the recipients and the selection committee for its inaugural Arts Writing Fellowship Awards in the digital arts. The fellowships are no-strings-attached, merit-based awards recognizing the achievements of both an established and an emerging arts writer in the U.S. who have contributed significantly to the field of writing in the digital arts. The Arts Writing Fellowship Awards are the first of their kind to target the importance of arts writing that directly advances the scholarship, criticism and theory of the digital arts and evolving technologies within contemporary art.

Jon Ippolito received the 30,000 USD award for an established arts writer in the U.S. who has made significant contributions to writing in the digital arts. Jon Ippolito is Professor of New Media and Director of the Digital Curation program at the University of Maine, and from 1991 to 2006 was Associate Curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum. His current projects—including the Variable Media Network, ThoughtMesh and his co-authored books At the Edge of Art and Re-collection—aim to expand the art world beyond its traditional preoccupations.

Joanne McNeil received the 15,000 USD award for an emerging arts writer in the U.S. who demonstrates great potential in writing in the digital arts. Joanne McNeil is a New York-based writer who was both a resident at Eyebeam in 2014 and a 2012 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism fellow. Her writing has appeared in Frieze, Dissent and Domus. She contributed to books published by Space Caviar, AND / The Piracy Project and Walker Art Center.

Ippolito and McNeil were selected from a pool of 21 nominations solicited from 15 prominent curators, writers and educators across the United States.

The selection committee that reviewed the nominee applications was comprised of three well-respected arts professionals with extensive knowledge of digital arts writing. This year’s selection committee included Michael Connor, Artistic Director of Rhizome; Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at SFMOMA; and Christiane Paul, Associate Professor, School of Media Studies at The New School and Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Carl Thoma, co-founder of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, said, “We are thrilled with the selection committee’s decisions. Jon Ippolito and Joanne McNeil embody the mission of the awards, which is to advance the scholarship and broaden awareness of the field of digital arts. We chose to focus on writers in the United States where there is a strong need to support this field.”

The Thoma Foundation is committed to sustaining the program over a three-year pilot phase, and potentially beyond. The Foundation has expressed the strong belief that arts writing plays an important role in securing the unique place of digital art in art history and in providing crucial commentary on current culture and daily life.


About the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation
The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation recognizes the power of the arts to challenge and shift perceptions, spark creativity and connect people across cultures. The Foundation lends and exhibits artworks from the collection and supports innovative individuals and pivotal initiatives in the arts.

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Jenni Higginbotham, Communications Coordinator, Thoma Foundation
T +505 995 0231 office / T +256 527 5162 cell / [email protected]


Inaugural Digital Arts Writing Awards recipients announced by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation

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