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Ohio Northern University alumna earns prestigious artist residency in France

ImageMarch—This summer, Mayumi Kiefer, BFA/studio arts ’12, will be participating in an incredible cultural and artistic exchange. Each year, the Vallauris Artist in Residency Program selects international artists to research and create new works in a unique setting.

Located in the heart of the old town Vallauris, the residency will take place from May 20—June 27, 2014. While there, Mayumi will work on two projects. One will refine her East/West 3D tile work she completed during her capstone experience at Ohio Northern. She will be delving deeper into the cultural flow of art between France and Japan during the late 19th century, and that effect on modern art worldwide. The other project will focus on her “Bell Jar,” “Urn (Big Cup)” and “Soldier” line to further explore her artistic concepts. At the conclusion of her residency, Mayumi will be exhibiting her works June 21–27 in Vallauris.

The town was the summer home of Picasso. Located at the foot of the Alps, Vallauris has been the center for ceramic arts in Europe for a number of years. The residency became active in October, 2001 and has the primary objectives of supporting contemporary creation, education in the field of ceramic arts, and the organization of cultural events.

The A.I.R. Vallauris accommodates several artists at a given time for a period of one to two months in its residence and studios. Artists work in a well equipped studio, live in individual furnished spaces, and are afforded access to a gallery where their works are displayed and celebrated at the end of their residency period. The quality of artistic creation is one of the major concerns addressed by the program. A selection committee evaluates applicants based on their artistic experience, merit and project proposal. Over approximately a ten-year period, over 150 gifted artists from 30 different nationalities have participated in the A.I.R. program.

While a student at Ohio Northern, Mayumi was a recipient of the 2012 Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUO) Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (EVA). The award recognized outstanding students from art programs at independent colleges and universities in every region of Ohio. Along with her husband, Mayumi founded the Artists Against Hunger project. The main event raised awareness about hunger in the local community and provided money for the county’s Backpack Program. She also was inducted into Kappa Pi, the national art honorary, and graduated with honors.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide.

image: Mayumi accepting the EVA award in 2012 from AICUO President, C. Todd Jones.