Library Awards Grants to Students for Creative Projects

February 27, 2018

Six UNC-Chapel Hill students have received Incubator Awards from the University Libraries. The grants will allow them to complete creative projects that make use of the libraries’ rare and historical special collections.

Anne Bennett, Ayla Gizlice, Joel Hopler, Margaret Maurer, Karly Smith and Emily Yue will receive financial and research support from the University Libraries to complete their projects, which range from paintings to musical compositions to short films and performance.

The Incubator Awards are funded by an internal Libraries innovation grant. The concept comes from the now-concluded Library as Incubator Project, which promoted collaboration between libraries and artists of all types.

Portrait of five Incubator Awards recipients

Incubator Award recipients (l to r): Ayla Gizlice, Anne Bennett, Karly Smith, Margaret Maurer, Joel Hopler (Not pictured: Emily Yue)

Incubator Award Winners

Bennett will use archival material, such as letters and poetry, from the Wilson Special Collections Library to research jazz music and its roots prior to the Reconstruction Era. She will then create five jazz compositions that explore the link between jazz and slavery.

Gizlice will use correspondence, visual material and rare books from the Wilson Special Collections Library, along with artist’s books from the Sloane Art Library. Gizlice intends to produce an artist’s book, video or performance piece dealing with themes of trust, power and intimacy.

Hopler will create a series of paintings investigating contemporary American fatherhood. He will conduct research into the history of comics, book making and etchings in the Rare Book Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library, and zines and facsimile content from the Sloane Art Library.

Maurer will research apocalyptic narratives throughout history at the Wilson Special Collections Library with the goal of transcribing “The most auntient historie of God and Man,” a 17th-century manuscript poem. She will then incorporate the tropes characters, stories, themes and ideas from the poem into a party-performance where both the audience and the actors participate in an interactive story about the apocalypse.

Smith will consult archival materials to research the historical experiences of African-Americans at UNC-Chapel Hill. She will create a short film based on her research that tackles themes such as the history of the Black Student Movement and the usage of slaves and indentured servants to build the University.

Yue’s project, “Queer Bodies, Tender Hearts,” will be a mixed-media deck of tarot cards that feature queer subjects, with a special focus on transgender people and queer people of color. Yue will use the Wilson Special Collections Library and Sloane Art Library to examine the history of tarot and LGBTQ-centered art, as well as artist’s books, zines, book arts and other ways of presenting experiences through photography and printed material.

All recipients of grants from the Incubator Awards will present their projects at an Incubator Award Showcase on April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Library. The program will be free and open to the public.

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