Ucross Foundation Welcomes New Residents

Ucross Foundation recently announced artist Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo) will receive the Spring 2021 Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists. Naranjo Morse is the seventh Native American artist to receive this award, which includes a four-week residency at Ucross. Naranjo Morse is an artist whose work explores aspects of life journey through drawing and sculpture. She is receiving uninterrupted time, studio space, and living accommodations at the Ucross Foundation, as well as a $2,000 stipend and a featured exhibition.

According to the news release, Naranjo Morse is informed, inspired, and challenged by current events, generational exchange and spiritual existence, her artworks tell stories about who we are. Naranjo Morse was born in 1980 in New Mexico where she lives and works. She is also the proud art teacher at Kha’p’o Community School in Santa Clara Pueblo.

“Being invited to experience Ucross on this Apsaalooke land reaffirms to me two things: 1). That a stunning and interconnected strength comes from individuals who have plenty using their resources to support others to grow, and 2). That creating a respectful and loving relationship with land uncovers its all-encompassing power. I am humbled to bear witness to this combination of power expressed in this precious place and am thankful to all those who have put their hands into making it so,” she said.

Sharon Dynak, President and Executive Director at Ucross, said, “Eliza is an extraordinary multi-disciplinary artist; we are so fortunate to have her join us this year. It is contemporary and diverse artists like her that will continue to shape the artistic landscape of this country. Now more than ever artists need our support, and we are pleased to welcome Eliza as a Native American Visual Fellow,”

Ucross, also announced the establishment of a new partnership with Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. An annual fellowship will award four weeks of Ucross residency time to accomplished artists and/or scholars in the field of music. This year, the inaugural fellowship will be given to two composers, who will each receive two-week residencies at Ucross: composer and doctoral student, Nicky Sohn, and Assistant Professor of Musicology at Rice University, Danielle Ward-Griffin.

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional orchestra, the wide-ranging talents of composer and fellowship recipient Sohn are sought after across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Sohn has enjoyed commissions from the world’s preeminent performing arts institutions, including sold-out performances at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The National Orchestra of Korea, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ward-Griffin is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at Rice University. Her work focuses on how the performance and production of opera have been transformed through new media, and she is currently writing a book on opera on television in the 1950s and 1960s.. She holds PhD and master’s degrees from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University.

Sharon Dynak, Ucross President and Executive Director, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome these first Rice Fellows and know their experience at Ucross will be transformative. Our partnership with the Shepherd School of Music will further enhance our programs and open the doors to promising composers, musicians, and scholars from the university.”

As part of Ucross’ continued commitment to support artists, for the first time the program is proud to offer $1,000 stipends to every incoming resident. The stipends will help defray the cost of travel and other expenses associated with a residency.

“This season, Ucross is reasserting our commitment to individual artists by offering stipends, a goal we are very happy to meet after hearing from our artists,” said Sharon Dynak, Ucross President and Executive Director. “We recognize the expenses incurred with a residency and want to help lessen the burden so that the work comes first for our residents. A gift of residency isn’t a gift if it’s a hardship to attend.”

Twenty-nine artists, working in a variety of disciplines, including visual art, writing, music, and dance, will receive uninterrupted time, studio space, and living accommodations on Ucross’s spectacular 20,000-acre ranch at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.

The Spring 2021 list includes artists from 12 states and four countries, as well as artists coming to Ucross through partnerships with The University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Additional fellowship partnerships include the Aura Estrada and Herb Alpert awards.

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