Stack Receives Annual Hartell Award

two women examine an orange-colored sculpture suspended from chains
Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), center, in the studio with spring 2019 visiting artist Natani Notah (B.F.A. '14). William Staffeld / AAP
a yellow pole extending from a wall
Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), a lie is liquid PVA glue (2019). photo / provided
a section of corrugated metal painted with red, pink, and blue and the words so baroque
Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), so baroque (2019). photo / provided
Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), center, in the studio with spring 2019 visiting artist Natani Notah (B.F.A. '14). William Staffeld / AAP Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), a lie is liquid PVA glue (2019). photo / provided Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20), so baroque (2019). photo / provided
News
November 20, 2019

Ciara Stack (M.F.A. '20) is the 2019 recipient of the John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in recognition of graduate student excellence in studio practice.

Stack works in mixed media, drawing, video, ceramic sculpture, and photography using iconic forms and images as a ground to set up relationships between digital spaces, crafted objects, and industrial materials.

"I think of my work as existing between the languages of hardware and poetry," Stack said. "Various states of 'in-between' or precarity precede much of my sculpture. My work documents objects in transition from something recognizable to a strange state of creation or destruction."

Stack has a background in literature, and, like other feminist artistic practices, she involves "language as a material" in her work.

"Mining the visualization of a kind of dystopic sci-fi future, my work aims to give agency to emotional states — states produced by extreme external forces that trespass upon our interior, intimate, and imaginative spaces."

Born in Cork, Ireland, Stack attended University College Cork, where she earned a B.A. in English and history of art in 2007, and Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick City, Ireland, 2007–08. In the U.S., she studied at New York Studio School in New York City 2014–16, and Virginia Commonwealth University's Summer Studio Program, sculpture and extended media, in 2016. Her studies at New York Studio School were supplemented by several scholarships and awards: the Absolut Scholarship (2016), the Bob and Gina Goldhammer Scholarship Fund Award (2015), the Charles Cajori Scholarship (2014), and the Milton and Sally Avery Scholarship (2014).

The John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture was established in memory of John Hartell by members of his family, friends, and former students after his death in October 1995. Hartell joined the architecture faculty in 1930 and the art faculty in 1940 and served as chair of the art department from 1940 until 1959. A monetary prize is part of the award.

"I am grateful and excited to be the recipient of the 2019 John Hartell Graduate Award," Stack said. "I look forward to being in the studio over the next months."

By Patti Witten