Artist, WSU professor honored with top Oregon fellowship

Bawa-A-2013-80VANCOUVER, Wash. – Avantika Bawa, assistant professor of fine art at Washington State University Vancouver, is the 2014 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s Joan Shipley Award. Bawa was selected for outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work.

The Portland, Ore.‐based artist topped a group of 13 Oregon artists selected for fellowships from a pool of more than 190 applicants from 35 cities. Fellowships support artists working in visual arts and design and include small financial stipends.

Drawing Intervention, 2013. Tyvek, wood, graphite and paint

Oregon arts leader Shipley, who passed away in 2011, was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of arts and humanities organizations.

“I am interested in transforming the act of drawing into sculptural gestures that react formally and also conceptually to architectural spaces and their history,” says Bawa.

Her work has been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Art Papers, Art Lies, Art India and Art Asia Pacific. She has exhibited internationally, including at Suyama Space in Seattle, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland and in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia and the Drawing Center and Smack Mellon in New York.

Bawa received her master’s of fine art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.