Students earn Roloff Beny awards

The Roloff Beny Foundation Photographic Awards in Fine Arts provides outstanding students in photo-arts with an opportunity for travel in relation to their photographic activity. Any new or continuing students enrolled full-time in any BFA degree program who have a focused interest in photo-arts are eligible to apply for this competitive award.

The Roloff Beny Awards Committee met in January, and after considering a very high quality and competitive group of applications, made the decision to give out three scholarships of equal value in the amount of $3,333 to Jason Jessen (Art), Evan Van Reekum (New Media) and Yan Luo (Art).

Jessen is in his fourth year of study in a BFA in Art Studio program and has proposed to travel to northern Alberta to investigate the Cree aspect of his Yugoslavian/Cree hybrid identity. He will visit his home band, the Big Stone Band at Wabasca near Slave Lake, and do a photographic investigation of his indigenous identity.

Van Reekum is in his third year of study in a BFA in New Media program. His goal is to travel to Ireland with the aim of producing photographic essays concentrating on ideas of history and abandonment.

Luo is finishing his final year in a BFA in Art Studio program. He will endeavour to return to his home city of Shanghai to document issues of surveillance and authority with a new vision altered through his experiences living in North America.

In 2005, the Roloff Beny Foundation endowed $860,000 to the Department of Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, to generate ongoing funding for student scholarships and infrastructure costs in traditional and digital photo-arts.

In recognition of excellence in art instruction and research, the University of Lethbridge was one of five institutions across Canada selected for such an endowment. Since then $50,000 in scholarships have been awarded to students studying fine arts at the University of Lethbridge, providing them with a research-based travel opportunity in conjunction with their studies in photo-arts.