Smithsonian Institution Grants Fellowship to Professor in School of Architecture

Feb. 21, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—Sergio Palleroni, associate professor and research fellow in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin, is one of nine artists worldwide who have been awarded an Artist Research Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Artist Research Fellowship Program is a pilot program introduced last year to award research fellowships to established artists.

"Under Secretary for Art Ned Rifkin and I envision this program as a way to serve artists by making the Smithsonian's rich resources, including its vast collections, archives and researchers, available to them," said Susan Talbott, director of Smithsonian Arts. "In this way, we stimulate artistic exploration and, at the same time, encourage interaction among Smithsonian museums and disciplines."

Nominated by the director of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Building Museum, Palleroni has spent over two decades conducting architectural design-and-build workshops in marginalized communities around the world. He will collaborate with the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of African Art in researching design that benefits communities in need throughout the United States.

"We know that plantations were often built and designed by the slaves that would work on them and that there is a rich tradition among the Amish, Quakers and other early Pennsylvania groups in community barn raising," said Palleroni. "These are a few examples (of design) that illustrate a rich and diverse tradition and a range of ethnicities and cultures that make up this country.

"My hope is to begin to create an autobiography of our experience in this country—which is, in a sense, the roots of my own work teaching design-and-build studios."

The artists were selected from a pool of 27 nominees by a panel of art curators and administrators from the Smithsonian and from various other institutions. The paid fellowships amount to $5,000 a month for up to six months.

The other eight artists awarded fellowships are Ghada Amer (New York), Sandow Birk (Long Beach, Calif.), Bjorn Dehlem (Berlin), Terence Gower (New York), Shih Chieh Huang (New York), Nene Humphrey (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Tim Rollins (New York) and Sue Williamson (Cape Town, South Africa).

For more information contact: Amy Maverick Crossette, School of Architecture, 512-573-1078.