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Film/Video Professor Lisa Crafts Wins Coveted Guggenheim Fellowship 

L-R: Lisa Crafts; still from Overgrowth, the animated film Crafts will complete under the Guggenheim Fellowship

Lisa Crafts, adjunct assistant professor in the Film/Video Department, has been named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, one of fewer than 200 artists in the country to receive this prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City. Crafts, an animator, After Effects artist, and painter, joined Pratt in 2005.

The 12-month fellowship will enable her to work on
Overgrowth, an animated film and installation work informed by current scientific and social writings about the impact of humans on the natural world.

“I’m incredibly excited about this project, and so grateful for the time to work on it that this Fellowship will provide,” said Crafts, a self-taught artist who hails from Massachusetts and moved to lower-Manhattan in the mid-1980s. She has previously received grants from The Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as a summer residency at The MacDowell Colony.

Still from The Flooded Playground, an animated film by Lisa CraftsCrafts will be the third member of Pratt's Film/Video Department to have earned the prestigious and highly competitive Guggenheim Fellowship. Jacki Ochs, adjunct associate professor, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001 and Leighton Pierce, the chair of the department, won the fellowship in 2000.

Only 180 artists out of the 3,000 who applied won the coveted mid-career award, given to artists who demonstrate exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Crafts’ independent films have been shown in festivals, museums, theaters, and on television in Europe, Japan, Korea, and throughout the United States, and she has been commissioned to do animation for independent documentaries, Sesame Street, and the American Movie Classics television channel.

“Lisa’s Guggenheim Fellowship will support a new project that I expect to be as quirky, dark, and funny as her previous films,” said department chair Leighton Pierce.  “She is responsible for one of our most popular courses—Graphics and the Moving Image—a course that bridges techniques of motion graphics, animation, and live-action short film making. Lisa is a great teacher who has also balanced a successful professional film career (earning many commissions) with her own personal studio work.” 

Prior to teaching at Pratt, Crafts taught at Parsons, Boston College, and Tufts University’s Experimental College. She has given guest lectures at many schools, including Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design, and has served as curator of animation programs in the U.S. and Japan.

Every artist’s work involves pursuing ideas and technical skills that they must develop on their own,” said Crafts. “One important aspect of my teaching includes providing students with the tools and confidence to keep expanding their work into new realms after graduation.”

Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Images: Courtesy of Lisa Crafts

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    Gateway - Around Campus and Beyond - Film/Video Professor Lisa Crafts Wins Coveted Guggenheim Fellowship
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    Gateway - Around Campus and Beyond - Film/Video Professor Lisa Crafts Wins Coveted Guggenheim Fellowship

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