Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Award Recipients
Congratulations to University of New Mexico MFA Candidate’s Viola Arduini and Teena Lee Ryan on receiving Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Award! The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar (EVAS) series offers professional space for two Master of Fine Art graduate students per year as their final thesis show. The culminating exhibition launches them into their profession as an artist. With the series, we underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s innovative contemporary art scene.
Viola Arduini is an Italian, multidisciplinary artist currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In her work, she investigates the relationships formed by humans, nature, and technology. Arduini specifically addresses ideas of ecologies through stories of embodiment. These stories are told through empathy and her unique visual language which utilizes appropriated and reconceptualized scientific concepts, structures, and procedures. Arduini’s practice illuminates scientific language to compassionately make visible the more-than-human, in order to foster connections from micro to macro.
Arduini received a Bachelor of Arts from NABA New Academy of Fine Arts, Milano, Italy in 2010 and a Master of Arts in Documentary Photography from University of South Wales, Newport, UK in 2015. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Art & Ecology from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been included in group exhibitions in the US and Europe, including Santa Fe Art Institute (NM), Ffotogallery in Cardiff (UK), and VIII Edition of Centrale Fotografia (IT). She is current recipients for the Maryann Evans Scholarship for Graduate Students in Art Studio and the Andrew Mellon Foundation for Art & Ecology Fellowship.
TEENA LEE RYAN is a visual artist living and working in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA degree in photography at the University of New Mexico.
She received portfolio scholarships from The University of Cincinnati – D.A.A.P. and The Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she attended Art Studio and Art History classes at both schools before graduating Cum Laude with a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin.
Since 1999 Teena’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions throughout the southwest and midwest, as well as in the Photographer’s Forum Best of Photography 2014 publication.