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Scholarship Essays

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Marshall Scholarship Essay Example 1 - Proposed Academic Program

Propose Academic Program for Study

I earned my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Art & Design in 2006 from [my university]. Since graduating, I have held two artist residencies and worked as an arts educator in impoverished urban and rural communities. These experiences have made me crave the ability to affect more people in new places with my work, which is why I would like to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree. Scotland has a rich, 10,000-year-old history. I want to investigate the history of Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry. I am fascinated by formerly industry based urban areas, and how the populations once in these industries (whether it is shipbuilding in Glasgow, steel in Baltimore, or cars in Detroit) change and are affected differently during the height, decline, and renewal periods of the industrial-economic shift.

For a performance artist, the Glasgow School of Fine Art provides the perfect academic and cultural environment. The GSA’s strong support of students creating work in a variety of media, especially time-based work and performance, make it a perfect match for my approach to art making. The School is a small, highly focused international community of artists that encourages socially engaged artwork. Several of the School’s faculty members, a number of whom are performances artists, have received or been finalists for the Turner Prize. Because the focus of my work is on the reenactment and creative exploration of local histories, I seek to study under Julie Roberts, Edward Stewart, Stephanie Smith, and Alan Currall. Roberts is known for her paintings that investigate objects associated with medical institutions. Edward Stewart and Stephanie Smith are performance artists concerned with researching the politics of identity and gender. Alan Currall is a master of using his life, relationships, and surroundings as creative media. I am eager to see how my work responds to, benefits from, and is challenged by an entirely new academic and cultural environment.

I anticipate my work in the MFA Program will combine historical research, performance, painting, and installation to further my creative investigation of local histories. I envision my creative research as a sustained and thorough inquiry into the history of the people, places, and events surrounding the shipbuilding industry in Glasgow. I will utilize The Glasgow Museum of Transport, The Kevlingrove Museum & Art Gallery, The Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society, The Mitchell Library, The Museum of Scottish Country Life, word of mouth, tall tales, rumors, and local gossip to conduct my creative historical research.

Marshall/Choosing the UK

My multidisciplinary, creative investigations of local histories in towns and cities of the United States have proven fascinating, challenging, and rewarding. The most creatively lucrative have been my explorations of places where I am, initially, a total outsider. I then use art as a way to become an insider, to gain access to the essence of a by inserting myself as a character in its past. It is exhilarating and inspiring to consider how many more historical individuals, places, events, and industries I would be able to explore in Glasgow, the largest city in a country whose roots stretch back to prehistoric times.

Original Source: University of Michigan Provost

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