KCAI professor wins Fulbright Award

4 May 2011

Diana Heise, special assistant professor in photography and digital filmmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute, has won a 2012 Fulbright Award in Creative and Performing Arts. The title of her project is ”Free Form: Challenging Oppression Through Creativity in Mauritius.” 

“I will produce performance works that respond to and incorporate the creative traditions of literature, maroonage and dance developed by Mauritians to challenge the oppression of labor diaspora,” Heise said. “These pieces will be videotaped and combined with other performances produced in New Orleans and the Caribbean. By drawing connections between these parallel traditions of resistance, ‘Free Form’ intends to make positive associations between the Creole populations in Mauritius, the United States and the Caribbean to inspire greater mutual understanding of our post-colonial context.”
About Diana Heise
Diana Heise’s practice engages video, photography, performance, installation, film, writing, sculpture, public intervention and sound. Heise’s work is invested in exploring psychological states and creating a free space for contemplation that lends itself to the promotion of awareness and non-violence. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals internationally, including at the Brooklyn Museum, the Film Anthology Archives, Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, and the Salar Jung Museum, Hyberabad, India. She is also a recipient of a Performance Art Fund Grant from the Franklin Furnace Inc. as well as a Presidential Fellowship at the American University in Cairo.
Heise is currently a resident artist at The Studios, Inc., in Kansas City, Mo. She has spoken about her work in venues such as the Parsons School of Art and Design, the H&R Block Artspace and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. After receiving a research grant from Vassar College, she published her research on Slovene art collectives in Global and Local Art Histories, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Her curatorial projects include exhibitions with artists such as Aziz + Cucher, Julia Jacquette and Karen Rifas.  She holds an M.F.A. degree in photography, video and related media from the School of Visual Arts and a B.A. degree in art history from Vassar College. She lives and works in Kansas City, Mo., and North Hero, Vt. For more information, visit www.dianaheise.com.
About the Fulbright program
The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, Department of State, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
The Fulbright Program provides participants -- chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential -- with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Grants are available for U.S. citizens to go abroad and for non-U.S. citizens with no U.S. permanent residence to come to the U.S. The Fulbright program is an important element of the United States' bilateral relationships with countries around the world. U.S. and foreign governments jointly set priorities for the exchanges
The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
The grant is officially awarded by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which is a presidentially appointed 12-member board that is responsible for establishing worldwide policies for the Fulbright program and selecting recipients of the fellowship. For more information about the program, visit http://fulbright.state.gov/.
About the Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.
Contact: Anne Canfield, 816-802-3426 or acanfield@kcai.edu