CSU, Chico News

Art Student Wins Prestigious Windgate Fellowship

Date: 06-03-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Cameron Crawford
Department of Art and Art History

Meaghan Gates, who graduated this spring with a BFA in Ceramics from California State University, Chico, has been selected as a 2011 Windgate Fellowship recipient. The selection carries an award of $15,000. Gates was one of 10 graduating seniors selected from 94 applicants from 73 universities across the country.

The Windgate Fellowship is exceptionally competitive, according to both Cameron Crawford, who teaches ceramics, and Robert Herhusky, who teaches glassmaking at CSU, Chico. This is the second year that a CSU, Chico art student has won the fellowship. Last year, David Strock, who received a BFA in glassmaking, also received the $15,000 fellowship. The award allows the winners to carry out a fine arts project supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

“Meaghan possesses a strong work ethic, which carried her through a series of ambitious projects while at Chico State,” said Crawford. “She quickly realized the importance of working in a series and was able to complete three strong bodies of work during her time here. Having just completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts program in ceramics, she is at a point in her development where she will benefit immensely from this rare opportunity.”

Gates’ fellowship will allow her to travel to Japan and China to study traditional and contemporary Asian ceramic practice. She will visit a ceramic center in Seto, Japan, and then work with a master potter in China. Gates, who works primarily in ceramics, also has a strong background in glass.

Strock is currently working in a small glass studio in Denmark. He won his Windgate Fellowship for a body of work that involved the accurate replication of throwaway plastic objects in glass. “They were exceptional in their verisimilitude and perfection of the craft of glassmaking,” said Herhusky.

Before embarking on their individual projects, Gates and Strock will meet in Europe this summer and visit the glass center of Murano, off the shore of Venice, and from there, head to Crete and a glass studio at Kokkino Chorio.

“This fellowship will provide both of them with incredible experience and cash to spend a year immersed in their chosen mediums,” said Herhusky. “For a Chico student to win one Windgate Fellowship last year was phenomenal. To win two in two years is unbelievable and speaks so well for these two extraordinary students and the art department.”