In the Loop
Student Stories : Nov 4, 2014

Sounds of Spirit: Retired UF professor develops travel grant for graduate students

By Jessie Ward

Each academic year brings new faces and talent to campus as students return in pursuit of their dreams. The Sounds of Spirit series tells the stories of four College of the Arts scholarship recipients and highlight the donors whose generosity helps UF students study the arts and brings unique cultural opportunities to the entire campus and community.

Last spring, Marty Fielding, a third-year graduate student in ceramics, was awarded the Jerry Cutler Graduate Student Travel Scholarship. Fielding’s work blends influences of form architecture, abstract painting and music. Geometric forms combined with painted color become utilitarian three dimensional color field paintings. Individual vessels and function-specific sets reference skyline and double as phrasing, rhythm and the chord structure in a song.

“Both architects and potters are fundamentally engaged in designing functional space,” explains Fielding. “Architecture holds people and people hold pottery. Like the sentiment in a song, I instill calmness in my vessels to be experienced through use and contemplation inside people’s homes.”

Jerry Cutler, a painter and retired studio teacher in the School of Art + Art History, and his wife determined that they would sponsor an award for travel to the art students.

“Our thinking over the years was that most students cannot travel to see art in situ at the museums or galleries,” said Cutler. “Gainesville does not have these most important possibilities to see the art.”

Fielding applied for the scholarship with a proposal to use the funds to travel to Miami to see and study the architecture of New World Center, a performing arts center designed by Frank Gehry.

“I had the pleasure of visiting the building, sketching, taking lots of photos and seeing a performance in the venue last May,” said Fielding. “My work has been strongly influenced by Frank Gehry and the New World Center is the first and only one of his buildings that I’ve seen in person. I was very excited to receive funding to have this experience.”

For a look at Fielding’s work, visit his blog here or his Facebook page here.

Support the School of Art + Art History

From creating a scholarship to a planned gift, there are many ways to give back. To learn how you can support School of Art + Art History students, contact the Office of Development staff