In the Loop
Student Stories : Nov 3, 2016

UF Ceramics MFA student wins Albert Murray Scholarship

By Rachel Sherman

Paige Ward, a third year MFA ceramics student, was awarded the Albert Murray Scholarship for her thesis exhibition. Not only has Ward made the UF community proud of her accomplishments, she has also made great strides in her artistic career.

She accredits the scholarship win to her faculty and colleagues because she learned about the Albert Murray Educational Fund through them. They also fueled her perseverance for winning the scholarship because they guided her through the grueling application process. After applying four times for the scholarship, Ward was finally able to say she’s the recipient of this prestigious award.

Ward will use her scholarship earnings for research and development of her thesis exhibition, which will take place in spring 2017 at the University Gallery.

Her thesis will incorporate the notion of security, which Ward has explored through her graduate work at the University of Florida. Ward asks the following questions in her research, “Where do we find security?” and “Can we find complete security in this life?”

Ward uses an assortment of materials in her ceramic work, which include sand, clay, steel, concrete, wood, and ground soil. These materials are then juxtaposed with one another in poetic compositions to create moments of tension, balance, irony, and uncertainty, she said.

“My work brings about an awareness of the temporality and challenge of life with the hope of pointing towards something more,” Ward said.  

Her thesis exhibition will employ different sized hemisphere shapes that all balance on their point alluding to concepts such as imbalance and instability. Additionally, her work will include a series of pillow forms that are ironically created from a number of hard and uncomfortable materials – concrete, plaster, porcelain, and fired ground soil she said.

“A variety of objects and materials will be nested in the pillows,” Ward said. “Pillows created from atypical materials question ideas of comfort and security.”

Ward hopes her ceramic work inspire us all to stay hungry for success because when we are persistent to achieve our goals, nothing will stand in our way.

You can check out more of Paige's work at

Keep up with Paige on Instagram and Twitter