UCROSS — The Ucross Foundation recently announced the first Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists has been awarded to interdisciplinary artist Sydney Pursel, who is based in Columbia, Missouri.

The artist was chosen through a juried national competitive selection process. The award includes a one-month residency at Ucross, a stipend of $1,000 and inclusion in a forthcoming exhibition at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery. Major support for the fellowship has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Pursel specializes in socially engaged, activist, performance, video and new media arts. As a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska with strong Irish Catholic roots, she investigates personal identity and contemporary indigenous issues through art. Some of Pursel’s projects are used to educate others about food politics, assimilation, language loss, appropriation and history, in addition to projects among her own community focusing on language acquisition, culture and art.

Her work has been shown at public parks, universities and alternative spaces in Columbia, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; Lawrence, Kansas; San Francisco, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Seattle, Washington; Toronto, Ontario; Vermillion, South Dakota; and White Cloud, Kansas. Pursel received her Master of Fine Arts in expanded media at the University of Kansas and her bachelor’s in painting from the University of Missouri. 

Initiated in 2017, the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists supports the work of contemporary Native American visual artists at all stages of their professional careers. It is open to disciplines that include but are not limited to painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, performance art, installation, ceramics and collaborative projects involving multiple disciplines. Two fellowships will be awarded annually, one each in spring and fall. The next application deadline for the fellowship is March 1, 2018. The application can be found at www.ucrossfoundation.org.