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June 1, 2005


NEW YORK, June 1, 2005 – Ayame Mizutome, ’05, and Jennifer Simon, ’02, (MFA ’05) graduates of The City College of New York’s (CCNY) undergraduate arts program, have been chosen Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellows for 2005-06. They will each receive $16,000 toward travel and living expenses to to do research and produce art work outside the United States for up to a year.

Ms. Mizutome plans to travel to four countries in Latin America – Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile – to conduct research on and photograph Asian communities in the Andes. Three years ago, she committed herself to a long-term project documenting the Asian diaspora in Latin America and has already visited Cuba and Mexico for this.

“While Asian contributions to Latin American history, the economy and politics are undisputed, the role of Asians in Latin American society has been relatively neglected,” she said. “My goal is to trace and record, through photography, individual stories and interviews, that which has been overlooked or forgotten.”

Ms. Mizutome, who will graduate in June with a dual major in studio art/photography and Asian studies, has received several honors while at The City College, including two Therese MacCabe Ralston Connor Awards, the Dean’s Prize, the Seymour Peck Memorial Award and the Holly T. Popper Award. She has also had three solo exhibitions of her photography in New York, Long Island and Cuba and has participated in several group shows in New York.

Ms. Simon, who graduated from CCNY magna cum laude in 2002 with a major in art/ceramic sculpture and a minor in art education, will travel to Japan to study with and document artists working in the ancient art of tsutsumi. While tsutsumi is practiced mainly in wrapping and packaging, its applications extend to religious artifacts, gardens and architectural design.

“I want to help preserve the tradition of tsutsumi while learning how to incorporate its techniques into my own work as a sculptor and fiber artist,” she said. “Some of the artists I hope to study with have been working in this art form for over 50 years.”

At The City College, Ms. Simon received several honors, including: the Therese MacCabe Ralston Connor Award, the Holly T. Popper Award, the Ethel Skeans Clifford Scholarship and the Blanche Mason Starkweather Award. She also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

The Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship provides support to students in the visual and fine arts, including art history, conservation, studio art and photography for travel and living expenses outside the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii in accordance with a program of study or other activities approved by the fellowship selection committee. The $16,000 fellowships are funded by income from the Mortimer and Sara Hays Endowment at Brandeis University. This year, 18 students from seven schools submitted applications for the three awards that were granted.

The program is open to graduating seniors and recent graduates of the following institutions: Brandeis University, Boston University, The City College of New York, Columbia University, Connecticut College, Gallaudet University, Harvard University, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology, Wesleyan University and Yale University.

The awards to Ms. Mizutome and Ms. Simon are the third and fourth by CCNY students during the past five years. The other recent winners are Ryan Miller, ’02, who did a photography project documenting the effects of globalization on Haitian peasants, and Sung K. Ma, ’00, who studied and documented visually the Koryo people, descendants of Koreans who emigrated to Siberia.