College of Architecture, Art and Construction; Research

Art department chair honored with prestigious South Carolina Art Commission fellowship


CLEMSON – Valerie Zimany, chair and associate professor in the department of art at Clemson University, has been awarded a 2020 South Carolina Arts Commission Artist Fellowship.

Through the fellowship, the Arts Commission recognizes and rewards the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists. “These awards can be transformative; they lift artists’ spirits and self-perception while allowing them to focus on their art. Past fellows talk about how it can be a life-changing event,” said Ken May, former executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission. “South Carolina’s artists are at the core of our creative economy and serve as indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities. Our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on behalf of those most affected by the work being honored: the people of South Carolina.”

Portrait of Valerie Zimany smiling
Valerie Zimany is an innovative ceramic artist, professor and chair of the department of art at Clemson University.

Zimany, a department chair and faculty member in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, will use the award to facilitate her creative practice blending digital and hand processes in ceramics, work which received early support through a CU SEED research grant from the Office of the Vice President of Research at Clemson.

Zimany, a two-time Fulbright award recipient and Japanese government scholar, digitally models and fabricates florals through 3D printing and mold-making to explore cross-cultural influences of Asian and European decorative patterns and the sometimes imperfect translation of cultural codes through ornament.

“I am honored to receive this fellowship to assist with the creation of new work for several upcoming national exhibitions as well as a forthcoming solo exhibition in Kanazawa, Japan,” Zimany said. “The S.C. Arts Commission’s long history of funding the visual arts is critical to an active future generation of artists in our state and the Clemson University research campus is the ideal environment to expose more students and, by extension, a larger community to how new technologies and tools are being used for creative purposes within the context of contemporary art and education.”

Zimany joined Clemson University in 2010. During her time at Clemson, she has been selected for numerous solo and group exhibitions and competitions in Asia and across the United States and garnered praise in the ceramics world for her award-winning research and internationally active Master of Fine Arts graduates. Zimany is a past Fulbright Fellow through the U.S. Department of State and was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

The South Carolina Arts Commission is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The commission also collaborates with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and South Arts. The fellowship jurors in the 2020 cycle were Wendy Earle, curator of contemporary art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Bruce Pepich, executive director and curator of collections of the Racine Art Museum and Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, Wisconsin; and Marilyn Zapf, the assistant director and curator at the Center for Craft, a national arts nonprofit headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina.

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