Undergraduate research awards presented

Screenshots from the research videos of Sofia Fernandez Echeverri (top) and Alyssa Kobza (bottom). The videos from their research projects are viewable at https://go.unl.edu/echeverri and https://go.unl.edu/kobza.
Screenshots from the research videos of Sofia Fernandez Echeverri (top) and Alyssa Kobza (bottom). The videos from their research projects are viewable at https://go.unl.edu/echeverri and https://go.unl.edu/kobza.

Undergraduate research awards presented

calendar icon26 Apr 2021    

Lincoln, Neb.—Two School of Art, Art History & Design undergraduate students received awards from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts in conjunction with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Student Research Days.

Sofia Fernandez Echeverri, a senior art major (painting), and Alyssa Kobza, a senior art major (printmaking), each won $250 as one of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts’ award recipients for the Student Research Days in April. 

“I am pleased to support the undergraduate research of students in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts through these awards,” said Chuck O’Connor, endowed dean of the college. “The projects of Sofia and Alyssa were well deserving of the recognition they received. We are proud of the work that both of them have done.”

Echeverri was thankful to receive the award.

“This has been a project I’ve invested a lot of time in, and I was happy to see how welcoming everyone was about it,” Echeverri said. “My effort and time spent doing the work I loved paid off in many ways.”

Echeverri’s presentation was titled “Study of Native Columbian Tribes: Art as a Means of Inspiration.” Her video is available at https://go.unl.edu/echeverri

Her project examines Latin American art, particularly Indigenous Colombian art as a source of inspiration for the creation of a series of artworks.

“This research considers two Colombian tribes: Wayuu and Okaina,” Echeverri said. “It emphasizes these tribes’ ancestry, history, purpose, and traditions, with the objective of giving them a voice in a community where they are underrepresented and unknown. It provides a critical look into the tribe’s traditions and artistic techniques through the creation of a variety paintings, drawings, and prints.”

This body of work concentrates on textiles and patterns from the specific tribes, analyzing how pattern and textiles can be abstracted and understood as cultural evidence. 

“The artwork is not only inspired by these native tribes, but also takes from the Pattern and Decoration feminist movement as well as the influence of Indigenous art in contemporary Latin American art,” she said. “Combined, these elements generate meaning and a connection to the culture I am currently involved in.”

Echeverri said the experience of participating in Student Research Days was beneficial to her.

“It gave me the opportunity on expanding my knowledge and researching about some of my interests,” she said. “Helping me create a strong body of work that I am proud of based on a complete background through the research. It was beneficial to participate in this research fair because it gave me the opportunity to share with others my research as well as practice my communication skills to share with others my research and work.”

Kobza’s presentation was titled “Collaborative Printmaking.” Her video is available at https://go.unl.edu/kobza

“My reaction to receiving the award is excitement,” Kobza said. “There’s always a bit of adrenaline when you’re recognized for your hard work.”

As a UCARE recipient, Kobza worked with Assistant Professor of Practice in Art Byron Anway as a printing assistant to print his large woodcut prints.

“Professor Anway and I have made woodcut prints that visualize a spiritual, meditative or dreamlike state; a theme that arose from him remembering formative conversations and experiences living and working in Morocco,” Kobza said. “These prints feature images such as waves, fires, clouds, and other environmental occurrences layered upon visualizations of crowds. By overlaying these natural events with groups of people he intends to evoke feelings of dreams, memory, or spirituality.”

Because of her research as a UCARE recipient and printing assistant, Kobza was recently accepted into the Printing Training Program at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico.

“I will be training as a fine art collaborative printer in lithography,” she said. “The program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers as fine art collaborative printers. By presenting my research in the UCARE research fair, I gain experience talking and answering questions about printmaking that I will be using in my future work as a Printer Training Student.”