Media Release

Recipients of 2015 Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards Announced

LAWRENCE, KS, June 29, 2015 — The Spencer Museum of Art proudly announces the 2015 recipients of the Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards. The awards recognize outstanding creativity and originality among University of Kansas undergraduate students from any department and honor work that demonstrates risk-taking and critical thinking.

After sifting through a diverse field of submissions—from students majoring in chemical engineering, computer science, and architecture, among other disciplines—the multidisciplinary selection committee announces two honorees and two honorable mentions.

In the writing category, Melanie D’Souza of Muscat, Oman, was recognized for her ethnographic essay, “He’s Definitely Good with Words.” The essay describes the pressure-filled world of international Scrabble competition, focusing on former Oman National Scrabble Champion Sherwin Rodrigues.

In the diverse media category, Luke Rhodes of Lawrence took top honors for his album of solo concert piano music. The CD features works by Bach and Chopin, as well as one of the most difficult pieces in the international piano repertoire: Russian virtuoso Arcadi Volodos’s arrangement of Mozart’s Turkish March. Rhodes not only performed and recorded the CD, he also did the visual design and artwork, and listed the album for sale on iTunes and Amazon.

Submissions in the diverse media category were so strong this year that the selection committee also awarded two honorable mentions. One was given to the students in Professor Patrizio Ceccagnoli’s twentieth-century Italian theater class for their collaborative project, “Futurist Theater: 4 Italian Avant-garde Plays,” which was submitted to the competition by Spencer Crouch of Wichita. The second honorable mention went to Nicholas Shaheed of Lawrence for his composition for tuba-euphonium ensemble and live electronics.

Bios and project details for award recipients are available upon request.

Lavon Brosseau of Concordia, Kansas, said the ultimate goal in establishing this award is to encourage and reward the caliber of creative work that, if properly nurtured, has the potential to influence the cultural contributions of an emerging generation.

“It is a giant step in the right direction to reward students for their creative skills expressed in compositions,” Brousseau said. “If you keep encouraging kids this way— with a little praise— you may well awaken a new Mark Twain or Walt Whitman. They are out there somewhere.”

These awards form part of the Spencer Museum’s mission to strengthen, support, and contribute to academic research, as well as to foster interdisciplinary exploration at the intersection of art, ideas, and experience. The Spencer’s vision is to motivate creative work, object-centered learning, and transformative public dialogue.

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Kanost

Elizabeth Kanost
Communications Manager

Celka Straughn

Celka Straughn
Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs
Spencer Museum of Art