Each year, the Cornell Undergraduate Artist of the Year, in conjuction with Cornell Council for the Arts,  gives a public presentation, lecture, exhibition, or performance of his or her work.

Danny Bernstein
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2013-14: DANNY BERNSTEIN, B.A. '14 candidate in music and theatre. 

Danny Bernstein '14, a composer, playwright, pianist, musical director and actor, was born and raised in Westchester County, N.Y. He has been involved with musical theater since age 9, performing in community and high school productions and attending Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp for three summers, winning their Dramafest playwriting competition twice.

Despite his original intention to study music and psychology at Cornell, Bernstein became very involved in the theater community, twice winning the Heermans-McCalmon Dramatic Writing competition with his plays “Waking Up” and “Keys;” directing two musicals, “Lucky Stiff” and “Avenue Q,” and music directing “Elegies: A Song Cycle,” a Schwartz mainstage production, by the end of his sophomore year. He has since been director or music director on several other musicals, including “Bat Boy: The Musical,” “The Last Five Years” and “Company.” He has been composing musical theatre songs since high school, and first showcased his original music in a cabaret he wrote, “Great Story, Tell it Again!” which premiered in Risley Theatre in September 2012.

April 24, 2014 at 5 p.m. -- Class of ’56 Flexible Theatre, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
The Cornell Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award 13-14 presentation will feature Danny Bernstein in conversation with his faculty adviser, professor of theater Bruce Levitt, professor in Performing and Media Arts.  The presentation will be followed by the 7:30 p.m. debut of “Far From Canterbury," Danny Bernstein's re-imagined telling of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.” The show will have four performances, April 24-26 in the Schwartz Center’s Class of ’56 Flexible Theatre, presented by the Department of Performing and Media Arts.

Cornell Chronicle - March 19, 2014 -  Playwright Bernstein '14 receives campus, national honors

Andrew Boryga
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2012-13: ANDREW BORYGA, B.A. '13 candidate in English.
Andrew Boryga was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, a borough close to his heart and the setting of all his published fiction. He began writing at age 16, starting with feature pieces for local newspapers in the Bronx and eventually moving on to three consecutive summer internships with The New York Times where he published over twenty articles on topics ranging from local politics, the arts, hip-hop and one piece on a peacock escaping the Central Park Zoo. To date his fiction has been published in the Susquehanna Review, The North Central Review and The Cornell Daily Sun. His fiction is partly autobiographical and seeks to offer an unsentimental glimpse of life through the eyes of youth quickly coming of age in a complex, hostile and often neglected environment. His stories capture the ambivalence, absurd humor, casual violence and emotional turmoil of lives restricted by poverty and inner city rules and touches upon subjects such as sexuality, ethnicity, education, law enforcement and contradictory societal norms.  andrewboryga.com

April 25, 2013 -- 5:00PM -- Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

For his award presentation, Andrew will read from his short story, “The Numbers,” winner of the George Harmon Coxe Award from Cornell’s Creative Writing Program and published in the Susquehanna Review. Copies of the story will be distributed at the event, which will include a Q-and-A and a conversation with Helena Viramontes, professor of creative writing in the Department of English.

Cornell Chronicle - March 8, 2013 -  Writer Andrew Boryga '13 earns Undergraduate Artist honor
Cornell Daily Sun - March 28, 2013 - Andrew Boryga ’13 Wins Award for His Writing; Says His Work Is Inspired by His Upbringing

Roxanne Yamins
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2011-12: ROXANNE YAMINS, B.F.A.'12 candidate in Art.
Roxanne Yamins is a sculptor and painter, whose work attempts to create new spaces while referencing a former spatial history and social culture.
Yamins was described by faculty as being a deeply serious and committed student with a highly developed understanding of materials, excellent sense of scale, and a natural curiosity to explore the boundaries between marginal spaces and everyday life. Yamins' commitment, drive and authentic approach to her work demonstrated to the CCA Award Panel, maturity, expressiveness, and eagerness rarely combined in someone at such an early level of their career.
Roxanne will present "The Meaning of Our Spaces" in late summer 2011, an installation of structures based on the interstitial spaces and fragments of places in the city of Ithaca, New York, that reflect upon the unique conditions and power inherent to a space.  She will use for her framework, the ubiquitous architectural and social phenomena in Ithaca – the front porch – to create these spaces.  Fragments of porches, including floorboards, latticing, and railing, will be constructed into 4-by-3-foot sculptures and installed on the slope at Cornell, on the banks of the gorge and in Collegetown. “What I’m doing is using the language of these porches to create private spheres of contemplation in public spaces,” says Yamins. "The ultimate purpose of this installation, is to encourage people to adopt the habit of investigating the meaning of unorthodox spaces and the reframing of routine spatial experiences."
The installation will be held in conjunction with the Cornell University Undergraduate Artist Award presentation.

Art Newsletter June 2011

Cornell Daily Sun Porch-tastic! September 9, 2011

Dorian Komanoff Bandy
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2009-2010: DORIAN KOMANOFF BANDY, BA '10 candidate in music, and College Scholar. Bandy plays baroque and modern violin and viola, and as violinist is currently concertmaster of Cornell baroque string band, Les Petits Violons. 

On October 27, 2009, in Sage Chapel at 8PM, Bandy directed a concert LES PETITS VIOLONS PLAYS HAYDN, from harpsichord. The concert celebrated Haydn's bicentennial year.  Bandy was presented the Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award at intermission by Judith Kellock, CCA Interim Director, Roberto Sierra, chair and professor of Music, and Neal Zaslaw, professor of music. 

Los Angeles native Dorian Komanoff Bandy is historian, linguist, and musician.  In the last category he has ventured into the arcana of music history, music theory, and historical-informed performance of music of the Baroque and Classical periods.  In the fall of 2008 he organized a fully-staged production of Don Giovanni, which played to standing-room-only audiences in the Risley College Great Hall.  Bandy led the performances from the harpsichord.

In Spring 2010, he will be directing performances of music relevant to a conference put on by Cornell graduate students in musicology.  The subject of the conference is the musical world of Dr. Charles Burney, a harpsichordist and composer who was the father of Fanny and one of the founders of the discipline of music history.

Cornell Chronicle Oct.23.09
Cornell Chronicle Jun09

Jonathan Wong
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2008-09: JONATHAN WONG, BA '08, double major in dance and psychology, dancer, choreographer, arranger, director / Hong Kong

Jonathan Wong was presented with the Cornell University Undergraduate Artist Award following his site-specific, interdisciplinary performance piece SAME DANCE FOUR TIMES: AN EVENING OF STREET / CONCERT / SOCIAL DANCE, with dancers from the Cornell Dance Program and members of the a capella group “Last Call.” The performance borrowed from various popular and concert dance forms - drawing attention to the formal similarities and dissimilarities between them. Audience members will move throughout the atrium space at Weill Hall, creating an interactive experience. By integrating vocabulary from social dance, street dance and concert dance with their various choreographic styles, the piece blurred the boundaries between high and low art in dance - as well as their political implications.

Cornell Alumni Magazine / Dancin in the Labs Apr09
Cornell Chronicle Jon Wong performance / award presentation Apr09
Cornell Chronicle Award announcement May08
Cornell Daily Sun review Apr09
Cornell Press Relations Apr09

Jacqueline Stluka
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2007-08: JAQUELINE STLUKA, BArch ‘07 in architecture, artist, filmmaker, apparel designer, presented her work in conjunction with receiving the artist award in October 2007. The exhibition / installation, titled METROPOLIS GEOLOGIES AND POSTSCRIPT, and award presentation was held in Tjaden Experimental Gallery, Cornell.

Serving as catalogue and documentary of exploration , these “Metroplis geologies” are venue for a proclamation of the intrinsic powers embedded in the rambling narrative of objects made strange. The filmic postscript serves as performance conducted by the architectural archeologist. By releasing the findings of the catalogue in film, the work recasts the common place with the body language and attitude of paradoxical elements. With this exposure, the viewer may now demonstrate a deep interest in the mechanisms that animate the universe of objects.

Cornell Chronicle announcement Sept07
VIDEO of apparel design for ZOMBIES / Cornell Design League Fashion Show 2007

Catherine Galasso
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2006-07:  CATHERINE GALASSO, BA '06 in dance / theatre arts, filmmaker, choreographer and performer, Kat demonstrates outstanding abilities in three difference realms of creative work.

Galasso has been choreographing professionally since graduating from Cornell in 2006. So far she has performed her dance work at a wide range of prestigious venues in the US as well as in Eastern Europe. She moved to San Francisco to take advantage of its open-minded and experimental dance scene, quality of life, affordable rehearsal space, and growing performance opportunities. In the first six months of her career, she premiered three new works and was offered a Three-Year Artist Residency with ODC Theatre San Francisco. She now lives and works in both San Francisco and New York City.

On October 27, 2006, 5PM, Kat presented FRAMES OF MIND / IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT, in Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Cornell, and received the artist award, presented by Kent Goetz, Chair, Department of Theatre, Film & Dance, and Milton Curry, Director, CCA.

Galasso describes Frames of Mind as: "an exploration of the relationship between the physical body and the digital self, through a theatrical combination of dance and video technology. Unlike other video accompaniment for dance that employs abstract video or found footage, the video for "Frames of Mind" is of the dancers themselves, so as to create a distinct visual and aural relationship with the live performance. Each dancer carries a television set with his or her face on the screen. In a further exploration between the television and the physical body, the piece draws on TV soap opera for movement and thematic structure."

Video: Frames of Mind / It Works if you Work It
Cornell Chronicle announcement Dec06

Emily Goldman
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2005-06: EMILY GOLDMAN, BA '06, music and College Scholar. Her accomplishments span across three areas: composition, piano performance, and scholarly works.

Emily's honors and awards include the Eileen Adelson Piano Prize in 2004, the John Knight Writing Award in 2004, the Heifetz International Music Institute Endowed Scholarship in 2004, and several highly acclaimed performances including her presentation at Ithaca's 1st Light in Winter Festival in 2003 which included a lecture on Messian's bird music.

Steven Stucky, Given Foundation Professor of Music stated that, "While I admire her work (she is, for example, the best prose writer my Department has seen for as long as I can remember), my contact with her has been mostly as a composer. In that sphere, I guess her to be the Cornell undergraduate most gifted and most likely to succees since Steven Reich, a graduate of Cornell in 1957."

In March 2008, Emily was music director for a show at Tim Robbins' experimental theater group, The Actor's Gang.  She has been living and working in Los Angeles since 2006, working on projects including: TAship and studies in music composition at USC; interning with film composer Laura Karpman, and writing music for several short films; Bunraku puppeteering in an LA Ovation Award-winning production of Paul Vogel's "The Long Christmas Ride Home"; Founding member / director, marketing/puppeteer / pianist for Theatre Yawp, an arts collective in Hollywood; Keyboardist, LA band Sputnik Monroe

Cornell Chronicle press release Oct05

Carson Chan
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2004-05: CARSON CHAN is an architecture writer and curator. After receiving a Bachelor of Architecture in 2004 from Cornell University, and a Masters in Design Studies in the History and Theory of Architecture from Harvard University, he began work at Barkow Leibinger Architects and at the Neue Nationalgalerie’s architecture department, Berlin.

Chan is currently Director/Curator for PROGRAM: initiative for art and architectural collaborations, Berlin, Germany, a non-commercial project space aimed at expanding the disciplinary

boundaries of architecture though collaborative projects with other disciplines; Contributing Editor, 032c Magazine, Berlin; Initiator/Curator, Neue Nationalgalerie 40th Anniversary Advisor, Museums of Contemporary Art China, 2008, Hong Kong.

In 2005, he taught design studio at the Boston Architecture Center. Carson is an active advisor to several cultural institutions including DLD ’08 (Munich) and Europan Denmark '10. He recently organized an evening of panel discussions at the Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin) with leading artists, architects and curators to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Mies van der Rohe building.

While at Cornell, Carson was a student of the Department of Architecture, as well as an initiator of various publications, exhibitions, symposia, and productions including The Cobbler newspaper, Emerging Fashions Symposium on contemporary fashion and culture, and Homeward Bound, a play directed by Carson and performed at Risley Hall. Carson also served as Art Director for Iceland Fashion Week 2002.

Cornell Chronicle press release Nov04

Benjamin Shiffrin
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2003-04: BENJAMIN SHIFFRIN, BS '03, theatre arts, director

Following graduation from Cornell, Shiffrin was working as a production assistant on the Vadim Perelman-directed film "The Talisman," in Los Angeles.

Cornell Chronicle Press Release Apr04

Albert Pulido
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2002-03: ALBERT PULIDO, AB '02, English / Creative Writiing

As a student at Cornell, Albert organized an undergraduate poetry and fiction reading series, and organized annual readings by a visiting writer. Pulido drew praise from creative writing faculty for both his fiction and his commitment to the undergraduate writing community in general.

Soon after his '02 graduation Albert Pulido left Ithaca for Busan, South Korea, Korea's second city, where he spent two years teaching English. He returned to the United States in 2004 to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop where he studied Fiction Writing under Marilynne Robinson and Ethan Canin. Before returning to the East Coast he worked with autistic students at the local Iowa City high school and taught English to immigrants at the Amigos del Inmigrante program.

In 2007, he became an equities trader at Chimera Securities LLC in New York City and also an ESL teacher at the non-profit Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. He currently live in Brooklyn, NY.

PHOTO: Albert Pulido (left) with Junot Diaz, MFA '95, at the reception for Diaz / Eissner Artist of the Year Award recipient, 2008-09.

Cornell Chronicle press release May02
Cornell Chronicle press release Mar03

Scott Pitek
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2002-03: SCOTT PITEK, BArch '02, was presented with the Council for the Arts Outstanding Student Art Award at the H.F. Johnson Museum of Art, in conjunction with the presentation of the Distnguished Alumni Artist Award to Peter Eisenman.  At the date of the award presentation, Pitek was employed at Cannon Design, Buffalo, NY. 

He presented "MVMT: Re-Present," and exhibition of new works, at Tjaden Gallery in Ithaca, March 22-29, 2003.

Cornell Chronicle press release Mar03
Cornell Chronicle press release May02

Lindsay Lyman-Clarke
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2001-02: LINDSAY LYMAN-CLARKE, BS '01, textiles and apparel major, MA '05, textiles.

Cornell Chronicle Oct01
Cornell Chronicle Mar06

Emily Green
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2001-02: EMILY GREEN, BA ’01, in music, Masters in Musicology in piano performance at the University of Missouri in May 2003, and a Ph.D. in musicology at Cornell in 2005.

Cornell Chronicle Oct01

Alba Cabral
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

2000-01: ALBA CABRAL, BFA '01 in fine arts and psychology, painter and photographer. Cabral was active as coordinator and designer of a program that helps children learn and experience cultural heritage through visual art in a local after-school program.  As a student at Cornell, she spent two summers in the Dominican Republic tutoring, teaching and working on a photo-documentary project.

Cornell Chronicle announcement Jun00

Dennis Chang
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

1999-00: KUEI-CHUAN DENNIS CHANG, AB '99, dance and music, demonstrated expertise in dance and piano during his undergraduate years at Cornell. He choreographed "For Three," which was performed at the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance's Spring 1998 Dance Theater Concert. He also performed Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3 in concert with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra in May 1999. He gave a solo piano recital at Cornell and also accompanied singers in voice recitals.  He was nominated for the Otto Stahl Memorial Prize for Piano Performance in 1998.

Chang received a Masters of Arts degree in musicology and master of music in piano performance at Indiana University in 2001, and is currently a partner in Macbeth Media Relations, London, a firm specializing in publicity for classical music.

Cornell Chronicle press release Oct99
Cornell News Service Oct99

Pablo Garcia
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

1998-99: PABLO GARCIA, B.Arch '98, M.Arch '03 from Princeton University.  Garcia is an interdisciplinary architect working in theater, film, photography, and installations at various scales. He was most recently the William Muschenheim Fellow in Architecture at the University of Michigan, mounting /Parallel Projections/, an exhibit of recent work. He has also taught at Parsons The New School for Design and Princeton University. From 2004 to 2007, Pablo was an architect and designer at Diller Scofidio + Renfro in New York, working on renovations to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and various competitions. He holds architecture degrees from Cornell and Princeton Universities.

While at Cornell, Garcia excelled in more than one artistic field, as his multidisciplinary background illustrates. At Cornell he continued to excel in this architecture, culminating with his final architecture thesis, which examined the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. According to Garcia, the library is a "construct of the former president's failing memory and conjectures its eventual release of history and data to the general public. The current building acts as a parasite addition, slowly expanding its territory as the underground vaults are breached and emptied."

Highly active at both the Center for Theatre Arts and Risley Theatre, Garcia also emerged as a filmmaker while at Cornell. His 1996-97 film Kodachrome received a Cornell Council for the Arts Individual Artist Award which led to his certification as a program producer at Ithaca's Pegasys public access television station. During a semester in Rome, he completed an independent study film project, partially funded by the architecture department and Cornell Abroad's Rome program.

Cornell Chronicle announcement Aug98

Maria Dizzia
Undergraduate Artist of the Year Award

1997-98: MARIA DIZZIA, AB '98, theatre arts major. Dizzia went on to continue studying acting at the University of California at San Diego. After earning her MFA there, she returned to New York, where she has performed in off-Broadway productions such as Eurydice directed by Les Waters.  In Spring 2009, she will perform in The Drunken City by Adam Bock, at Playwrights Horizon.

Dizzia's theater accomplishments as an undergraduate at Cornell were numerous. She distinguished herself in Cornell's artistic community as a first-rate actress, appearing in major roles in eight Center for Theatre Arts performances, making her one of the most prolific undergraduates in recent years. She demonstrated a broad range of acting ability, playing both comedic and serious roles. She excelled not only on stage but also in the classroom. As part of her honors thesis, she conducted a Black Box laboratory to explore the gap between theory and practice as it related to audience response.

Dizzia, a native of Cranford, N.J., received a degree in theatre in December 1997. In 1990 she received the New Jersey Governor's Award in Theatre Arts and was honored two years later as the (N.J.) Governor's School of the Arts Scholar.

Cornell Chronicle Nov97