Hartwick Sculptor Wins Prestigious Art Grant

Hartwick Sculptor Wins

Prestigious Arts Grant

Sculptor Stefanie Rocknak carves “Gut Check,” a statue of Edgar Allen Poe that went on display at the Sculptor’s Guild in Brooklyn in April 2015. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – Sculptor Dr. Stefanie Rocknak, the Hartwick College professor of philosopher,  was awarded the $5,000 Alex J. Ettl Grant from the National Sculpture Society.

The annual award is presented to a figurative or realist sculptor who has demonstrated a commitment to sculpting and outstanding ability in his or her body of work.

“Stefanie Rocknak has a distinctive body of work that transcends anatomy and form to elicit a tangible emotional response in the viewer,” said Ettl Grant Jurist Wesley Wofford. “She uses the art of emotion as a way of communicating an idea or narrative that goes beyond the academic and becomes unique in her individuality. Her public works have a strong conceptual approach that is dynamic and thought provoking. We are proud to award her this grant to invest in more explorations of her vision.”

In addition to the cash prize, Rocknak will receive a half-page ad in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine (worth $2,150), and a quarter-page ad in Sculpture Review magazine (worth $545). This is the first Ettl Grant for Rocknak.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the 2019 Ettl Grant recipient,” Rocknak said. “I look forward to meeting other members of the National Sculpture Society at the award ceremony in the spring. I also look forward to working with Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine and Sculpture Review; it will be an honor to have my work included in these publications.”

Earlier this year, Rocknak was a finalist in a competition to design the new National Native American Veterans Memorial planned for the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She was one of five finalists selected from 120 international submissions.
In 2014, she won an international competition sponsored by The Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston. Her vision of Poe, which reflects his “conflicted relationship with the city,” now stands as a 5’8,” 1,000-pound bronze sculpture in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood.

Rocknak included images of the Poe piece, titled “Poe Returning to Boston,” for Ettl Grant consideration. That work has been featured in eight books since its unveiling. In June, Rocknak gave a talk about the installation at the International Poe and Hawthorne Conference in Kyoto, Japan.

In addition to her work as an expert sculptor, Rocknak is also a professor of philosophy and the department chair at Hartwick College.

The grant will be presented at the Sculpture Celebration Conference in New York City in June, 2019.

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