The OVPUE Fine Arts Award is given annually to undergraduate IU students to honor the creativity of IU Hoosiers. Every year, undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for the award by submitting their art of any medium and an application to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (OVPUE). Applications and art samples chosen by OVPUE leadership are then sent to a judging committee in the Eskenazi School of Art Architecture + Design (SOAAD) who chose the award winners. The winners meet with OVPUE leadership and the IU campus art curator, Sherry Rouse, to discuss their artistic inspiration and select an original artistic work to be displayed at the OVPUE main office.
Congratulations to this year’s Fine Arts Award winners: Bethany Habegger in first place, Mallory Daunhauer in second, and Audia Anders in third. All three students have also been awarded financial prizes. Their inspiring creations range from canvas to film and are exceptional examples of the artistic visionaries attending IU.
First place: Recent Graduate Bethany Habegger
The 2021 Fine Arts Award first place winner is Bethany Habegger. She finished her senior year at IU this past semester with a bachelor of fine arts in painting and a minor in art history and arts management.
“Winning this award has been an amazing way to close this chapter of my art career and start the next one,” said Habegger, “it gives me a sense of reassurance that what I am doing with my life is important and good.” She dedicates her love for art to growing up with artistic parents who both went to college for painting. “I can’t really think of a time without art being in my life,” she said.
Habegger’s winning oil painting titled I am not worse for wear was inspired by the artist’s fascination with abandoned buildings. “These monuments loom over us, they remind us of a not so distant past and what those times represent,” Habegger explains,”they are an artistic lineage, feeding my work with new images every time I explore them.”
“In my work, I wanted to show the beauty of these lost places and how they age,” she said. Her winning painting is littered with different textures and impressionistic walls to create a hyperreal space. “The way these abandoned places are interpreted through paint shows how they must be preserved and respected,” Habegger said. With her focus on painting throughout her degree path comes an eye for detail, she said, “I am constantly thinking about how different surfaces can be portrayed in paint.”
Habegger now plans to take a gap year in Bloomington to work on her paintings. The artist then hopes to move to the east coast to continue her education by applying to graduate painting programs for the Fall 2022 semester.
Second place: Senior Mallorey Daunhauer
Mallorey Daunhauer is an IU Bloomington senior studying cinema and media arts with a focus on documentary filmmaking and a minor in spanish. Daunhauer’s winning short film titled Never Daunted tells the story of Tom Morris, a Bloomington native, IU athletic trainer, and avid cyclist who became paralyzed in a tragic mountain biking accident in 2012.
“I wanted to capture his spirit on film and share it with the world in hopes that some of his positivity would inspire others to never give up on themselves, even through the most challenging of times,” said Daunhauer, “my main goal for the film was to show the way that Tom lives his life every day, because even while doing the simplest tasks or activities that others might not think much about, Tom practices resiliency and advocacy for what he is passionate about.”
Never Daunted began as a solo short film project for one of Daunhauer’s documentary filmmaking courses. Many creative assignments typically conducted in group settings were adapted to single-student projects because of COVID-19 restrictions. “I was pretty nervous about creating a short film all on my own, but I was definitely ready to take on the challenge,” she said. Daunhauer hoped to use this platform to create something positive to counteract the difficulties of 2020. “Tom is living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, and I hope that viewers are just as inspired as I feel after hearing the Morris family's incredible story,” the filmmaker said.
Daunhauer plans to graduate from IU in December of 2021 to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking. She is passionate about nonprofit organizations and plans to find herself in a film studio that allows her to tell stories, like Tom’s, that make a difference in the world.
Third place: Junior Audia Anders
Audia Anders is an IU Bloomington junior majoring in human biology and minoring in studio art. For her winning piece titled Moons Shall Wax, Anders combined her interest in STEM with her love for art to create a hand-embroidered and hand-dyed anatomical fabric portrait. This piece also began as a school project as a part of Anders’ Fibers 1 class. The prompt was to explore how covid affected their lives. “I wanted people to be able to resonate with the pain of last year, but to also realize we are all part of the human experience and we were not and are not alone in that experience,” Anders explained.
Anders has practiced art throughout her entire life and wanted to push herself with a more complex piece. “This piece symbolized my personal struggle with COVID-19,” said the artist, “the anatomical woman and stars signify that we are all just bodies in this vast universe and the slit throat embodies the depression and suicidal thoughts that plagued my life during this time.”
Despite the negative aspects to this piece, it looks to the future with hope. “The woman holds her head high and the moon is a waxing crescent, which precedes a new moon and a new period in our lives,” said Anders.
Her post-graduate plans are to become an orthopedic surgeon and to continue creating art. “When I found out I was one of the winners of this award, I genuinely cried,” recalled Anders, “what an absolute honor it is to not only have my little old piece in IU's collection alongside phenomenal artists, but they are also helping me financially to keep creating and learning and for that I am so incredibly grateful!”
About the award
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education aims to enhance the undergraduate experience at IU Bloomington by facilitating student success through excellent teaching and learning services. The office’s initiatives help to advance undergraduate education at all levels by offering a variety of resources and opportunities to students and faculty. OVPUE fosters the creative inquiry of all students through honors programs, scholarships, and awards.
Learn more about OVPUE and how to support its mission on the OVPUE website.
Established in 2016, The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design encourages students to learn collaboratively while immersing themselves in specific areas of study relevant to their interests. SOAAD, IU’s home for creative research, exchange, and exploration, is built on the reputation of its innovative students and faculty. Their partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences allows the department to equip graduates with the insights and values of a classical liberal arts education.
Learn more about SOAAD’s new spaces, discoveries, and how to support their goals on the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design website.