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Keep it Together! Senior Show 2022 Jurors

The annual Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award Competition is juried by three artist/educators from outside the Vanderbilt University campus. Each year these jurors is given the difficult task of reviewing grant proposals, thesis exhibitions, and conducting interveiws with senior art major students who have selected to compete for the two awards.

The 2022 Hamblet Award Jurors are Nicole Pietrantoni, Laleh Mehran, and Rodrigo Valenzuela.


Nicole Pietrantoni, “Aurora,” 26″ x 57″ x 3″, Inkjet on Kozo paper, acrylic paint. Handbound into 13 accordion books. 2021.

Nicole Pietrantoni’s artwork explores the complex relationship between human beings and nature via installations, artists’ books, and works on paper. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright to Iceland, an Artist Trust Fellowship, the Manifest Prize, and a Graves Award for Excellence in Humanities Teaching and Research.

Nicole has been awarded residencies at Meta Open Arts, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and the Venice Printmaking Studio, amongst others. She has given over 30 lectures about her work around the country and her art has been in over 100 national and international exhibitions. She is currently represented by Long-Sharp Gallery.

She received her MFA and MA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa and her BS in Human and Organizational Development and Art History from Vanderbilt University. Nicole served as the President of SGC International from 2016-18, the largest professional organization dedicatd to scholarship in printmaking, book arts, and papermaking in North America.

Nicole is an Associate Professor of Art at Whitman College where she teaches printmaking and book arts.

Laleh Mehran, “Entropic System,” Interactive Artwork, 2017

Laleh Mehran was born in Iran and relocated with her family to the United States at the start of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. She creates elaborate environments in digital and physical spaces focused on complex intersections between politics, religion, and science. Mehran is a Professor and the Director of Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively in the USA and international venues including the ISEA (United Arab Emirates), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), FILE (Brazil), ACT Festival (South Korea), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Massachusetts), Mattress Factory Museum (Pennsylvania), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pennsylvania), The Georgia Museum of Art (Georgia), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pennsylvania), Denver Art Museum (Colorado), Biennial of the Americas at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Colorado), 404 International Festival of Art & Technology (Argentina), Next 5 Minutes 4 Tactical Media Festival (Netherlands), European Media Arts Festival (Germany), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), Currents: The Santa Fe International New Media Festival (New Mexico), and the Pittsburgh Biennial (Pennsylvania). Mehran has received awards including the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation Grant (as subRosa collective) and the Mission Strategic Resource Plan for Enhancing Mutual Understanding for The Embassy of the USA in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Rodrigo Valenzuela, “Weapon #21,” Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60, 2022

Rodrigo Valenzuela (b.Santiago, Chile 1982) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where he is the Associate Professor and Head of the Photography Department at UCLA. Valenzuela has been awarded the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; Joan Mitchell award for painters and sculptors; Art Matters Foundation grant; and Artist trust Innovators Award. Recent solo exhibitions include: New Museum, NY; Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie, Vienna, AU; Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; Orange County Museum; Portland Art Museum; Frye Art Museum, Seattle. Recent residencies include: Core Fellowship at
the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; MacDowell Colony; Bemis Center for contemporary arts; Lightwork; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock.