Caption: Julia Jessen, Mónica Quiñones-Rivera and Natasha Bishop
Graduation is a time of celebration and recognition of milestones surpassed and outstanding achievements accomplished. In light of their exemplary performance within the Department of Art & Music Histories, Julia Jessen, Mónica Quiñones-Rivera and Natasha Bishop were acknowledged during graduation this May for their many academic and scholarly contributions.
Julia Jessen was a recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the Graduate School, distinguishing herself as a superb mentor and excellent tutorial leader throughout her three-year tenure as a teaching assistant. Her passion for teaching also led her to pursue a Certificate in University Teaching. Additionally, Julia’s scholarly research and writing were celebrated as she was the co-recipient of the Laurinda Dixon Prize for Outstanding Graduate Paper of 2020. Her capstone, “Making History, Justifying Conquest: Images of First Contact in American Book Company Textbooks,” explored the explicit, as well as implicit, meanings of the illustrations of Native peoples which appeared in the context of children’s textbooks. Julia’s exhaustive research also resulted in the critically acclaimed exhibit she curated, “Making History, Justifying Conquest: Depictions of Native Americans in American Book Company Textbooks,” which was on view at the SU Art Museum this past January through March 2020.
Mónica Quiñones-Rivera was the co-recipient of the Laurinda Dixon Prize for Outstanding Graduate Paper of 2020. She was honored for her examination of how themes of chastity, empire and virginity were inseparable in two depictions of Elizabeth I: the Plimpton Sieve Portrait (1579) and the Siena Sieve Portrait (1583). In her capstone, “Queen Elizabeth I: Vestal Virgin of England,” Mónica draws parallels between the symbolic references of the sieve (representing chastity and virginity) and the globe (representing empire) in these two paintings and the ancient Roman tradition of the Vestal virgin, Tuccia. The use of these intertwined symbols justified Elizabeth I’s decision not to marry the brother of the king of France by portraying the queen as protecting and preserving the autonomy of England from that of Catholic France.
Natasha Bishop was recognized for spurring creativity and innovation across academic units at S.U. Natasha is the inaugural recipient of the M.A. Leadership Award for the outstanding development of the Random Access Gallery Catalogue 2020. She was recognized for her collaborative work with Brett Morgan, co-curator of the Random Access Gallery. Natasha and Brett secured a Creative Opportunity Grant from the School of Art for the joint publication of a catalogue showcasing spring 2020 exhibitions at Random Access. Natasha’s and Brett’s work exemplifies the best of artistic expression and academic leadership.
Accolades to Julia, Mónica and Natasha for their distinguished and noteworthy contributions to the Department of Art & Music Histories!