Artist statements from the Purchase Prize






Amanda Lai - Watercolor Concentration 1 (detail)

Amanda Lai

Watercolor Concentration 1


Drawing from book illustration and my interest in creative writing, I use my art work to portray scenes from my own fiction work. As I continued on in my illustration series, my artwork began to include direct phrases from my writing. For me, this series of stylized illustration represents an overlap of my  interests, the visual and literary arts, and a goal of story-telling.


Catherine Polyakov - Containment (detail)

Catherine Polyakov




The solution works—as long as there is no problem.


In today’s age, society has gotten into a trend of trying to solve the world’s problems. Politicians debate and make speeches, businessmen present at conferences, and psychologists write books –many of which are quite pointless and are just done or written to create the illusion of a solution.


The idea behind this painting is the failed attempt to solve a problem by the wrong means. It is obvious that there was great thought taken into creating this systematic series of pulleys and hooks around the in order to contain it. The only problem is that not only can the rope not physically contain the, but it actually adds fuel to the flame. A well developed, intricate, complex solution is not always the best solution. The pulley system would work wonderfully—to lift large boxes. It would work—if the was not there to burn through it.



Elizabeth Winkelman - Ode to the Tetrahedron (detail)

Elizabeth Winkelman

Ode to the Tetrahedron


As a math major, I love shapes and patterns. I enjoy seeing what kind of structures can be made from the combination of multiple shapes and how those shapes interact with one another. I particularly find the triangle to be fascinating. The triangle is the basic structure of all shapes. From its rules on angles, side lengths, and symmetries, all other geometric shapes can be constructed.




Nan Zhu detail

Nan Zhu

love on the L


The "Missed Connections" section of is comprised of notes written by people to complete strangers who they have seen somewhere and are hoping to find again, someway, somehow. This piece documents a portion of the missed connections that have occurred in transit in NYC between people on the subway system. Each faux Metrocard represents one missed connection post and includes an excerpt of the author's actual text. The Metrocards are further organized using a unique inverted system of color coded dots to signify specific characteristics, such as gender, age, and location. This comprehensive and borderline-obsessive system of categorization transforms the digital to the analog, the private to the public, and mirrors the highly structured layout yet simultaneously diverse and unpredictable population of the city.



Lauren Blair detail

Lauren Blair

Colony Collapse


Albert Einstein once said: "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination ... no more men!"


The honeybees are disappearing, and you don't have to be an entomologist to realize that if they're gone, we are in huge trouble. There is a phenomenon today known as Colony Collapse Disorder, where worker bees from a colony abruptly disappear, and the cause is yet to be understood. Scientists have speculated many possible reasons; viruses, malnutrition, pesticides, environmental change-related stress; but no one has been able to put a finger on the true culprit. It is happening everywhere and until we can figure out preventative measures, it's going to keep happening worldwide. In North America alone, the honeybee losses for 2010 were an estimated 34% loss, which was statistically similar to the losses in the previous three years. These workers are responsible for pollinating a huge portion of agricultural crops that we rely on, and if they were to disappear, it would be nearly impossible for farmers to come up with a solution. Hardly any large-scale media attention has addressed this potentially devastating problem, and it's something that everyone needs to start thinking about. If our plants die and ecosystems collapse, where will that put us?



John Jones detail

John Jones

Vision 2.0


Nature presents innumerable colors in countless forms. Digital images, regardless of resolution are fragments of the forms that they capture. I tried to capture this loss of information.





Ryane Logsdon

Ryane Logsdon

It would have gone unnoticed


When I go out to photograph, I find myself drawn to scenes by their details, which I attempt to encompass by taking a picture of the whole scene. I've often struggled with this, because I find that the details I was so caught up in get lost. The pieces are overcome by the whole. This diptych was my attempt to bring attention back to these subtle details. These photographs were all taken in my Rochester homes, and the focus was on their quaint details I never want to forget. Like my pictures, I don't want the little pieces lost in my memory of the whole.


Sam Sadtler

Sam Sadtler

In The Dark


Through taking portraits of TVs in the dark, I hoped to capture the longing and sadness of the TVs as their place in our society fades away. These TVs used to be the source of much excitement and entertainment as they sat atop a kitchen counter or on a work bench in the garage, but today they are little more than a relic of the past.


Staff Login | Privacy Statement | Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright © 1998-2016 University of Rochester Libraries. All Rights Reserved.