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April 05, 2016

Artist Nate Hodge receives Lillian Fairchild Award

mural on a building

Nate Hodge is the recipient of the 2015 Lillian Fairchild Memorial Award.

The Department of English presents the award annually to a local visual artist, writer, choreographer, or composer commited to the arts in the Rochester community. In 2015, Hodge participated in Wall\Therapy, a public art project that uses murals as a way to provide new life and energy to blank walls in downtown areas.

“We were particularly impressed with his mural City and Sky on Atlantic Avenue and its ability to address our collective need for inspiration,” says Rosemary Kegl, chair of the English department and member of the Fairchild selection committee.

Hodge began working with Wall\Therapy in 2015 after participating in several group shows at the 1975 Gallery in Rochester. He has a BFA from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from the University of Buffalo. Hodge lives and works in Brockport and he exhibits his work locally and regionally.

“The most inspiring thing about public art is its ability to reach a wide spectrum of people,” Hodge says. “Outside of a gallery or museum there are few places you can encounter paintings or sculptures and I feel like only a small portion of the population is able to make time to visit these places. Public art exists on the periphery of everyday activities and democratizes a field that unfortunately can come off as elitist and exclusive.”

In the spring, Hodge will begin working on a large-scale mural in the Memorial Art Gallery as a way to provide visitors with an “immersive painting they can step into rather than observe on a wall.”

Established by Rochester professor Herman Fairchild in 1924, the Fairchild award is in memory of his daughter, an accomplished designer who died of tuberculosis at age 32. Previous award recipients include choreographer Garth Fagan, sculptor Albert Paley, and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Anthony Hecht.

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