April 5, 2010

Three students recognized for contributions to the arts

Joanna K. Pearson, a poet and fourth-year student at the School of Medicine, has been awarded Johns Hopkins’ Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts for 2010. Pearson’s $1,500 prize will be presented at a special luncheon in May.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences seniors Eric Levitz, a playwright, and Brandon Lee Stuart, a performance artist who excels in theater, dance, music and writing, will receive the President’s Commendation for Achievement in the Arts.

The Sudler Prize is awarded to the graduating senior from the schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering or Nursing, or the Peabody Conservatory, or the fourth-year medical student who, in the opinion of a committee, has demonstrated excellence and the highest standards of proficiency in performance, execution or composition in music, theater, dance, fiction, poetry, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, film or video.

“This is my second year to be involved in the selection process for the university’s annual arts awards, but those judges who have participated for many years—some more than 20—stressed that this year’s field of applicants was the strongest they could remember,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums, who chairs the Sudler Prize Committee in his capacity as vice provost for the arts.

Pearson, who will begin a residency in psychiatry upon graduation in May, earned an MFA from the Writing Seminars in 2009 and submitted a selection of poems excerpted from a full-length manuscript she is completing. The Sudler Prize Committee said it was immensely impressed by the range, power and polish of her submissions.

The President’s Commendation for Achievement in the Arts recognizes graduating seniors at the Homewood campus who, while demonstrating artistic excellence, have also used art in service to the Homewood campus community. This year, the award was given to two outstanding applicants.

Levitz impressed the Sudler Prize Committee with the extent of his involvement in the Johns Hopkins theater community through his work as a playwright, including writing for Witness Theater, Throat Culture, the Buttered Niblets Improv Troupe and the Johns Hopkins University Theatre. He is to earn a bachelor’s degree in May from the Writing Seminars.

Stuart is being recognized for his work with a wide variety of theater, dance and musical groups at the university, and for his involvement with the Johns Hopkins Tutorial Project, teaching elements of dance, song and acting to Baltimore City elementary school children. Stuart expects to earn a bachelor’s degree in behavioral biology in May.