Vincent Falsetta, professor in the University of North Texas (UNT) College of Visual Arts and Design, and Miroslav Penkov, an assistant professor in the UNT Department of English, have been selected as faculty fellows in UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts in the 2012-13 academic year. As fellows, Falsetta and Penkov will be granted a semester off from teaching duties to work on their projects full time.
Vincent Falsetta, a faculty member at UNT since 1977, plans to develop paintings incorporating the concepts and formal elements of his color studies. The works he creates during the faculty fellowship are expected to be on display in group and solo exhibitions in various galleries and museums and could include his paintings, color studies and index card drawings, which document his painting process.
“It is an honor to receive the fellowship. The field of applicants was very competitive,” Falsetta said. “The most important benefit of being a fellow is having the time to work. The commitment necessary to research, create and evaluate requires consistency of time and the ability to work day after day with a project.”
Falsetta served as artist-in-residence at the Bluecoat in Liverpool in 2011 and two artist-in-residencies at Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. He has had 50 solo and two-person shows, including shows at the Conduit Gallery in Dallas, REM Gallery in San Antonio, OK Harris Gallery in New York, Texas State University in San Marcos, Anya Tish Gallery in Houston, El Paso Museum of Art and more. Group exhibitions include shows at Southwest College in Chula Vista, Calif.; Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York; The Bluecoat in Liverpool; Alexandria Museum of Art in Alexandria, La.; Dallas Museum of Art; Austin Museum of Art; Museo Italo-Americano in San Francisco; Transco Tower Gallery in Houston and more.
His works also appear in public collections, including the Art Museum of Southeast Texas; Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia; Division of Fine Arts in State of Utah; El Paso Museum of Art; Longview Art Museum in Longview, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; Neiman-Marcus; Omni Hotel in Dallas; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and other venues.
Miroslav Penkov, a native of Bulgaria, will use the fellowship to conduct research for his second book, Nominalia of the Imaginary Khans. He plans to spend time in a village in Bulgaria’s Standja Mountains that is similar to one of the locales in his novel.
“Writing a novel is often compared to running a marathon, and for good reason. Like a runner who must first train for months before taking on the 42-kilometer stretch, a writer must first do research and consider his characters, setting and story carefully before putting pen to paper,” Penkov said. “I hope that this fellowship will provide me with the necessary time to research, write and rewrite my novel. On some level, this fellowship also serves as a validation — a sign that perhaps there is promise in the pages I’ve already written.”
Penkov’s first book, a collection of short stories called East of the West: A County in Stories, received national attention, including a feature on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” when it was published in 2011. It will eventually be published in 12 countries. One of the book’s stories was selected for the 2012 PEN/O Henry Prize Stories, a collection of 20 of the best short stories from the past year. Another story appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2008. Penkov has published fiction in The Southern Review and The Sunday Times, among other publications. He is also a fiction editor for American Literary Review, which is published at UNT.
About the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts
The UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts (IAA) aims to showcase, support and advance excellence in the visual, performing and creative literary arts at UNT, among its faculty members and in conjunction with their renowned colleagues and collaborators.
The institute was launched, along with UNT on the Square, on Oct. 21, 2009.
The IAA is an initiative of the offices of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Participating colleges include the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Visual Arts and Design, and the College of Music. The Institute is housed at UNT on the Square.
The three central components of the Institute are UNT on the Square, the IAA Faculty Fellows program and the IAA Artist-in-Residence program.
The IAA Faculty Fellows program provides UNT (Denton campus) Faculty Fellows with 100 percent reassignment for one semester to accomplish and present creative research projects. Participants are selected through an annual application process open to all UNT (Denton campus) full-time faculty in the visual, performing and creative literary arts. Fellows’ activities often involve collaborations with outside artist and entities, resulting in creative works or initiatives that garner national attention and further raise the profile of the arts at UNT.