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Concordia MFA grad receives the 2024 Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art

Interdisciplinary artist Kuh Del Rosario wins the $60K award alongside UQAM’s Lynn Kodeih
April 2, 2024
On the left, a woman with long, dark hair, sitting in a light-filled interior, wearing a black shirt. On the right, an installation view of a sculpture exhibition.
At left: Kuh Del Rosario. Photo by Alexis Bernard, 2024. | At right: “SUMMONING BLACK BEACH” by Kuh Del Rosario, 2023. Installation view. Photo by Paul Litherland

Kuh Del Rosario, an MFA graduate of Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts, and Lynn Kodeih, a master’s graduate of visual and media arts at Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM), are the 2024 recipients of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art.

Each worth $60,000 over two years, the fellowships are the most generous post-MFA awards for emerging artists in Canada. They provide recipients with the recognition and support needed to refine their work and further their creative research at a turning point in their career paths — as they move out of academia and into the professional arts community.

The annual fellowships are awarded to two students enrolled in a master’s or PhD program in the media arts or visual arts programs at Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts and UQAM’s Faculty of Arts.

Annie Gérin, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, says the Bronfman fellowships come at a crucial juncture in an artist's career. “The recognition and financial prize will help Kuh and Lynn flourish as they transition from their respective MFA programs to the professional art world,” she notes.

“I want to thank Stephen and Claudine Bronfman for their continued generosity and support of emerging artists here at Concordia and UQAM.”

Kuh Del Rosario, Concordia’s 2024 Bronfman fellow

Del Rosario recently earned an MFA in studio arts with a concentration in sculpture and ceramics. The Filipino Canadian artist, who was born in Manila and grew up in Calgary, explains that her practice draws on personal history and uses everyday items and salvaged materials to tell stories. 

She says the award will have a significant impact on her practice. “This fellowship will provide much-needed time and resources to realize ideas I wouldn’t have the ability to pursue otherwise. It is an exceptional gift.”

Del Rosario already has a line-up of exciting projects on the horizon. 

She is currently working with fellow artists Miri Chekhanovich and Cecilia McKinnon on an upcoming FOFA Gallery exhibition set to debut in May.

In addition, Del Rosario is researching and gathering materials for a two-year project on Datu Kalantiaw, a fictionalized historical figure of the pre-Spanish era Philippines. 

“Kalantiaw and the surrounding circumstances that have shaped him to life present an interesting parallel to the tangled and multi-faceted Filipino identity,” she says. “I want to find a way to tell this story with sensitivity and compassion for the people it has affected most significantly. 

“My practice will shift to include more imagery and historical writings. I also plan to incorporate materials and craft techniques from my home province of Aklan.” 

Del Rosario will also undertake a three-year residency at Fonderie Darling, joining their Montreal Studios Program 2023-26 cohort.

‘A clear and unwavering focus on developing and growing my practice’

Before the MFA program, Del Rosario says she balanced her time between studio and day jobs as many artists do. 

After graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design — now the Alberta University of the Arts — in 2003 with a BFA in painting, Del Rosario spent more than a decade working as an artist in Vancouver.

In 2017, she moved to the Philippines, where she founded Elmo’s House Artist Residency, a studio and living space for local and international artists.

“Having just arrived from the Philippines months before the start of the MFA, I was determined to conduct my life in Montreal with a clear and unwavering focus on developing and growing my practice,” Del Rosario says. 

The first year, however, was not without its challenges.

Del Rosario recalls beginning her program at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when quarantine measures posed numerous hurdles, including a transition to online classes and studio restrictions. Although it was a tough experience for everyone, she credits the resolve of her professors and peers with pushing through the obstacles they faced.

“Professors Kelly Jazvac and Juan Ortiz-Apuy were truly remarkable in their dedication and commitment to making that first year,” she says. “Having Kelly as my advisor, I felt immensely cared for and nurtured, despite her balancing so many responsibilities and projects.”

She adds that sharing time in studio with her cohort was a blessing throughout the MFA. 

“With the outstanding calibre of my peers and string of incredible thesis shows this past year, it is truly an honour to be named this year’s Bronfman fellow alongside Lynn.”

Twenty-eight other exceptional artists have received the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art in the past 14 years:

2023: Maude Arsenault (UQAM) and Kyle Alden Martens (Concordia)
2022: Rémi Belliveau (UQAM) and Diyar Mayil (Concordia)
2021: Leila Zelli (UQAM) and Nico Williams (Concordia)
2020: Heidi Barkun (UQAM) and Mara Eagle (Concordia)
2019: Céline Huyghebaert (UQAM) and Madeleine Mayo (Concordia)
2018: Frédérique Laliberté (Concordia) and Émilie Serri (UQAM)
2017: Andréanne Abbondanza-Bergeron (Concordia) and Martin Leduc (UQAM)
2016: Yannick Desranleau (Concordia) and Guillaume Adjutor Provost (UQAM)
2015: Velibor Božović (Concordia) and Myriam Jacob-Allard (UQAM)
2014: Marie Dauverné (UQAM) and Brendan Flanagan (Concordia)
2013: Nadia Seboussi (UQAM) and Kim Waldron (Concordia)
2012: Sébastien Cliche (UQAM) and Julie Favreau (Concordia)
2011: Aude Moreau (UQAM) and Pavitra Wickramasinghe (Concordia)
2010: Steven Bates (Concordia) and Véronique Savard (UQAM)

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