Literary Arts

Kathy Wu named one of Brown Arts Institute's 2024-25 David Dornstein '85 Artist Grant Recipients

Brown Arts Institute (BAI), part of the Perelman Arts District, announces the David Dornstein ’85 Artist Grant recipients. Davis Jackson and Kathy Wu were selected to receive funding to support their proposed projects.

The David Dornstein ’85 Artist Grant was established to honor the creative legacy of David Dornstein ’85. The program is designed to create new energy and life around the arts at Brown University that will carry over each year by providing resources for exceptional and unique projects that serve as a “next step” for graduating seniors or graduate students. The award scope includes original artistic projects or creative research that would benefit from extended time or extended opportunity for travel, project design, or costs or experiences.

Kathy Wu (she/they) is a cross-disciplinary artist, writer, and educator pursuing the MFA degree through Brown's Literary Arts department and is based in Providence RI (Narragansett land). She works across textiles, code, book arts, and language. Her work is interested in scientific epistemology, nomenclatures, land markers, and histories of copper. Her art, design, and writing have been published by The New School, New River. She has forthcoming work anthologized in Nightboat and Fonograf. She has taught computational poetics and community art at RISD, CUNY, and Brown, as well as given workshops at Rutgers, UNC, and Northeastern.

Wu’s project, Text, textile, technology, is about how much computation is like weaving, a memory of labor and raw materials. Her mother taught her about copper, and how it allows circuitry to “semi-conduct.” She has been holding semi-conduction as a metaphor for complex global connectivity. This project will be an Arizona-based community program on geopoetics, land, and memory for young artists and writers, which will culminate in a group publication. The project also includes solo travel to the American Southwest, where she will ground her site-specific research on circuitry’s labor history and expand existing poetry and copper weavings.

Davis Jackson (he/him) is a multimedia artist, animator, and short film director whose work aims to illuminate deeply personal stories of change, young adulthood, and trauma. He strives to push the limits of various media to find illuminating intersections between art, storytelling, technology, and science. While pursuing a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Modern Culture and Media at Brown, he has directed three live-action short films and co-created two 3D-animated shorts. His first project as writer/director is set to premiere at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in April 2024, and his most recent project, Commencement, is currently wrapping up production in Providence, RI. In 2023, he was a Technical Director Intern in the Pixar Undergraduate Program, and he credits Pixar films with shaping much of his early view of the world. He loves cats, the beach, and good friends.

Jackson’s project, Lost in the Forest, is a short documentary about seasonal patterns in Maine as experienced by his grandmother, Joan, who grew up in rural Maine and now lives there with vascular dementia. Part live-action and part stop-motion-style 3D animation, this project explores how the patterns of his grandmother's life persist beyond her explicit memories in extrapersonal archives, discovered through Joan's daughters' stories of her life in the forests and beaches of Maine. This documentary project illustrates the virtue of turning to nature and storytelling when faced with a diagnosis that threatens the patterns and memories that affirm one's identity.

About Brown Arts Institute (BAI)
Brown Arts Institute is a university-wide research enterprise and catalyst for the arts at Brown that creates new work and supports, amplifies, and adds new dimensions to the creative practices of Brown’s arts departments, faculty, students, and community. Through year-round programming, research-focused courses, initiatives, collaborations, and partnerships, along with rigorous artistic and academic programs, BAI commissions and presents new work on campus, across Providence, Rhode Island, and beyond, from students, faculty, and on-campus arts groups, as well as in collaboration with forward-focused visiting artists and other performing arts organizations.