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Irwin Scholars

The William Hyde Irwin and Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship is our most prestigious student scholarship.  At the end of Fall quarter, thirty students are nominated by full time faculty (ladder and lecturer) to submit work for competition.  Ladder faculty meet as a group at the beginning of Winter quarter to select the year's Irwin Scholarship recipients. Exceptional students from each area are invited to apply in Winter.  Selection is based on the excellence of the nominees' creative work. Twelve students receive $2,500 and a highly-publicized group show in the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery during Spring quarter.


Wed, May 31, 2017 to Sat, Jun 17, 2017 At the Sesnon Gallery (Porter College)

Opening reception: Wednesday, May 31 from 5:30pm-7:30pm

Love, Sex, Tenderness, & Trauma: Irwin 2017

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery is delighted to present IRWIN 2017, the 31st annual Irwin Scholarship Award exhibition, showcasing the work of a select group of UC Santa Cruz’s most promising emerging artists from the Art Department: Nima Shariat, Alex Escobedo, Jiyeon Choi, Sarah Do, Webster Nguyen, Kevin Patanawong, Julia Aviles, Amber-Rose Kelly, Camille Mariet, Jennifer Hamilton, Bailey Clark, and Luis Contreras.

From love and sex to memory and trauma, IRWIN 2017 will highlight the contemporary conscious through an unconventional lens. Paintings and photos will transcend the boundaries of 2D representation while video and audio works demand a more intimate engagement between spectator and artist.

The exhibition presents a rich collection of innovative works which examine the personal as political, expanding individualized themes into a larger social, political, and environmental framework.  

IRWIN 2017 is made possible by the William Hyde and Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund, which generates annual merit scholarships to further the education of selected UC Santa Cruz artists.

More info about the Irwin Scholarship: Since 1986, the William Hyde and Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund has become a public display of support and appreciation towards art and art's involvement in our culture. Twelve artists are handpicked, annually, by UC Santa Cruz Art Department faculty to receive the most prestigious award in the Art Department. The Irwin Scholarship recognizes and celebrates the vision of promising artists, selected for their academic excellence, creativity, and potential. The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery is honored to showcase the recipients' outstanding work during the Irwin Scholars exhibition every year. Each artist is chosen because of their dedication to their own processes and inspiration, but as a collective the Irwin scholars become a representative microcosm of the unique artistic and collaborative movements happening at UC Santa Cruz right now.

The Sesnon Gallery encourages interdisciplinary discourse through the lens of the arts. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, noon to 5:00pm and Wednesday until 8:00pm. The gallery is located at Porter College, UCSC and is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free and parking is free on Saturdays. Parking permits are available weekdays at the main campus entrance kiosk for $6/day and $4 at the Porter College lot for special events. Group tours are available by appointment at (831) 459-3606. 


Irwin Scholars 2016

Irwin Scholars 2015

Irwin Scholars 2014

Irwin Scholars 2013

Irwin Scholars 2012

Irwin Scholars 2011

Irwin Scholars 2010

Irwin Scholars 2009

Irwin Scholars 2008

Irwin Scholars 2007

Irwin Scholars 2006

Irwin Scholars 2005

Irwin Scholars 2004

Irwin Scholars 2003


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