AU Press Releases

Fleming '14 cited for his sculpture

Michael H. Fleming of Medford, NJ, a 2014 graduate from Alfred University’s (AU) master of fine arts in sculpture/dimensional studies program, has been awarded the International Sculpture Center’s (ISC) Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.

The ISC established the annual award program in 1994 to recognize young sculptors and to encourage their continued commitment to the field. It was also designed to draw attention to the sculpture programs of the participating universities, colleges, and art schools. The program’s growing publicity resulted in a number of participating institutions this year - more than 151 university, college, and art school sculpture programs from six countries for a nominated total of 374 students.

A panel of Kathryn Mikesell, founder of the Fountainhead Residency and Studios, Miami, FL; Stefano Catalani, director of Art, Craft & Design at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA; and Donald Lipski, sculptor from New York, selected 22 recipients and 25 honorable mentions through a competitive viewing process of the works submitted.

The awardees will participate in the Grounds For Sculpture's Fall/Winter Exhibition, which will be on view from October 2014 - March 2015 in Hamilton, NJ, adjacent to the ISC headquarters. The artists’ work will also be featured in the October 2014 issue of the ISC’s Sculpture magazine as well as on the ISC’s website at

Fleming, nominated for the award by a faculty panel from across the AU School of Art and Design in the College of Ceramics, was “not only been incredibly productive and ambitious as a graduate student here at Alfred, he … continually provided a positive influence on the Sculpture Dimensional Studies Program,” said Coral P. Lambert, professor of sculpture dimensional studies and director of the National Casting Center Foundry at AU.

“Alfred has a reputation as one of the leading visual arts schools in the country, and the School of Art & Design’s BFA program is recognized for its innovation in emphasizing disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary opportunities,” continued Lambert. “By being chosen by the ISC for this award he is recognized for maintaining a dynamic sculptural practice expanding conceptual and material thinking whilst also developing practical and technical skills. Before pursuing sculpture, he received a bachelor’s of science degree in photography and has always worked fluidly across many different mediums. His interdisciplinary approach to sculptural practices encourages freedom and experimentation,” noted Lambert.  

“In addition to being a passionate and dedicated educator whilst at grad school, Mike has maintained a significant studio practice and extensive exhibition record. Some of his recent exhibitions include several notable international institutions and festivals, such as the DUMBO Arts Festival, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, the Malta Arts Festival, the Artefact Festival in Belgium, and the Triennale Design Museum in Italy. In the fall of 2012, I raised over $12,000 to fund a guerrilla sculpture project that took place in England and culminated in an exhibition and book publication. 

“We are proud that this award will enable Mike to continue to thrive in the ever-changing field of sculpture and contemporary art,” Lambert concluded.

In addition to the exhibition and inclusion in Sculpture magazine, the student ISC award recipients receive:

*The opportunity to win a residency in Switzerland to study with world-renowned sculptor Heinz Aeschlimann

*A one-year ISC membership, including subscription to both Sculpture magazine and the ISC supplements Insider and On Record, featuring calls for artists and member accomplishments

*Inclusion in the fall/winter 2014-15 color exhibition brochure published by Grounds For Sculpture.

*A listing in Portfolio, the ISC’s online registry of sculptors

*An opportunity to participate in the traveling Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards exhibition hosted by an arts organization in a location to be announced.

*Discounts on ISC-sponsored conferences, art periodicals, supplies, and services

*An award certificate and recognition letter from the ISC signed by the executive director and chairman of the board of trustees

*Invitations for the student and faculty to attend Grounds for Sculpture’s private opening reception to the award ceremony

The students’ institutions receive:

*Recognition in Sculpture magazine in conjunction with the student awardees’ art work and artist statement

*An invitation to spotlight the institution’s program(s) on the ISC website, which receives more than 100,000 daily

The Student Awards program is organized by the ISC and is sponsored in part by Gertrud and Heinz Aeschlimann, Doris and Donald Fisher, Grounds For Sculpture, the Johnson Art and Education Foundation, the Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. 

The ISC is a member-supported, nonprofit organization founded in 1960 to champion the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. Members include sculptors, collectors, patrons, architects, developers, journalists, curators, historians, critics, educators, foundries, galleries, and museums - anyone with an interest in and commitment to the field of sculpture.