Itty Neuhaus, associate professor in the Department of Art at SUNY New Paltz, has been chosen by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the administrative body of the Fulbright Scholar Program, to be one of a network of 17 international scholars who will collaborate as part of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.
This program is unique from the larger Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in that it is designed to stimulate productive, collaborative research between representatives of the eight member countries of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum concerned with issues faced by Arctic nations and indigenous residents.
The group of scholars invited to participate is largely composed of scientists; Neuhaus is the only one with a background in art. This presents her with a unique opportunity to grapple with how art can contribute to a fuller understanding of the Arctic, both among her colleagues in the Initiative as well as the general public.
“I’ve always been interested in working with scientists and people in other fields,” Neuhaus said. “The Fulbright is about cross-cultural exchange, but also about interdisciplinary exchange.”
For her contribution to the project, Neuhaus will continue and expand upon an ongoing collaboration with researchers from Memorial University of Newfoundland, who are developing new strategies and taking advantage of new technologies to detect, measure and communicate data about iceberg structures with levels of accuracy previously not possible.
She is also drawing on the resources offered by New Paltz’s MakerBot Innovation Center (MIC), where staff are working with her to digitally model and 3D print replications of the icebergs she sizes in the field. Examples of this work will be premiered in an exhibit entitled “Monument to an Iceberg: Multiples in 3D,” August 8 at Hudson Beach Glass in Beacon, N.Y.
Neuhaus developed an appreciation for the unique and random structures of icebergs, and for their broader implications as evidence of climate-related deterioration of glacial ice masses, during a previous Fulbright-funded study in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Neuhaus said she is optimistic that her own methods of intensely studying objects for artistic reproduction might inspire the students she works with at the College.
“I try to teach by example,” Neuhaus said. “I hope my encounters with the land are giving students a model for how to find their source material. I want them to try to find something they really care about, and then go deeply into that.”
Significant prior iceberg research and artistic output by Itty Neuhaus has been supported by the National Science Foundation and by the Committee on Research, Awards and Leaves (CRAL) at SUNY New Paltz. More information is available at http://www.ittyneuhaus.com/.
A detailed description of the planning and goals of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative can be found at the CIES website.