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New Media director wins U-Me Presidential Award
Prestigious honor given to Owen Smith at the 2009 commencement
8_MAY_2009. Scholar, artist, and director of the New Media Department Owen Smith has been awarded the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award, one of the University of Maine's top honors.

Owen SmithProfessor Smith is only the second faculty member in the arts to receive this award since it was established thirty years ago. A charter member of the original New Media group founded in the early 90s, Smith as director has overseen New Media's growth from a program to a department. Smith also maintains a full professorship in the Art Department and this past fall launched the university's new Intermedia MFA program.

Professor Smith is a renowned historian of Fluxus, a loose-knit but highly influential art movement that sought to break down the barriers between art and life. Smith's publications include one of the most highly respected books on the period, Fluxus: The History of an Attitude, as well as numerous articles.

As an artist, Smith has been represented in over 60 solo and group exhibitions worldwide, and he has curated more than 20 exhibitions. Smith received the Presidential Outstanding Teacher Award in 2000 and serves as vice chair of the Maine State Arts Commission.

Owen SmithThe Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award is an extremely competitive honor only given to one faculty member per year. Past awards have often favored scientists with large research budgets; the fact that this year's was bestowed on an artist suggests the ways that new media are increasing the power and visibility of creative avenues of technical research.

"It's an important mark of distinction and I'm happy to receive it," said Smith of the award.

The award was announced May 8th at the annual Academic Honors Convocation at the newly renovated Collins Center for the Arts.

Photos by Bill Drake.

Posted 2009-05-13 10:57:13 by Jon Ippolito
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