Fine Arts Professor Andrea DeFelice Receives Award

Andrea DeFelice uses technology as a form of art. (PHOTO BY ANDREA DEFELICE/FACEBOOK)
Andrea DeFelice uses technology as a form of art. (PHOTO BY ANDREA DEFELICE/FACEBOOK)

York’s Fine Arts Adjunct Professor Andrea DeFelice received a CUNY Professional Development Fund award to support her upcoming art residency in Iceland. DeFelice will begin her residency at The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art where she’ll stay for one month this summer further developing her skills as both a visual artist and instructor of multimedia.

DeFelice is currently a performing and fine arts adjunct professor here at York College where she teaches Intro to Computer Graphics and Computer Graphics II and works in various other  areas of the arts.

“I don’t have a single area of focus and typically work in a range of media—it being new forms and multimedia work that incorporates computer and video technologies,” said DeFelice. “I try to carry out the same approach to students while teaching new design programs and to use technology as a creative tool.”

DeFelice acknowledges a wide range of specialties in the arts and emphasizes the unique qualities and importance of each field to her students.

“I stress the importance of art to students in computer design courses mostly by encouraging a balance,” she said. “I always require drawing by hand, brainstorming, and resourcing to move students away from the computers for portions of each project, then [I] teach them how to use the technologies to build what they’re envisioning creatively.”

Throughout grade school, DeFelice always had a passion for the arts. She said she was often told by teachers that she had a knack for drawing. As a result, DeFelice ended up pursuing the arts later in her career.

“My interest grew through many years,” said DeFelice. “I never stopped wanting to make things.”

DeFelice furthered her education, attending several institutions including the Parsons School of Design for illustrative and graphic design, Stony Brook for Studio Arts and Art History and earned a Master of Fine Arts at Queens College in sculpture and installation.

DeFelice is one of many professors across the CUNY system to be awarded the grant.  “The Professional Development Fund for Adjuncts is an award one can apply for after he or she has been teaching a certain amount of semesters for CUNY. It’s meant to financially support a professional development activity within the instructor’s field,” DeFelice said about the award.   “When I received word that I’d been accepted into a residency I applied for in Iceland, I decided to apply for the fund to support this activity since it was eligible. Residencies abroad can typically be free of a fee to participate but as always there are travel fees, materials, oh yeah and food.. I felt the activity of this residency fit the criteria for the fund, and truthfully would only be possible for me to take part in with this fund.”

After winning the Professional Development Fund award, DeFelice said she was both very excited and relieved when she heard the news.

“Both reactions stemmed from knowing that my participation in this residency would’ve been close to impossible without the fund,” DeFelice said.

Similar to other academic awards, the recipients receives many benefits. DeFelice briefly discussed what the CUNY Professional Development Fund Award consisted of.  “The award consists of reimbursing me of all my activity-related expenses up to the amount originally requested in my application’s approved budget,” DeFelice said.  “I submit my expenses upon completion of the residency, along with follow up materials summarizing the experience, supplying visual examples, completed works, etcetera.”

DeFelice also talked about what her residency consists of, including details about her prospective living arrangements and duties as she prepares for her summer program.

“The residency will take place at… The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art. Hafnarborg runs a live-in Artist in Residence program on the top floor,” DeFelice said.  “The premises are for both Icelandic and international artists. The purpose of this activity is for professional development as a visual artist and instructor multimedia.”

During her stay at The Hafnarfjörður Centre, DeFelice plans to work towards meeting her goals of completing projects and expanding her knowledge as an artist.

“I plan to complete a project requiring research and utilization of different software/hardware media technologies,” DeFelice said. “The work will incorporate multimedia, including video, graphics, composite painting, and 3D materials. Technologies such as a flight drone, a robot rover, portable wi-fi and applied computer softwares will be implemented.”

DeFelice plans to combine media and artwork with the environment to showcase the correlation of technology and the environment in our lives. DeFelice wants to further her projects and plans to develop a “hotspot” or physical areas in a landscape. DeFelice plans to “investigate ideas of what draws us to a place, to technologies, and how they may help or hinder what’s sought out to accomplish.”

Her most recent gallery showing was at Porter Contemporary in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn and ran from Jan. 9 to Feb. 8 featuring her work alongside pieces from fellow artist Jennifer Murray.

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