2021-22 Distinguished Alumni Award: Millicent Young

School of Art Design and Art History
Millicent Young, (MFA '97)

The School of Art, Design and Art History has chosen Millicent Young (M.F.A. '97) to receive the SADAH 2021-22 Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in sculpture, installation and inter-media collaborations involving sculpture, sound, poetry and movement. 

What does receiving this award mean to you?
The award is very meaningful to me, certainly as a professional affirmation but also, more privately, as a sweet echo of triumph from a difficult passage," said Young. "It feels in equal measures celebratory and healing, and I am grateful to the vision, mission and openness of SADAH. I am so impressed with how the program and faculty have grown.

What do you attribute your professional success to?
The substance and strength of my work. Choosing integrity in the studio, as a citizen and human being, and with my professional peers. Perseverance. Maturity. Relentlessly hard work.  Questioning. Collaboration. The belief in transformation.  Always having a wage earning job and never expecting to earn a living solely as a studio artist. Making choices that put my practice as an artist central and not separate from the other threads from which we weave our lives.

Young's work was featured on the cover
of Sculpture magazine in March 2020.

What are you working on now?
I have several studio projects going on simultaneously:

  • A large outdoor installation that incorporates four already-dead cedar trees, four pairs of salvaged steel-frame factory windows, 32 panes of glass that I am fuming and embossing with text in the kiln, and a motion activated audio track. On the panes of glass and in the audio track, I am using the text of a poem by Jane Hirshfield with whom I have collaborated in the past. Also on the audio track are layers of a now extinct bird call (collaborating with the Cornell Ornithology Library) and the sounds of fire. It is a piece about the sixth extinction.
  • A solo exhibition that will run concurrently with the outdoor exhibition at the same venue. This exhibition In the Silence Between includes an 18-foot-long installation and a performative element with musician collaborators.
  • A series of indoor pieces involving charred cedar and incorporating other materials, including adobe and horsehair.
  • I am in the process of writing two grants, submitting work to several calls and preparing work for a curated exhibition in Brooklyn.

And soon it will be planting time!

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Published: Monday, May 16, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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