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Meredith Setser of Herron Among Newest Efroymson Fellows

Meredith Setser
Meredith Setser


March 1, 2012

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  • Rob Bullock

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Meredith Setser, assistant professor of printmaking, has become the latest artist from Herron School of Art and Design to compete for and win an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship.

The judges were wooed by Setser’s handmade felt and etchings. Setser said she will use her $20,000 award to “push her work in new directions, possibly with the integration of technology and new media.” She’ll rent a larger studio space, travel to Argentina for a residency program in printmaking and round out the use of her funds by purchasing supplies and equipment and documenting her new work.

“It’s humbling and wonderful,” Setser said. “I still feel like I don’t deserve it.” She observed that “The 2011 group of artists seemed inclusive of people who worked outside of traditional materials. That was almost a theme—very tactile and material-driven in some ways, as well has having very interesting content.” Setser characterizes each year’s Efroymson fellows’ collective body of work as “always a great survey of contemporary art, strong work from the Midwest that’s as good as from anyplace else in the country.”

Setser has a particular interest in fiber and felt making although she “was trained as a traditional printmaker—fine art on paper—but I use fiber to expand the opportunities of two-dimensional print into the realm of installation,” she said.

“I love the historical and social relevance of felt,” said Setser. It’s “the oldest textile known to mankind and still used in a lot of industrial processes to this day. It’s an interesting medium and substrate. The process of making felt is simple. A five year old can do it, but the process is also magical.”

Setser started her undergraduate work at Edinboro University, but transferred to Herron in her third year when her family moved. “Definitely the printmaking faculty here was very inspiring,” she said. After earning a B.F.A. degree in printmaking in 1998, she completed an M.F.A. degree in 2004 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In the seven years of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship competition, which is open to artists in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, 15 of the 35 winners have been Herron faculty members or alumni.

For a look at more of Setser’s work, go to .