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The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Film Council Announce 2015 Media Arts Fellowship Award Recipients

in Press Releases December 3, 2015 4 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) and the Columbus Film Council (CFC) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Media Arts Fellowship Awards, which recognize work by Franklin County artists exhibiting outstanding talent and ability in film, video and time-based digital images. The recipients were officially announced Nov. 14 during an evening presentation hosted by the Columbus International Film + Video Festival.

The 2015 Media Arts Fellowship recipients are Phil Garrett ($3,500), Alexa Sison ($1,500) and Heather Taylor ($1,500).

Fellowship grants are unrestricted. Recipients may use the awards in any manner they choose to support the creation of new works and/or the advancement of their careers. Recipients and finalists are also invited to apply for the Arts Council’s Artist Exchange Program if they have not previously participated in the program.

The 2015 Media Arts Fellowship finalists are Roger Beebe, Jonathan Johnson, Christina Paolucci and Scott Spears (collaborative team), Janet Parrott and Christopher Stone.

The 2015 Media Arts Fellowship recipient bios:

Phil Garrett
Garrett is a Columbus-based filmmaker. His work has screened at the International Science Film Festival of Athens (Greece), the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, the Stuttgarter Filmwinter Expanded Media Festival (Germany), COSMOS 2015 (Athlone, Ireland), Independents’ Day (Columbus), ComFest and the Film Festival of Columbus. His landscape and experimental video work was screened and exhibited at Sæborg in Hrísey, Iceland, during his time at the Gamli skóli artist residency. He is an assistant professor and acting chair of the cinematic arts department at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). He is a partner in production companies Route 7 Films and Arbor Avenue Films, and is producing the feature film The Street Where We Live, currently shooting in Columbus. He holds an MFA degree from the Ohio State University and worked on feature films in visual effects and animation at PDI/DreamWorks in Redwood City, California.

Heather Taylor
Taylor is a multi-media artist currently living at Milo Arts, in Columbus. She first became interested in visual art while living out west, and her interests have grown ever since. She received her bachelor’s degree in cinematic arts from CCAD. She grew up on the outskirts of Cleveland in the countryside, which influences her work. She has been featured in online magazines including a recent interview in the European-based magazine, Cinewomen. She also teaches digital photography at a nonprofit school in Dublin.

Alexa Sison
Sison is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but has been a Columbus resident for several years. She is the creative designer at Wowbrands in Grandview. Her background includes a bachelor’s in art therapy from Capital University, and she has a wide range of creative experience from sculpture to hand-lettering to film and video. Sison began working in film in 2012 by shooting artist exposés, has created a feature-length documentary about artists and enjoys documenting creative events in Columbus.

The Media Arts Fellowship awards are recommended by panelists after a blind-jury review process. Members of the 2015 Media Arts Fellowship panel who reviewed all applications and recommended the finalists and recipients were Shelly Hulce, an independent film commissioner, certified by AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International); Katherine Steele, executive director of the Cincinnati Film Festival; and John Vourlis, adjunct instructor in film and digital media at Cleveland State University.

The Media Arts Fellowship program provides unrestricted grants to artists of outstanding talent and ability who currently live in the city of Columbus and/or Franklin County, and have done so for at least one year. Students enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program of any kind at the time of application, or during the grant period, may not apply. The following categories are considered for the Media Arts awards: video, film and time-based digital images. Past fellowship recipients are ineligible to apply for a period of three years from the date of their award.

The Arts Council’s Individual Artists Fellowship program recognizes outstanding artists in Franklin County. Since 1986 more than 210 awards, in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, crafts, film and video, creative writing, music composition and choreography/movement arts, have been made. The Arts Council’s program is one of the few local fellowship programs in the country.

For more information on the fellowship and exchange programs contact Ruby Harper, grants & services director at

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, they fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the city of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support of all their programs.

About the Columbus Film Council: The Columbus Film Council was founded in 1950, by the late Dr. Edgar Dale, Professor Emeritus of The Ohio State University and other professionals interested in promoting the use of 16mm motion pictures. Two years later, the Columbus Film Festival was born. Since its inception, the object of the Film Council has been to encourage and promote the use of 16mm motion pictures and, subsequently, media in all forms of education and communication, not only in the local community but throughout the world. During these many years of continuous operation, the Festival has honored thousands of film and video producers. The Festival has grown in scope, becoming international in 1972, in the late 80’s adding video, and in 1997 adding the CD-ROM format. In 2004, the Festival added DVDs to its list of accepted formats.


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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492