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Friday, May 22, 2009

PITT-BRADFORD ART PROFESSOR RECEIVES FULBRIGHT AWARD TO TEACH MURAL PAINTING IN BULGARIA

Pitt-Bradford Professor Kong Ho working on a
community mural in Mount Jewett, Pa.

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg

Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

BRADFORD, Pa. – Kong Ho, associate professor of art at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, has received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Lecturing Award to teach mural painting in the fine arts department of the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Ho, founder and current chairman of the Hong Kong Mural Society with murals to his credit in Hong Kong and the U.S., will spend five months at the academy beginning in February 2010. Ho’s Fulbright Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Congress and Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Professor Ho has received this prestigious fellowship,” said Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs. “It’s a testament to his leadership in the art community and his commitment to public art projects.”

While in Sofia, Ho will teach in the bachelor’s and master’s art programs in mural painting at the academy. He will design and paint a community mural collaboratively with the undergraduate and graduate students in mural painting at the academy.

While mural curriculums are uncommon in American universities, Ho said, several European universities offer such a curriculum, including the National Academy of Art. Besides teaching acrylic mural painting, he plans to study the Renaissance art of fresco, or painting in pigments mixed with water on wet plaster so that the mural becomes part of the wall or ceiling.

During his stay at his host institute, he also plans to learn more about other classical mural techniques such as secco, mosaics, glass painting and sgraffito. He will study techniques for the preservation of public murals and lecture on the mural art movement in the United States.

Ho said he has never formally studied mural painting before. “Almost nobody taught me how to do a mural,” he said. “A lot of muralists learn from each other, which is the common tradition in the U.S. I am excited to have this Fulbright grant opportunity to share my acrylic mural painting experience with the faculty and students in the National Academy of Art.

“During my stay in Bulgaria, I hope to obtain some valuable exchange of mural art curriculum in higher education and diverse cultural aesthetics.”

Ho will travel to Bulgaria in August for one week to participate in the Fulbright International Summer Institute 2009 in Tryavna, where he will attend classes in Bulgarian culture and studies.

Born in Hong Kong, Ho began making art during his undergraduate studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from Texas Tech University before coming to Pitt-Bradford to teach and direct the art program in 2001. He is also the director of the interdisciplinary arts program.

He has organized more than 36 granted public mural projects and 16 commissioned murals. Locally, he has designed, organized and painted murals in Fisher and Blaisdell halls on campus, in Old City Hall in downtown Bradford and in Mount Jewett. Currently he is working on a school mural project with students of differing abilities at Floyd C. Fretz Middle School in Bradford.

The Fretz mural project is part of a fellowship Ho earned last year when he was one of five artists selected for the VSA Arts Teaching Artist Fellowship, the premier fellowship for teaching artists with disabilities around the country.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Kong Ho is a great teacher and wonderful person. I am glad to see him recognized for all his hard work and talent. I was one of his students at Pitt and loved learning from him! And his murals are all so beautiful!