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Letter of Intent

My name is Shaun Griffiths and I am a MA Glass student at the University of


Sunderland in northeast England. I was previously at San Jose State University in
California where I completed a BFA in Spatial Art. Upon graduating I was lucky enough
to receive the prestigious Fulbright Postgraduate Award that has enabled me to finance
the one-year MA degree I am currently enrolled in. My awarded proposal was to
research methods of combining image and glass and to develop their application in
design and sculpture, my end goal being to appropriate the information available here and
return to America to disseminate it as an instructor. The University of Sunderland is
uniquely suited to this research. The leader of the program is Kevin Petrie, the author of
Glass and Print, and under his supervision is a cadre of artists pursuing similar veins of
research, including Bullseye artist Jeffrey Sarmiento.
My desire to attend this year’s GAS conference in Corning is both personal and
professional. As a glass artist, I relish the opportunity to reunite with other members of
the community. I enjoy the demonstrations, the lectures, the technical display, and of
course the activities. Corning, as an important location to glass history, is a place I have
wanted to visit in it of itself, as it provides an opportunity to both witness the heralded
facilities and glass collection. While providing for my personal enjoyment, these
activities simultaneously educate me, broadening my understanding of both the history
and applications of glass. This is consequently passed on to those I instruct now and
those I intend to instruct in the future. As I will be graduating at the end of July, the GAS
conference also offers critical access to a network that can provide visibility to potential
employment, residencies, and other opportunities that are not as readily available in any
other format. These connections can be critical to emerging artists such as myself and
have an increased importance in these financial times when the quantity of such
opportunities correspondingly shrinks.
As a Fulbright recipient, I have an obligation to promote the organization, but
more important is the need to raise awareness of the opportunity it can provide within the
glass community. Its importance to the American glass movement is well documented;
Dale Chihuly and Richard Marquis were recipients very early in the studio glass
movement. As an organization that provides financing to graduating student artists and
established artists alike, the Fulbright Organization is an outstanding opportunity to study
abroad, a wide variety of proposals have been financed in an ever-increasing number of
countries. I hope to evangelize the benefits of this program to my peers.
As a student at the University of Sunderland, I see first hand the need for
awareness of this program to be increased. While well off the beaten path in the
northeast corner of England, the facilities at the university are world class, owed in part
to their collaboration and shared facilities with the National Glass Centre. If enabled to
attend the conference, I intend to raise awareness of this university by participating in the
school presentations segment of the GAS conference. I have also begun the process of
becoming the Student Liaison for my university to facilitate the exchange of information
regarding opportunities and the like for the students here in Sunderland.
Promoting myself and my affiliations, broadening my knowledge of the material’s
history and techniques, and experiencing Corning as an avid glass artist and enthusiast
can only be possible through some form of subsidy. As an American on a student visa, I
am unable to earn money. My grant provides for tuition and living expenses, but leaves
me with little for anything else but small quantities of frugally chosen materials. I hope
that those who review this letter will receive in earnest my desire to become a teacher.
Consequently, I hope that you will view a decision to award me with this scholarship as
not money spent, but money invested. Please know that if enabled to attend that I will
also volunteer to work the event, both to lower the cost and to give back to the
organization. Thank you for your consideration.