Two Guggenheim Fellows Named | The current of UCSB
Their specializations couldn’t be more different, but Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie and Toshiro Tanimoto have a lot in common: intellectual rigor, dedication and an impressive track record of achievement in their fields.
Now, UC Santa Barbara faculty members share something special – both have been named 2022 Guggenheim Fellows. Each fellow receives a substantial grant to support their research and creative projects for one year.
“On behalf of UC Santa Barbara, I offer my warmest congratulations to Professors Toshiro Tanimoto and Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie on their selection as 2022 Guggenheim Scholars,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “These highly prestigious fellowships for their research in Arctic Geology and African Art History, respectively, are an honor for our entire academic community. We are extremely proud of this meaningful recognition of their achievements and look forward to their continued contributions to our campus and our society.
Ogbechie, a professor in the Department of Art and Architectural History, will be working on a book project titled “The Curator as Culture Broker: Representing Africa in Global Contemporary Art.” The book will explore how curators and art historians represent African artists and artworks in the global contemporary art discourse.
“It is a great honor to be named a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation,” said Ogbechie, “and to join the long list of extraordinary scholars who have received this distinguished award.”
Tanimoto, a distinguished Earth science professor, will research a geophysical technique to estimate ice melt at various locations in the polar regions.
“I’m honoured, delighted to receive the scholarship,” Tanimoto said, “but at the same time, I’m a bit surprised because I didn’t expect it.”
Guggenheim Fellowships – reserved for those who have already demonstrated an outstanding capacity for productive scholarship or an outstanding creative ability in the arts – are awarded in a variety of disciplines, including natural sciences, film, music composition, education , mathematics and the visual arts. The 2022 winners were chosen from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants.
“The Guggenheim is one of the most competitive scholarships in the field of art history,” said Laurie Monahan, associate professor and chair of art and architectural history, “and Professor Ogbechie, whose work sheds light on people born in Africa, of African descent and African Diaspora artists in modern and contemporary art, encourages art historians to reassess and reconsider the ways in which the modern is defined beyond the conventions of the Western European canon.The department is extremely proud to have him as a colleague.
Susannah Porter, professor and chair of earth sciences, called Tanimoto’s scholarship a well-deserved honor.
“We are really thrilled for Toshiro and proud to have him as a member of our department,” she said. “It’s a real honor for Toshiro and for our department. Besides being an excellent scientist, Toshiro has always been a great colleague.