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NewsNov 8, 2017

Lesley artists win Boston Foundation fellowships

Faculty Maya Erdelyi and alumnus Enzo Silon Surin receive $15,000 grants

Left: Headshot of Enzo Silon Surin. Right: Photos of Maya Erdelyi in her studio.

By Georgia Sparling

Two members of the Lesley community are being recognized for their creative contributions to the Boston area as awardees of the 2017 Brother Thomas Fellowship.

Faculty Maya Erdelyi and alumnus Enzo Silon Surin ’12 were among the 14 fellows chosen for the biennial award, which gives $15,000 in unrestricted grants to selected artists. Lesley Professor and Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges was a 2015 recipient of the fellowship.

Maya Erdelyi sitting at a table
Faculty member Maya Erdelyi is new to Lesley, and has extensive experience as an animator.

Animator Maya Erdelyi

Erdelyi, an adjunct faculty in our Animation and Motion Media department, uses cut-paper stop-motion, puppetry, drawn and computer animation and installation in her artwork, which features imaginary worlds and images from her own memories.

She has two works-in-progress that will benefit from the grant —a public printmaking project and “Anyuka,” an animated documentary about her Hungarian-born grandmother.

“It’s a magical medium — to see your ideas come to life,” she said of animation. “To me, it’s the closest I can get to showing somebody the inside of my brain.”

In addition to helping fund her work, the Brother Thomas Fellowship is an affirming boost for Erdelyi.

Maya Erdelyi's gif of two hands, one blue and one red.
"Hands" by Maya Erdelyi

“They’re recognizing me as someone who’s working hard. It’s encouraging me to continue. I really appreciate that,” she said.

Enzo sllon surin
Enzo Silon Surin, a graduate of our MFA in Creative Writing program, writes and publishes "poetry for the broken places."

Poet Enzo Silon Surin

Surin, a graduate of our MFA in Creative Writing program, is a prominent voice in Boston’s poetry circles — both as a writer and a publisher.

The Haitian-born poet, a tenured professor at Bunker Hill Community College, is a social activist who uses poetry to explore political and social violence as well as healing and recovery. In 2012, he also established Central Square Press, a small press that publishes “poetry for the broken places.”

“Writing offers the opportunity to really reflect on the effects of words and to address the type of impact that social and political violence has on a community and the lasting trauma it leaves behind,” said Surin.

With the freedom the fellowship provides, Surin will focus on two poetry collections.

“Working without a deadline presents a great opportunity to allow the work to fully develop and to be edited,” he said.

About the fellowship

The Boston Foundation established the fund in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and well-known ceramic artist.

Chosen by a multi-disciplinary panel, the fellows are mid-career artists noted for their commitment to their work.

Although there is no requirement to report to the fellowship, the hope is that Surin, Erdelyi and the other grant recipients will gain a greater audience and access to more markets.

For more information on Surin, visit his press. Erdelyi’s work can be seen on her website.