MFA Alum Wins International Award

July 9, 2012

Thomas Schram, a 2012 MFA graduate has won the 2011 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. The international award competition is sponsored by the International Sculpture Center (ISC), located in Hamilton, NJ.

“Tom is an exemplary student who very much deserves this high honor. His scholarly diligence and investment in the discourse of contemporary art have paved the way for him to be selected as one of the very best in a very competitive field of applicants from around the world,” said his faculty mentor, David Detrich.

There were an unprecedented number of nominees this year, including 485 students from over 190 colleges and universities from around the world. The jury, paneled by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, DeWitt Godfrey and John Lash, reviewed over 1,200 images of sculptural work.

“Being selected as a recipient of this prestigious award is quite an honor for an emerging sculptor,” said Greg Shelnutt, newly appointed chair of Clemson’s Department of Art.

“To have been chosen by a review panel of arts professionals from such a talented pool of sculptors from around the world speaks not only to the quality and aesthetic potency of Tom’s work, but to the strength of Clemson’s model of graduate education.”

In addition to his selection as an award recipient, Schram’s sculptural work will be on display at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ from October 16th, 2011 through April 8th, 2012. An opening reception will be held on October 15th in honor of the 2011 award winners, faculty sponsors and the institutions they represent.

“Tom’s work with stacked and crushed glass demonstrates both a refined aesthetic sensibility and a keen awareness of contemporary practice,” added Shelnutt.

Selected work from Schram and a spotlight on Clemson’s sculpture program will be featured in the 2011 October issue of Sculpture magazine, as well as in the Grounds for Sculpture’s Fall/Winter exhibition catalogue. Schram’s work will also be featured on the ISC website,

Schram describes his work as dealing with “the interaction a person has with space and the surroundings they inhabit.” While his past experiences with anthropology and religious studies have “galvanized a deep interest in humanity as a social animal and the paradigms that define and redefine collectives.”