Well Balanced: Hamblet Award Winner Depicts Wellness in Cut Paper, Sand and Lights

Vibhuti Krishna took home the art department's coveted Hamblet Award for 2016--including $25,000 for a year of research and travel--for her winning art installation. Photo by Julia Ordog, BA'16
Vibhuti Krishna took home the art department’s coveted Hamblet Award for 2016–including $25,000 for a year of research and travel–for her winning art installation. Photo by Julia Ordog, BA’16


Vibhuti Krishna, BA’16, who majored in art and in health, medicine and society, was presented the prestigious Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award for 2016. Hailing from Solon, Ohio, she received $25,000 for a year of art research and travel, which will culminate in a solo show at Vanderbilt next year.

Krishna’s winning art installation depicted “wellness” using laser-cut paper, sand and LED lights.

“In Sanskrit, prana means life-force, with specific respect to breath,” Krishna wrote of the inspiration for her work. “It is conceptually analogous to qi in ancient China, or pneuma in ancient Greece. Wellness in ‘traditional medicine,’ a term that applies to prescientific forms of medicine, is inextricably linked with a balanced life force that flows through the body. Wellness is achieved through meditative, ritualistic practice and is beginning to resurface as an integrative approach to health.”

Lucy Rahner, BA’16, an art and sociology major from Cincinnati, received the Department of Art’s Merit Award and a $10,000 prize.

Rahner’s charcoal drawings aim “to make people feel human and experience the full reality of their existence,” she writes. “The work com­municate[s] the transcendental elements of truth, beauty and goodness while also respecting the way humans are grounded in a material world. The idea of ‘sacramentality’ permeates the work—that is, the notion of material things expressing unseen realities.”

The jurors of this year’s competition for the Hamblet Award, which has been presented by the Department of Art each year since 1984, were all distinguished artists and educators: Lisa Bukawsky, professor of art at Washington University in St. Louis; Soo Sunny Park, chair of the studio art department at Dartmouth College; and Greg Pond, professor of art and department chair at Sewanee: the University of the South.