Ippolito Receives Thoma Foundation’s Inaugural Digital Arts Writing Award

Jon Ippolito, a professor in the New Media Department at the University of Maine, has received a $30,000 award for his digital arts writing.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation announced the recipients of its inaugural Arts Writing Fellowship Awards in the digital arts on April 21. The merit-based awards recognize the achievements of both an established and an emerging arts writer who have contributed significantly to the field of writing in the digital arts, according to the foundation.

The awards were created to reward and promote sustained commitment to arts writing that advances the scholarship, history, criticism and theory of the digital arts and evolving technologies within contemporary art, the foundation states.

Ippolito received the award for being an established arts writer in the U.S. Joanne McNeil, a freelance writer from New York City, received $15,000 as an emerging arts writer.

“I’m tremendously honored to be among the first tapped for this distinction,” Ippolito says. “Yet in many ways this award goes beyond individual recognition to celebrate the maturity and relevance of the field of new media art. Curators and historians, take note: Digital art is here to stay.”

Ippolito has written several books and conducted projects on digital curation and social media. His most recent book, “Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory” focuses on the threat that technological obsolescence presents for digital culture.

His current projects, including the Variable Media Network, a database that documents artists’ intents about future re-creations of their work; and ThoughtMesh, an online framework for connected publication; as well as past books, such as “At the Edge of Art,” aim to expand the art world beyond its traditions.

Ippolito has been a new media professor at UMaine since 2002. He helped establish an undergraduate curriculum in 2003 and spearheaded the development of the graduate Digital Curation program in 2011, which he continues to direct.

He also is co-director of the Still Water lab located on the fourth floor of UMaine’s Chadbourne Hall. He created the lab in 2003 with fellow new media professor Joline Blais as a flexible multipurpose space for ongoing new media projects that are open to community observation or participation.

Ippolito has a bachelor’s degree in physics and astrophysics from Harvard and a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale. He has served as associate curator of media arts at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation was established in 1986 to fulfill the couple’s passion for philanthropy, and in 2014, they created the art foundation to distinguish their visual art initiatives.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation recognizes the arts can influence attitudes, increase tolerance for differences and encourage new solutions. The foundation lends and exhibits artworks and supports innovative individuals and pivotal initiatives in the arts, according to the foundation.

The Thoma Foundation is based in Chicago and Santa Fe but contains local, national and international programs.

More information about the Thoma Foundation and the Arts Writing Fellowship Awards is online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747