The Gordon Art Fellowship provides a stipend to an undergraduate art student and a faculty mentor to conduct a two-dimensional visual art project at the institute. Kauff's faculty mentor is Brett Colley, a printmaker and assistant professor in Grand Valley's Department of Art & Design.
An art and design major with an emphasis in printmaking, Kauff is from Arlington Heights, Ill., and is entering her senior year at Grand Valley. She will be able to spend 10 weeks this summer at the institute, completing a series of art projects inspired by the natural areas. Entitled, "Drawing from the Land," her projects will be an investigation of ecology and the human understanding of nature. Her finished work will be exhibited both at the institute and the Padnos Student Gallery on Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.
"I was excited for the opportunity to apply for this new fellowship because I have always been interested in natural science," said Kauff. "I see a lot of potential for interaction between the visual arts and biological sciences."
The Gordon's strong commitment to the arts and Grand Valley have previously included gifts to double the size of the George and Barbara Gordon Art Gallery on the university's Pew Grand Rapids Campus, which features the work of renowned Michigan painter Mathias J. Alten.
The institute, an environmental education center located near Hastings, Mich., is one of the few independently operated biological field stations in the country. It is not associated with one particular college or university, but rather, a consortium of 13 schools from Michigan and Indiana.