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RMU Professor Named 2014 Artist of the Year

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

RMU Professor Named 2014 Artist of the Year

Hyla Willis is an interdisciplinary graphic designer

Hyla Willis, associate professor of media arts at Robert Morris University, was named as the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2014 Artist of the Year.

"This is a huge honor," said Willis, an interdisciplinary artist and graphic designer, known for her work as a longtime member of the subRosa cyberfeminist art collective. “It’s a unique opportunity to develop and show new solo work at one of Pittsburgh's venerable art institutions.”

Originating in 1949, the Artist of the Year award recognizes "those making significant creative contributions to Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond." Willis' solo exhibition, "America's Least Livable City, and other works", will be unveiled at the center during an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. on May 9 and will run through mid-July.

In 1985, when Rand McNally first selected Pittsburgh as “America's Most Livable City,” Willis’ hometown of Yuba City, Calif., was ranked dead last. Her multimedia installation “explores the struggles of everyday life and the community cohesion that still occurs when the outside world disregards you.”

Willis will also show archival material from her work with the subRosa art collective, as well as a miscellany of her new works.

Willis holds a MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. She has been the recipient of two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in New Genres; a Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields; a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Arts; and an Artist Opportunity Grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

You can view her work online at