UK Grad Student Among 11 Recognized by International Sculpture Center

Arts & Culture
photo of Amalia Galdona Broche seated in gallery with her art surrounding her
May graduate Amalia Galdona Broche has been recognized among the best contemporary sculpture artists by the International Sculpture Center. Photo Amalia Galdona Broche/ArtConnect.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2021) — Recent University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies graduate Amalia Galdona Broche is one of 11 students awarded the prestigious International Sculpture Center‘s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award for 2021.

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) established the annual award program in 1994 to recognize young sculptors and to encourage their continued commitment to the field. It was also designed to draw attention to the sculpture programs of the participating universities, colleges and art schools.

The ISC award program’s growing publicity resulted in an exceptional number of participating institutions, including 100 universities, colleges and art school sculpture programs for a total of 234 nominated students.

This year’s award winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda, of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico; artist Chido Johnson, Kresge Fellow and current section chair of sculpture at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan; and art historian, curator, consultant and ISC board member Marin Sullivan, of Chicago, Illinois. The panel deliberated over 570 images of sculptural works to select 11 award recipients and six honorable mentions. The selection of the recipients from a large pool of applicants, including international students, is a great accomplishment and testament to the artistic promise of the students’ work.

Fiber artist, sculptor and time-based media artist Amalia Galdona Broche, who earned a Master of Fine Arts degree this May from UK, was recognized for “From my stitched prayers, the gazebo grew a skin.” Garry R. Bibbs, head of UK Sculpture Area, served as Broche’s faculty sponsor for the international competition.

Broche and the other 10 award recipients will participate in a group exhibition this fall. The artists’ work will also be featured in the January/February 2022 issue of the International Sculpture Center’s award-winning publication, Sculpture magazine, as well as on the ISC’s website at

The 2021 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award recipients are:

  • Stephen Abernathy, of University of North Texas;
  • Erin Antonak, of State University of New York at New Paltz;
  • Allena Marie Brazier, of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville;
  • Amalia Galdona Broche, of University of Kentucky;
  • Noah Greene-Lowe, of Sam Fox School of Art and Design, Washington University in St. Louis;
  • Keith Kaziak, of University of Wisconsin-Madison;
  • Miru Kim, of Arizona State University;
  • Anna Kruse, of State University of New York at New Paltz;
  • Kylie Little, of Georgia State University;
  • Hanna Makkonen, of Arizona State University; and
  • Heidi Zenisek, of University of Maryland.

For further details on the recipients and honorable mentions, visit the 2021 Student Awards feature page on the ISC website.

Originally from Santa Clara, Cuba, Broche works with textiles and fibers to create installations that materialize psychological landscapes of nostalgia and remembrance.

“My work materializes and translates real and psychological landscapes, investigating identity, personal and collective memory, as well as belief systems and transculturation processes. Through textiles, I study the complexities of identity-building as a Cuban-born woman touched by displacement, migration and transculturation. Feeding from the cultural, aesthetic and natural environment in which I reside, I use layers in my work to obscure individual objects and textiles, complicating and entangling embedded histories beyond recognition,” Broche said.

Via knotting, weaving, ropemaking, wrapping and other accumulative methods, Broche’s sculptures explore the role and definition of textiles in today’s world, focusing on the woven plane as a second skin, a weather-protective and complex reconfiguration of material, ideas and memories. Manifested in organic, female and generative forms, the work acts as an offering, and act of sharing and expressing an identity that is multilingual, abstract and obscured, yet nuanced and familiar, as is the process of living in liminality. Soft and malleable yet playful and colorful, Broche is crafting a visual language where verbal communication has been rendered ineffective to communicate the multiplicity of identities within all of us.

Broche, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts in sculpture and art history from Jacksonville University in Florida, has participated in residencies at the New York Academy of Fine Arts, the Studios at MASS MoCA and WOC Residency. Her work has been exhibited at such venues as The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Parachute Factory, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Field Projects and The Sculptors Alliance.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, part of the College of Fine Arts, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studiesart educationcuratorial studies and digital media design.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for” three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers.”  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.