Cirino Fund supports RIC students’ goal of MA in Art Education

Five Rhode Island artists are attending graduate school at Rhode Island College, and will ultimately teach art education, with support from the Antonio Cirino Memorial Fund at The Rhode Island Foundation.

Kristina Hook of Portsmouth, Ana Paulo of East Providence, Katherine Truskoski of Cranston, and RIC alums Amanda Pugliesi ’05 of Pawtucket, and Eileen Valedofsky ’02 of Providence, have been awarded between $2,000 and $10,000 toward tuition, fees, books and living expenses.

A total of thirteen artists from Rhode Island, who will be attending graduate school at various colleges and universities, have been awarded with the Cirino scholarship.

Two RIC alums, Melissa Brown ’08 of Scituate and Jessica Carrera ’03 of Johnston, have also received Cirino awards. Brown will be studying for a master of fine arts in painting at the Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Carrera will attend the University of Rhode Island for a master’s of music performance in flute performance.

Antonio Cirino was a prominent Rhode Island artist, author and instructor. Upon his death, his estate established the $800,000 Cirino Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation to offer fellowships for would-be art teachers.

Cirino, an immigrant from Italy, joined the Rhode Island School of Design faculty in 1912, where he taught for 40 years. He also taught at Columbia, Illinois State, and Indiana Universities. He was a prolific oil painter and was honored by the Salmagundi Club of New York City and the Rockport (MA) Art Association, to whom he left collections of his work and library.

Applicants for Cirino fellowships must be artists and must demonstrate financial need; they also must have lived in Rhode Island for at least five years prior to applying for the award. Applicants can be degree candidates in art history, criticism, theatre, dance and music, among other disciplines, as long as they have a commitment to teaching. Preference is given to visual artists.

The next application deadline for Antonio Cirino Memorial Fund fellowships will be in spring 2010; a full list of scholarships offered through The Rhode Island Foundation is available in the scholarships section of the Foundation’s website,