During the fall 2014 semester, Eastern Connecticut State University student Sonya Beetham ’15, a history major from Montville, received a project grant that supported her research into the life of Pablo Picasso. Titled “Pablo Picasso in Time and Place,” Beetham conducted her research under the mentorship of History Professor Roland Clark.
“I am very excited about Sonya’s research project,” said Clark. “She has a solid grasp of how historians approach artists and their work, and her project draws together skills from a variety of disciplines. I am looking over Sonya’s shoulder while she is researching and writing her paper, and am learning a lot about Picasso and cubism in the process.”
In regard to her research topic, Beetham said, “The topic of ‘Pablo Picasso in Time and Place’ was first brought to my attention by Professor Clark, who developed in me an interest in artists and the social and political contexts in which they work. I wanted to continue to work with Professor Clark, so we created an independent study that allowed me to research some of the art he presented in his classes.” She continued, “Picasso was one of the first names that came to mind because of my lack of knowledge about him, as well as his primitivist and cubist works.”
“Having grants available for students to pursue research is crucial because it gives them access to unique sources, experts and archives that they cannot find anywhere else,” said Clark. “This sort of research helps develop skills that students like Sonya will use throughout their working lives.”
When asked about being selected to receive an Eastern project grant, Beetham said, “I was very excited when I found out I was chosen. I heard it was a very competitive grant; I was nervous just to submit my application, but I’m happy I did.”
Limited funds are available for Eastern students to help cover the costs of research or a creative activity project. These activities are defined at Eastern as “Original intellectual or creative contributions to the student’s discipline carried out in conjunction with a faculty mentor, culminating in formal review of that work through presentations, exhibitions and/or publications.”