Dexter Callender III awarded 2024 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts


Courtesy of Corban Swain

Courtesy of Corban Swain

Dexter Callender III,  a master's student in the Future Sketches group, is one of three recipients of the 2024 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts. Callender was awarded this prize for his body of work, Light Sculptures, Matters of Impermanence

Light Sculptures, Matters of Impermanence are a series of artworks that transform the movement of natural light within architecture into sculptural forms. Callender employs a combination of technology and traditional craftsmanship, using code and computer vision to trace sunlight’s journey across space before shaping it into glass sculptures by hand. Each piece serves as a physical snapshot of time, compressing hours of light movement into a single physical object. Beyond visual artifacts, the sculptures are also reflections of his personal experiences with light.

Callender started this art series by focusing on four prominent architectural landmarks in the Boston/Cambridge area: the MIT Media Lab, Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Gropius House, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. While reflecting on his personal experience with light in these buildings, he also engages with the location’s architectural history.

The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts is awarded to MIT students for excellence in a body of artistic work. A generous endowment allows for the award of graduate student prizes of $5,000 each, and undergraduate prizes of $2,500. This year's recipients will also participate in a joint exhibition in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, which opens Wednesday, May 22.

The Schnitzer Prize was established in 1996 through an endowment from Harold and Arlene Schnitzer of Portland, Oregon. Harold Schnitzer, a real estate investor, graduated from MIT in 1944 with a degree in metallurgy.

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