Miguel A. Aragón

CSI Assistant Professor of Art Miguel A. Aragón has been named a 2017 recipient of the CUNY Academy’s Henry Wasser Award. According to the Academy’s Website, the Award, which is named after the Academy’s first Executive Director, and former Dean of Faculties at Richmond College, is given “to outstanding CUNY Assistant Professors based on nominations provided by members of the Academy.”

Professor Aragón, who was born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, earned his BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Through the use of processes that are reductive in nature, he continues to produce a series of works that addresses the Mexican Drug Cartel Wars where thousands of people have died in drug-related violence. He ties together process and subject matter through the use of metaphors and visual metonymies, exploring the idea of perception, memory, and transformation. His work is derived from a need to find meaning in these brutal events that repositions the corpse in our field of vision, reminding us that our physical existence is finite.

His work is included in the books A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking by Matthew Egan, Michael Ehlbeck, and Heather Muise; and in Arte Tejano: de campos, barrios y fronteras by Cesáreo Moreno and published by Smithsonian Latino Center and Fundación OSDE.

In 2012, Professor Aragón received the Artist of the Year in Printmaking Award by the Austin Visual Arts Association and the Austin Critics Table Award for Artist of the Year. Along with other numerous awards, his work has been exhibited and reviewed nationally and internationally in venues such as the International Print Center New York, Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco CA, FotoFest in Houston TX, OSDE Espacio de Arte in Argentina, Austin Museum of Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, and in countries such as Canada, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

His work is also included in numerous public and private collections; these include The University of Arkansas Little Rock, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago IL; Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin TX; Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne IN and Kyoto International Woodcut Association in Kyoto Japan to name a few.

Dr. Henry A. Wasser served as Dean from the time Richmond College was founded in 1966 until 1973. A prominent educator, he spent most of his career with The City University of New York, starting in 1946. He taught for many years at CCNY before becoming Dean of Faculties at Richmond College, which later merged with the two-year college, Staten Island Community College (SICC), to form the College of Staten Island CUNY. Dr. Wasser then served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cal State Sacramento before returning to NYC and The City University. He was Chair of the CUNY University Faculty Senate from 1980-1986 and became a member and subsequently an emeritus member of The City University Board of Trustees, as well as President and Executive Director of the CUNY Academy. He was also a member of the Department of Sociology at The Graduate Center of The City University as well as the Department of English at the College of Staten Island.

Emily Rice, CSI Assistant Professor of Engineering and Physics, received the Wasser Award in 2015.