Monday, April 06, 2015

Kenny Foster Named USITT Lighting Design Award Sponsored By the Barbizon Lighting Company

The USITT Lighting Design Award was established in 1997 and first awarded in 1998 by USITT and contributing member Barbizon Lighting, in memory of Sam Resnick and in honor of Sid Bloom.

USITT Lighting Design Award Recipient Kenneth Foster
Nominees must be graduate students or undergraduates in their junior or senior year. Nominators must cite examples of work that feature the individual’s creative application of lighting design and/or technology in the performing arts. Examples must be cited that demonstrate excellence in areas such as:
  • Compositional skill
  • Rendering
  • Light plot
  • Drafting
  • Engineering
  • Research
  • Computer applications
  • Personnel management
  • Effective use of resources
The 2015 winner and 18th recipient of this award is Kenny Foster from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

Kenny talks about becoming a designer and his influences, "Being an artist was by no means a choice, but rather a necessity. If I could do anything else, I absolutely would (and the pay would probably be better, to boot), but I would never be fulfilled or happy. I am an artist, first and foremost, I only choose lighting because it makes the most sense to me and I feel I can create the best work by controlling it. If sound, costume, scenic, directing, performing, or studio art influenced me more, I would use that as a medium without a second thought. There are two individuals that have helped drive me to where I am today in my career and in my life. Michael Barnett, the Lighting Professor at The University of Mississippi, thrust me into Lighting Design and pushed me farther than anyone else ever has. He never once gave up on me, even though I was an absolutely atrocious student (at the time) that initially resisted him at every step. He is a strong man that I will be grateful to for the rest of my life. Kenton Yeager, the Head of Lighting at The University of Tennessee, has helped me to become a more open artist, and pushed me to create work that is more sophisticated and imaginative than I ever thought possible."

Foster also fully believe in the transformative powers of theatre and has a very heartfelt passion in Theatre for Young Audiences. Kenny is dedicated to finding unique and original approaches to present thought-provoking entertainment to audiences of all ages.

He continues, "Theatres servicing young audiences in this country need to be recognized as the valuable influence on our future that I know them to be. It is my goal and aspiration to do everything I can to strengthen programming and production quality in as many dedicated young audience theatres as I can in my career."

Congratulations Mr. Foster - from all of is here at Barbizon Lighting