Beili Liu receives $200,000 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

The Austin artist received support for the sculptural project 'Dreams of the High North,' focused on the Arctic environment

Beili Liu
Beili Liu. Image courtesy UT College of Fine Arts

Austin-based artist and University of Texas professor Beili Liu has been named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, the Carnegie Corporation of New York announced today.

Fellows receive a stipend of $200,000 and are recognized for scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that addresses important and enduring issues confronting our society.

A sculptor, Liu creates site-responsive installations and performances that address themes of migration, cultural memory, labor, and social and environmental concerns.

Among her temporary public art projects in Austin was “Thirst,” a white tree suspended over Lady Bird Lake, a symbol the enormous loss of the hundreds of millions of trees lost in the Texas droughts.

Beili Liu "Thirst" installation
A 2014 project sponsored by Women & Their Work, “Thirst” featured a drought-killed tree, a symbol the enormous loss of the hundreds of millions of trees lost in the Texas droughts. “Thirst” was a collaboration of Beili Liu, Emily Little and Norma Yancey.

Her current project, “Dreams of the High North: Between Survival and Belonging, Sculptural Exploration of Environmental Challenges Facing the Circumpolar North,” is a sculptural installation and performance series that examines environmental and geopolitical transformations of the Circumpolar North through the lens of labor, handcraft, and the lived experiences of Arctic indigenous people.

On leave from her professorship, Liu is currently north of the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, Norway serving as the Fulbright Arctic Chair, a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Fellowship. She is conducting research and teaching at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway.

Utilizing the language of visual art as a tool for “translation, transmission, and transformation of cultures,” Liu’s arctic series aims to heighten awareness of the human impact on the environment and the urgency of climate change.

In January, Liu was awarded the $50,000 Pollock Prize for Creativity.