VERMILLION, S.D. -- Professor John Banasiak is the 2008 recipient of the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professor Award.
Banasiak, a professor of photography at The U since 1980, has received more than 20 Research Catalyst Grants from USD’s Office of Research, eight South Dakota Arts Council Artist Fellowship Awards, and over 40 national and international Jurors Awards. He has also been a part of more than 250 juried exhibitions. In 2004, Banasiak was the recipient of the Belbas-Larson Award at USD, the highest teaching award at the University. In 1992, he received the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award for work in creative research.
His current work includes a series of Polaroid Transfer prints titled “Scenes From The Dreams Of A Fortune Teller,” which recently won jurors awards at the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition in Jonesboro, Ark., the Magic Silver Show in Murray, Ky., the 14th annual NAC National Competition at Truman State University, and the Oklahoma Centerfold National Competition at the Leslie Powell Foundation in Lawton, Okla. In addition to his current work, Banasiak has produced photographic portfolios on Poland, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Jordan, China, Morocco, Hungary and New Zealand. He has also given lectures and workshops in Mikolc, Hungary and Mojacar, Spain, at the Central College of Fine Art in Beijing, China, and at Auckland University and Canterbury University in New Zealand.
Awarded biennially to a professor who has been at USD at least 12 years who has distinguished themselves in research and creative activity, the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professor Award is the top faculty award in the College of Fine Arts. The award is supported by the Wayne S. and Esther M. Knutson Endowed Fund. Each recipient receives $1,000 a year for two years and is required to deliver a special presentation, exhibit or performance along with a lecture as part of this award. Susan Skyrm, professor of music, was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2006.
A photograph of Banasiak is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/J_Banasiak.jpg.