May 8, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- Alexis N. Salas, a graduating senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for postgraduate study overseas. Salas, daughter of Betsy and Robert Thompson of Valencia, Calif., will study the popular arts in the daily life in Mexico City, focusing on how Mexican museums affect and are affected by the ubiquity of art in the city.

"As an urban space that blurs distinctions of past and present in its globalized, cross-pollinated condition, Mexico City mixes indigenous, Latin American, mythological, religious, graphic, organic and urban," Salas wrote in her Fulbright proposal. "Mexico City is a Mecca with a rich aesthetic tradition that blurs the distinction between 'fine' and 'non-fine' art."

Salas plans academic study at the Universidad Iberoamericano and the Instituto de Esteticas at the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico, and practical work as curator of an exhibit at El Museo de Artes Populares.

David Y. Kim, a 1999 Amherst graduate currently studying the reception of Italian renaissance art in Germany on a Watson Fellowship, will also receive a Fulbright award this year to continue his work.

Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program, the federal government's premier scholarship program, funded by an annual Congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations.