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GCA Scholarships Recipients


2023 Miranda E. Mote

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture
School: Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Pratt Institute, New York City; Lecturer, Program in Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Botanography and Botanic Gardens, The Italian Art of Nature Printing and Its Influence on Early American Gardens and Botanical Language

Mote’s project on botanography and botanical gardens will be a historical, artistic, and pedagogical endeavor. With research conducted at the Orto Botanico di Firenze, Padova and Pisa, Mote will document aspects of the culture of nature printing as foundational sources for nature printing as a western art and science. To hone Mote’s own techniques of creative botanical print work, examples of Italian nature prints and their printing methods will be examined and those methods reconstructed. In addition, Mote will continue to develop curricula for elementary and secondary STEAM (arts focused STEM pedagogy) using a variety of historical methods based on a deeper analysis and interpretation of nature printing as an art and science. The project is relevant to Mote’s design and history teaching in university programs of architecture and landscape architecture as well as efforts to connect youth with the palliative and cultural aspects of trees and gardens in urban communities.


2022 Alexa Vaughn

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Sorda Nella Città Eterna | Deaf in the Eternal City: Deaf and Disabled Storytelling and Creative Investigations in the Aesthetic Intersections of Accessibility and Historic Preservation in Roman Landscapes       

Vaughn’s project will examine—through the eyes of a Deaf American woman—the aesthetics of Deaf and disabled experiences of Rome from ancient to modern times with the purpose of shaping new methodology for accessibility and inclusion in the Eternal City. By looking beyond basic accessibility guidelines (Americans with Disabilities Act), by treating lived experience as expertise, and through the lenses of Universal Design and DeafSpace principles, Vaughn will creatively imagine new modes of historic preservation in Rome without sacrificing the essence of place. Through visual studies, mixed-media sketches, sensory mapping, and storytelling, Vaughn will celebrate Deaf and disabled experiences in Rome to grow collective understandings. In addition, Vaughn will create a model for Rome and other historic cities to define and balance both aesthetics and accessibility and will forge a more inclusive practice of landscape architecture and historic preservation. Vaughn’s project will be published in a future book and shared through lectures and exhibitions.

2021 Phoebe Lickwar

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture
School: Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin

Promiscuous Cultures: Agroecology and the Orto Urbano

Lickwar’s project examines remnant and lost forms of traditional agroecology in the fascia olivata Assisi-Spoleto region of central Italy and speculates on how its recovery can inspire novel hybrid forms of urban agriculture in Rome. Coltura promiscua, or mixed cultures, refers to the cultivation of olives with grapevines, fruit trees, or grains, a cultural practice that resulted in surprising and complex strategies for shaping space by layering and overlapping distinct vegetal forms, exploiting verticality by attending to the unique morphological characteristics of each plant. She will create a series of hybrid drawings that analyze the forms and practices of coltura promiscua and tell the story of transformation in the region from a landscape of intensive mixed cultivation to one of extensive mechanized monocropping. Lickwar will then develop a series of speculative proposals for an agroecological orto urbano that reinterprets the principals and tactics of coltura promiscua for contemporary adaptation.


2020 Robert Pietrusko

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Adapting the Viticultural Landscape

Robert Gerard Pietrusko is an Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, from which he received a master’s degree in architecture. He also holds a master’s degree in science from Villanova University. His research focuses on the numerous complicated relationships among data, design, and space. With the support of the Rome Prize, he will analyze Italian viticulture, concentrating on the Lazio, Abruzzo, and Umbria wine regions. Global warming is presenting challenging new environmental conditions for wine-making regions, placing them on the front lines of climate change. Pietrusko’s project will help advance his research on the complex relationship between a landscape and its representation as spatial data, allowing him to develop new methods of combining field-based and institutional-based landscape research that will be applicable to an increasing number of regions in the future. 

2019 Dr. Kate Thomas

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Dr. Kate Thomas is the K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College. She holds a master’s degree from Cornell University and a PhD from University of Oxford. Her project will focus on the sensory qualities of the garden, including vistas, textures, and sounds, and exploring how a body might move through the space. She says, “this project allows me to turn my literary study to the material and botanical, a gesture newly understood in my  eld as attention to ‘vibrant matter,’” appreciated by authors over a century ago to be particularly enabled by the Italian culture. Her study will concentrate on Villa Gamberaia, near Florence. She intends to publish both an article and a book following her residency.

2018 Zaneta Hong

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Zaneta Hong is an assistant professor in landscape architecture at the University of Virginia. Architects and designers routinely reorganize the earth’s matter and form, using complex material ecologies. Hong’s project aims to investigate the hidden histories of materials used in the construction and manufacturing of Roman architecture and urban infrastructure. Moreover, she will examine how specific materials have shaped and been shaped by contemporary shifts in climatic zones, geopolitical territories, regional to global economies, and emergent technologies. Her research will begin with the study of a single material—one that is environmentally and symbolically foundational to the history, present, and future of Rome—Carrara marble.

2017 Rosetta Elkin

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Rosetta Elkin is an assistant professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and an associate at the Arnold Arboretum. Her project is titled “Shorelines: The Case of Italian Stone Pine.” Her study will explore the varied ages, adaptive forms, and changing behaviors along the Ostia shorelines in order to help articulate a broader role for plants when characterizing future coastal development in the context of changing climates.

2016 Jason Siebenmorgen

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Jason Siebenmorgen is a Senior Associate with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., New York, NY. He holds a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University and Bachelor’s of Fine Art from the Kansas City Art Institute.  His project is titled, “From Ancient Italy to Urban Parks Today: a study of the role of plants in Italian gardens and their influence on urban park design.” He will investigate the role of plants in Italian gardens, their influence on Western design, and the evolution of these private gardens into public parks today. His research-with direct access to sensory, cultural, historical, and academic markers in Rome’s gardens and archives-will trace what prompted the Italian fascination with flowering plants that later fell out of favor. His studies will provide a foundation and enable him to create a movement toward using flowering plants in landscape design.

2015 Thaïsa Way

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Thaïsa Way is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her project is entitled, “Drawing Histories of Landscape Architecture.” As a landscape historian, she will explore how the distinct practices of scholars, relying on words to articulate their research, and of landscape architects, who rely on drawing, intersect to frame narratives of the history of landscape architecture. Professor Way will use her research and the experience of immersion in other Fellows’ drawing, as well as her own, to draft a manuscript on the role of drawing as a challenge to contemporary narratives of landscape architectural history. Professor Way is the 61st Garden Club of America Rome Prize winner.

2014 Adam Kuby

The Garden Club of America Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture
Adam Kuby hails from Portland, Oregon. He is an Environmental Artist and Landscape Architect. The friction between human form-making and its counterparts in nature is a primary focus of his landscape-based public art work. Humans mostly build things to stay true for as long as possible, but in nature everything is always changing. Adam will explore how such frictions have played out for millennia in Rome and what sites carry deep truths about how cities age. 

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Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 29 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2023, over $405,000 were awarded to 86 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Instagram for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through Garden Club of America scholars. Browse the scholarship offerings.

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