Dean Nancy J. Uscher is pleased to announce James Sims and Amanda Perez as the winners of the Mario Basner Passion Fund. As winners of this award, they will be funded to travel to a location in the world (foreign or domestic) in order to experience creative immersion in a subject matter or location, discover agency, and find a voice through photography.
James Sims is an undergraduate senior and a military veteran pursuing his bachelor's degree in art with a concentration in photography and a minor in film. He graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2020 with an associate of science in digital media/multimedia technology, and also earned a certificate in video production and a certificate in graphic design. He is a multifaceted artist who works in different mediums and is passionate about creating meaningful art. He believes art saves lives. He enjoys being a mentor to other students, and is very passionate about the College of Fine Arts and UNLV. His goal is to become a photojournalist, covering powerful stories that affect our community.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Amanda Perez is a dedicated and motivated student in her senior year at UNLV. Being the first in her family to pursue higher education, Amanda is working hard to obtain her degree in photography, with a minor in art history. Her artwork is a reflection of her love for mixed media and color experimentation, which she uses to create unique artistic pieces. Outside of her artistic hobbies, Amanda enjoys attending concerts, cooking, and sustainable fashion. Her achievements are a testament to her hard work and dedication, and she is grateful for the opportunities that have allowed her to grow and thrive.