The Richard Kelly Grant Announces Jessica Collier and Tony Esposito as the 2019 Grant Recipients

September 4, 2019 [addtoany]

September 3, 2019,

The Board of Directors of the Richard Kelly Grant has selected Jessica Collier, MFA, LC, and Tony Esposito, PhD, as the recipients of this year’s Richard Kelly Grant. The Grant recognizes and encourages creative thought and activity in the use of light. These two emerging lighting professionals will receive a cash award for preserving and incorporating Richard Kelly’s ideals, enthusiasm, and reverence for light in their own work.

Jessica Collier, MFA, LC, is currently working at Pacific Northwest Labs in Portland, OR, where she serves as an Associate Lighting Research Engineer. She received a grant for her work examining the relationship between objective color metrics and subjective color preferences. In 2018, she earned her Master of Fine Art, Lighting Design from Parsons School of Design, The New School. Her Thesis Title was The Intersection of Color Metrics and Qualities Guided by Perception for which she received an IESNYC Thesis Award.

Tony Esposito, PhD, working at Lighting Research Solutions has received a grant for his scholarly work on color discrimination, defining the limitations of current metrics and developing a computational tool to aid in the establishment of accurate predictors for applied lighting. Currently, he is the Head Research Scientist at Lighting Research Solutions LLC in Somerville, MA, a company he founded. He earned his PhD in 2016 from Penn State University in Architectural Engineering.


“This year we had so many over-qualified applicants,” says Caleb McKenzie, LC, IALDA, MIES, and co-chair of the Richard Kelly Grant, “but Tony and Jessica’s work and contributions to the industry were admired by every member of the jury.”


Applicants must demonstrate accomplishment as well as the potential to contribute to the art and science of illumination. Proposed, completed, and on-going work involving light may be submitted and should clearly illustrate the way in which the conceptual or applied use of light in new and innovative ways is used to solve or better understand a problem. Cash awards will be granted to the two 2019 recipients.


This year’s jury consisted of Board members Stephen Bernstein IALD, MIES, principal of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (CBBLD), Philip Cialdella, MIES, president, Light Abilities, Scott Hershman, LC, MIES, senior vice president, LF Illumination, Randy Sabedra, MIES, lighting designer, RS Lighting Design, and co-Chairs Addison Kelly, MIES, and Caleb McKenzie, principals of US Lighting Consultants.

About the Richard Kelly Grant

The Richard Kelly Grant was established by the New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society in 1980. Originally conceived as a scholarship program and later opened to young persons working in lighting in North America, the Grant is administered by the New York Section under the auspices of the IES. Anyone 35 years or under, studying or working in the art and/or science of illumination, in the United States, Canada or Mexico can apply.

About Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly (1910–1977) devoted his life to extraordinary contributions to the lighting design profession. He was one of the pioneers of architectural lighting consulting. His reverence for, and his understanding of, the behavior of light was promulgated as the design values known as focal glow, sparkling brilliance, and ambient luminescence. He was a designer of over 300 major projects, worked with over 80 prominent architects, and he always performed with original and inventive authority. He sought to first understand the problem and then followed with a creative solution. His synthesis of technology with artistic purpose transformed the ordinary into beauty. A few of his most recognized accomplishments are the Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, architects; Philip Johnson’s Glass House and The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, Philip Johnson, architect; the Kimbell Museum of Fine Arts and the Yale Center of British Art and Studies, Louis Kahn, architect.