Meet the 20 new Kresge Artist Fellows and 10 Gilda Award winners



A group of 30 artists from across the Detroit metropolitan area will end up sharing $ 550,000 in Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Emerging Artist Awards.

The awards were announced today by the Kresge Arts Detroit office at the College for Creative Studies, which manages them on behalf of the Kresge Foundation.

Last year, in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on the art scene, Kresge expanded funding to support two additional Kresge Artist Fellows for a total of 20 annual grants and another eight Gilda Awards for a total of 10 with the announcement of the 2021 award winners that will be in In the literary and visual arts sectors, Kresge Arts of Detroit and the Kresge Foundation are committed to maintaining these increased levels of investment.

“We know from the testimonies of artists themselves how important the endorsement and endorsement of these awards can be – in some cases life-changing,” said Rip Rapson, President and CEO of the Kresge Foundation. Rapson added, “There is no doubt that the past year of pandemics and unrest has been particularly challenging for the arts sector, and we hope that the appreciation of these 30 artists – exciting as they are – will also bring our admiration and support for ours Artist community capitalized. “

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Metro Detroit artists competed for the awards at prices similar to previous years. Over the course of several months and numerous rounds of reviews, panels from local and national artists and creators evaluated over 800 applications to select the artists to receive 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards – the latter honoring the late artist, educator and, 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden who died unexpectedly in 2014. The most recent awards include 10 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Literary Art and 10 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Visual Arts. There are four Gilda Prize winners in literary studies and six in visual arts.

In the announcement of the 13th cohort of winners, Kresge Arts in Detroit awarded a total of 283 artists from the three counties (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) over $ 6.7 million in grants.

“CCS is very proud to honor and invest in this cohort of Kresge Artist Fellows. Our world needs the transformative power of the arts more than ever, and we look forward to seeing the continued contribution these artists make to our cultural community and progress, ”said Don Tuski, President of the College for Creative Studies.

Eligibility criteria for Kresge Artist Scholarships include a proven track record of artistic achievement and quality work, the potential to grow and advance in one’s own artistic career, and the potential to reflect, enhance, or influence communities in the Detroit metropolitan area.

“Anyone who claims to be surprised by the amount of talent in Detroit cannot think of its long history as a cultural seedbed,” said literary scholar, poet Douglas Kearney. “So, talent? In abundance. These authors choose nuanced testimonies, too keen pride, overflowing community energy, and a commitment to representing the voices of their city. “

The other panelists in the field of literary studies are: Sarika Chandra, Associate Professor of English, Wayne State University; Jack Cheng, Author; 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow; Jina B. Kim, feminist literary scholar; Writer; Assistant Professor of English and Women and Gender Studies, Smith College; and Leslie Reese, Writer; Poet; Creator of folklore & literacy; Teaching Artist, Chicago Poetry Center.

The panelists for visual arts are: Sima Familieamil, Private curator and art advisor; John Brinton Hogan, Photographer and mixed media artist; Sound artist; Operations Manager, Museum of Photo Art; Sydney G. James, visual artist / wall painter; 2017 Kresge Artist Fellow; 2018 Fellowship. Alain Locke Prize Winner 2020; Osman Khan, Artist; Associate Professor, Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan; and Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Artist.

In addition to an unconditional $ 25,000 award, Kresge Artist Fellows receive one year of professional development assistance. Scholars are invited to participate in strategic planning workshops, mentoring sessions, artist salons, and other activities designed to support artists at a variety of career stages and trajectories. Many of these activities are also made available to Gilda Prize winners.

The fellows will also be featured in Kresge Arts in Detroit’s commissioned film series, which documents the fellows’ work and perspectives throughout the history of the program. Short individual artist videos are available online at and Vimeo. The films of the Fellows 2021 will go online next spring.

“Last year we reinvented the artist film series – with the wide range of filmmakers, themes and styles typical of a short film festival as inspiration. We matched fellows with filmmakers and invited the ideas of those pairings to set the direction of each film, ”said Kresge Arts in Detroit, director Christina deRoos. “We look forward to continuing this new format which, in addition to impressive results, also promotes connections between artistic disciplines.”

The 2021 Kresge Artist Fellows cohort includes luminaries from the Detroit art scene and emerging stars.

LITERARY ARTS: Emel Derra Adolphus, creative non-fiction books; Danielle Aubert, interdisciplinary work; Jeni De La O., Poetry; Ann Eskridge, Dramaturgy; Tariq Luthun, Poetry; MARS Marshall, Poetry; Jasmine parks, spoken word; Van Randall, graphic novels; Casey Rocheteau, Poetry; Zigzag Claybourne, fiction.

FELLOWS FOR FINE ARTS: Peter Daniel Bernal, Painting; Judy Bowman, Collage; Brian Day, Photography; Darcel Deneau, Glass; Solomon Johnson, Illustration; Gisela McDaniel, Painting; Sabrina Nelson, interdisciplinary work; Rachel Reid, Animation; Andrew “AndyT” Thompson, Installation; Graem Whyte, interdisciplinary work.

The Gilda Prize winners will be selected from among the applicants for the Kresge Artist Scholarships 2021. In keeping with the late Snowden’s legacy of mentoring young artists, the Gilda Awards recognize early stage artists who are gaining momentum and showing exceptional potential by taking creative risks and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form .

GILDA AWARDS FOR LITERARY ART: Bayan the poet, spoken word; Ana Gavrilovska, Art criticism; Rochelle Marrett, Fiction; Donnevan Tolbert, Write a play.

GILDA AWARDS FOR FINE ARTS: Ijania Cortez, Painting; Bakpak Durden, Painting; Jessica Frelinghuysen, Performance art; Cyrus Karimipour, Photography; Cinnamon Triano, Video art; Neha Vedpathak, Painting.

“I am impressed with the immense talent and breadth of this cohort – they undoubtedly represent the best that metropolitan Detroit has to offer,” said Jina B. Kim, panelist on literary studies.

An online celebration of the 2021 award winners is planned for the evening of July 15. The public, virtual event includes presentations by the 30 award winners, appearances by the Kresge Artist Fellows Cherise Morris (2019) and Passalacqua (2012) reflections on Detroit’s art and culture sector by Carole Harris (scholarship holder 2019 and Kresge Artist Fellow 2015), Rip Rapson ( President and CEO, The Kresge Foundation) and Don Tuski (President, College for Creative Studies) in one of W. moderated conversation Kim Heron (Senior Communications Officer, The Kresge Foundation). Information is there Eventbrite.

Application information for the Kresge Artist Fellowships 2022 in Live Arts and Film & Music will be available in autumn 2021.

Biographies and photos of the Kresge Artist Fellows 2021 and the Gilda Award winners can be seen Here.



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