2019 Kresge Arts in Detroit Awards Announced in Literary and Visual Arts

Twenty Detroit-area artists will share $460,000 in Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards announced today by Kresge Arts in Detroit.

In announcing the 2019 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients working in literary and visual arts, Kresge Arts in Detroit enters its second decade of supporting Detroit artists. That milestone is being marked with the exhibition “Parallel Visions,” which opens to the public July 12, 2019 at the Wasserman Projects gallery in Detroit’s Eastern Market. The exhibition will feature nearly 20 Kresge Artist Fellows from the first 10 years of the program, and conclude the string of 10-year celebrations that have taken place since the announcement of the 10th Kresge Eminent Artist in January 2018. The exhibition will be on view through August 24, 2019.

Funded by The Kresge Foundation, Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards are administered by the Kresge Arts in Detroit office of the College for Creative Studies. "A decade ago we recognized Detroit’s arts community as one of its bedrock strengths. We were convinced that heightening the visibility and advancing the careers of artists themselves would bring cascading benefits for the community of artists and the community at large – socially, culturally, economically,” said Kresge President Rip Rapson. “In the 2019 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Awardees, we see yet another accomplished group poised to lift spirits, open hearts, stir our thinking, and challenge our complacency.”

Local and national panelists selected 18 metro Detroit artists to receive 2019 Kresge Artist Fellowships and two to receive Gilda Awards, honoring the late artist, educator, and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden (1954-2014). The latest awards provide 9 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Visual Arts and 9 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Literary Arts. There is also one Gilda Award winner in each category.

Each Kresge Artist Fellow receives a $25,000 “no strings attached” grant and a year of professional practice support. That support begins with an intensive professional development retreat presented by New York-based, artist-service organization Creative Capital. Gilda Award recipients receive a $5,000 “no strings attached” award to support their practice and foster their work.

The fellows will also be featured in Kresge Arts in Detroit’s film series, which documents the work and perspectives of the 180 fellows who received awards in the program’s first decade, as well as all of the Kresge Eminent Artists to date. Feature-length documentary films were also created in 2018, “Every Given Second” and 2019, “Never Silent. Never Still.”, with the most recent premiering in March at this year's Freep Film Festival.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this incredible group of literary and visual artists, who represent the 11th cohort of award recipients,” said Kresge Arts in Detroit Director Christina deRoos. “Collaborating with Wasserman Projects to present an exhibition featuring a selection of artist fellows from the first ten years of the program reflects our ongoing efforts to ensure everyone in Detroit has an opportunity to experience the expansive ideas and perspectives represented by our local arts and culture communities.”

Wasserman Projects is one of Detroit’s pre-eminent galleries, whose mission is “to promote the work of outstanding practitioners based locally and around the globe by hosting exhibitions, conversations, and supporting creativity wherever we can be useful.” The exhibition, “Parallel Visions,” will feature work drawn from visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, and film disciplines. The included artists will be announced the last week of June.

"As I near the end of my tenure at CCS, I take pride in the College for Creative Studies' role in supporting The Kresge Foundation's belief that individual artists matter to the vitality of a community," said Richard L. Rogers who retires as President of CCS on June 30, 2019 after 25 years. "We at CCS, of course, share that belief and applaud the foundation's ongoing commitment to Detroit's arts and culture sector. This year's group of Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients once again confirms the foundation's wisdom and demonstrates the remarkable depth of talent in our region."

LITERARY ARTS FELLOWS                            

Alise Alousi, Poetry
Jack Cheng, Fiction
Nandi Comer, Poetry
Kristen Gallerneaux, Interdisciplinary Work
Joan Kee, Arts Criticism
Bill McGraw, Creative Non-Fiction
Cherise Morris, Creative Non-Fiction
Diana J. Nucera, Zines
Madelyn Porter, Creative Non-Fiction

GILDA AWARD: Aiko Fukuchi, Fiction

Photo by Noah Stephens

VISUAL ARTS FELLOWS

Anita Bates, Painting
Tyanna Buie, Printmaking
Cybelle A. Codish, Photography
Mariam Ezzat, Sculpture
Kikko Paradela, Printmaking
Rashaun Rucker, Drawing
Tylonn J. Sawyer, Painting
Tom Stoye, Photography
Darryl DeAngelo Terrell, Photography

GILDA AWARD: Noura Ballout, Photography

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals who reviewed nearly 850 applications over many months and several rounds of review. The selection criteria for Kresge Artist Fellowships include: A demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high-quality work, the potential to grow and advance in their artistic career, and the potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit.

Gilda Award recipients are chosen from among the applicants for the 2019 Kresge Artist Fellows. In keeping with the late Snowden’s encouragement and mentorship of early-career artists, Gilda Awards recognize artists who are early in their artistic career, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form.

LITERARY ARTS PANELISTS

Terry Blackhawk, Poet; Founder of InsideOut Literary Arts Project, 2013 Kresge Artist Fellow
Desiree Cooper, Fiction Writer; Journalist, 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow
Rob Halpern, Poet, Associate Professor of English, Eastern Michigan University
Casey Rocheteau, Poet, Inaugural Write a House Winner (2014), Co-Founder of Fortify Writers Retreat
Tyrone Williams, Poet; Professor of literature, Xavier University.

VISUAL ARTS PANELISTS

Cesar Cornejo, Interdisciplinary Artist, Architect, Associate Professor of Sculpture and Extended Media, School of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida
Carole Harris, Fiber Artist, Retired Interior Designer, President of Harris Design Group LLC., 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow
Erik Paul Howard, Photographer; Activist; Co-Founder of Inside Southwest Detroit, Young Nation and The Alley Project
Amitis Motevalli, Interdisciplinary Artist; Activist
Yao-Fen You, Senior Curator and Head of Product Design and Decorative Arts, CooperHewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“Being a Kresge Arts in Detroit panelist was more difficult than I could have imagined because of how talented all of the applicants were,” said Literary Arts panelist Casey Rocheteau. “The artists we ultimately selected represent such a wide range of literary practices that it will be really exciting to see what they do with the award, and the work they produce next.”

In announcing the 11th cohort of award recipients, Kresge Arts in Detroit has thus far awarded 198 Kresge Artist Fellowships, 12 Gilda Awards, and 11 Kresge Eminent Artist Awards for a total of more than $5.5 million.

Kresge Artist Fellows from earlier years who have recently received substantial national recognition include filmmaker and writer dream hampton, who was cited as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2019”; poet Vivee Francis, whose “Forest Primeval: Poems” won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award in 2017; novelist Michael Zadoorian, whose “Pleasure Seekers” was adapted for the big screen with stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland; poet Dunya Mikhail who received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2018; and poet and performer jessica Care moore, who recently presented an Afrofuturist choreopoem, “Salt City,” at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Application information for the 2020 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Film & Music and Live Arts will be available in fall 2019.