Joan Mitchell Foundation Announces 2017 Grant Recipients, Making 25 Artists $25,000 Richer

Twenty of this year’s 25 grant recipients identify as non-white.

Ruth Buentello's Under the Mexican Colchas (2012). Acrylic on Canvas with Ribbon, 40 x 60 in. Courtesy the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation announced the recipients of its 24th annual Painters & Sculptors Grants on Tuesday.

Founded in 1993, the grants are awarded yearly to under-recognized artists who have made significant contributions to the national cultural or artistic discourse. Grantees are awarded an unrestricted stipend of $25,000 and made eligible to apply for the Joan Mitchell residency in New Orleans.

This year’s 25 recipients are a diverse bunch, representing a wide range of artistic practices, ages, ethnicities, and geographic backgrounds. They range in age from 27 to 62 and come from 12 different states, including Hawaii and Alaska. Of the 25 artists selected, 80 percent identify as non-white—a substantial increase from last year’s group, 56 percent of whom identified as non-white. The recipients also join an impressive list of alumni, including Glenn Ligon (1996), Ursula von Rydingsvard (1997), Mark Bradford (2002), and Nick Cave (2008).

Arcmanoro Niles’s The Prize (2017). Oil, acrylic, and glitter on canvas, 64 in x 60 in. Courtesy the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Cultivating artists of varied backgrounds has long been a priority for the foundation. Winners are chosen through a multi-stage selection process that begins when the foundation asks artists, curators, and educators across the country to nominate people whose achievements deserve greater appreciation. From the long list of recommended artists, a jury anonymously selects 25 awardees.

“Ensuring access and equity is an important part of our process and our desired outcomes,” said the foundation’s senior director of programs Travis Laughlin in a statement. “Over the last three years, we have continued to broaden our approach, bringing in nominators and jurors with geographic, ethnic, and experiential diversity, in order to ensure that the artists nominated for the Painters & Sculptors Grants are reflective of varying backgrounds and approaches to their work.”

Riva Lehrer’s RISK PICTURE: ALICE SHEPPARD (2016). Mixed media & collage on acetate sheets, 40 x 50 in. Courtesy the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Here’s the full list of this year’s recipients:

Leonardo Benzant (Richmond Hill, NY)
Ruth Buentello (San Antonio, TX)
Colin Chase (Ulster County, NY)
Pamela Council (Bronx, NY)
Solomon Enos (Honolulu, HI)
Jes Fan (Brooklyn, NY)
Ana Fernandez (San Antonio, TX)
Jonathan Paul Gillette (New York, NY)
Salvador Jiménez-Flores (Boston, MA)
Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Anchorage, AK)
Riva Lehrer (Chicago, IL)
Joel Longenecker (Red Hook, NY)
Michi Meko (Atlanta, GA)
Drew Michael (Anchorage, AK)
Arcmanoro Niles (Brooklyn, NY)
Pat Phillips (Pineville, LA)
Lucy Puls (Berkeley, CA)
Analia Segal (Brooklyn, NY)
Rodrigo Valenzuela (Culver City, CA)
Derrick Velasquez (Denver, CO)
Michael Wang (New York, NY)
Dwayne Wilcox (Rapid City, SD)
Amanda Williams (Chicago, IL)
Antoine Williams (Greensboro, NC)
Jenifer K. Wofford (San Francisco, CA)


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