Simone Leigh, Juliana Huxtable, and Wu Tsang Are Among the 45 Artists Awarded $50,000 Each From United States Artists
Since its founding in 2006, the nonprofit has given $25 million to over 500 American artists.
United States Artists, an arts nonprofit based in Chicago, announced the 2019 winners of its annual fellowship today, which gives unrestricted $50,000 awards to each of 45 American artists across 10 categories, including dance, film, media, traditional arts, visual art, and writing.
As in previous years, it’s a diverse group, running the gamut in terms of age, ethnicity, and location. The six winning visual artists are Juliana Huxtable, Simone Leigh, Wu Tsang, Dyani White Hawk, Firelei Báez, and Cecilia Vicuña. (Leigh was also the recipient of last year’s Hugo Boss prize.)
“There is a lot of interdisciplinary play with this group and we love it!” Deana Haggag, president and CEO of United States Artists, told artnet News. This year’s fellows are “all profoundly mastering their crafts and impacting their fields, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of their respective genres and experimenting within their disciplines.”
United States Artists was founded in 2006, a joint fundraising organization created by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson, and Prudential Foundations. Since then, it has given more than $25 million to some 500 American artists with its annual fellowships.
Fellows are nominated anonymously by a rotating group of artists, critics, curators, and other experts in the field, then invited to submit an application. Discipline-specific panels then review the applications and choose winners for each field.
The list of alumni is impressive: previous winners include cartoonist Chris Ware (2006), performance artist Joan Jonas (2009), Moonlight director Barry Jenkins (2012), dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer (2016), and writer Fred Moten (2018), among others.
“Since day one, our aim has been to represent the fullness of our collective artistic landscape as well as spotlight the many different practitioners cultivating it,” Haggag says. “Doing this is important to us because it’s honest and accurately reflects the most compelling work being made in our country right now. I would also argue that it’s impossible to wholly consider the magnitude of cultural practice in the United States without looking at each region, every viewpoint and voice, and paying attention to all disciplines and the ways that artists are evolving them.”
See the full list of this year’s winners below.
Architecture & Design
Erin Besler & Ian Besler—Architects & Designers—Princeton, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York
Lucia Cuba—Designer & Textile Artist—New York
Keller Easterling—Writer & Designer—New Haven, Connecticut, and New York
Coulter Fussell—Quilter—Water Valley, Mississippi
Samuel Harvey—Ceramicist—Aspen, Colorado
Michelle Holzapfel—Wood Carver—Marlboro, Vermont
Janice Lessman-Moss—Digital Weaver—Kent, Ohio
Carole Frances Lung—Social Practice and Performance Artist—Long Beach, California
David Dorfman—Choreographer—New London, Connecticut
Lenora Lee—Dancer & Choreographer—San Francisco
Alice Sheppard—Dancer & Choreographer—Los Altos, California
Merián Soto—Dancer & Choreographer—Philadelphia
Yara Travieso—Choreographer & Filmmaker—Brooklyn, New York
Nuotama Frances Bodomo—Filmmaker—Queens, New York
Ramona S. Diaz—Documentary Filmmaker—Baltimore
Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar—Documentary Filmmakers—Yellow Springs, Ohio
Mitra Kaboli—Multimedia Artist and Podcaster—Brooklyn, New York
Reena Esmail—Composer—Pasadena, California
Helado Negro—Avant-Pop Musician and Performer—Brooklyn, New York
Susie Ibarra—Percussionist & Composer—New Paltz, New York
Roscoe Mitchell—Multi-Instrumentalist and Composer—Oakland, California
Tunde Olaniran—Pop Musician & Performer—Flint, Michigan
Jen Shyu—Vocalist & Composer—Brooklyn, New York
Theater & Performance
Charlotte Brathwaite—Director—New York
Rashida Bumbray—Choreographer and Performer—Brooklyn, New York
Teo Castellanos—Theater Artist—Miami
Complex Movements—Installation and Performance Collective—Detroit, Michigan
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig—Dramatist—Santa Barbara, California
Kaneza Schaal—Theater Artist—Brooklyn, New York
Juan Díes—Mexican Folk Musician—Chicago
Gabriel Frey—Traditional Basketmaker—Orono, Maine
Arthur Lopez—Wood Sculptor—Santa Fe, New Mexico
Allison Akootchook Warden—Multidisciplinary Artist & Performer—Anchorage, Alaska
Firelei Báez—Multidisciplinary Artist—New York
Juliana Huxtable—Multidisciplinary Artist & Writer—Brooklyn, New York
Simone Leigh—Multidisciplinary Artist—New York
Wu Tsang—Filmmaker and Artist—Los Angeles
Cecilia Vicuña—Multidisciplinary Artist & Poet—New York
Dyani White Hawk—Painter & Mixed Media Artist—Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lesley Nneka Arimah—Fiction Writer—Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lisa Armstrong—Journalist—Brooklyn, New York
Lynda Barry—Cartoonist—Footville, Wisconsin
Tarfia Faizullah—Poet—Dallas, Texas
Rebecca Gayle Howell—Poet—Lexington, Kentucky
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