Kresge announces 2019 Artist Fellows

Michael H. Hodges
The Detroit News
The 2019 Kresge Artist Fellows in the literary and visual arts.

In what has become a much-anticipated annual event in the Detroit arts-and-culture world, the Kresge Foundation announced the 18 new Kresge Artist Fellows, each of whom gets $25,000, no strings attached. 

This year the categories honored were the literary and visual arts. 

Two emerging artists also won Gilda Awards, named for the late artist and College for Creative Studies professor Gilda Snowden, which come with a no-obligation $5,000.

Kresge's total payout this year to support promising talent in the tri-county area is $460,000. 

The Kresge Arts in Detroit office at the College for Creative Studies administers the grants, decided by juries of local and national experts who pored through almost 850 applications.

The visual arts fellows and their specialties are Anita Bates (painting), Tyanna Buie (printmaking, mixed media), Cybelle Codish (photography), Mariam Ezzat (sculpture), Kikko Paradela (printmaking), Rashaun Rucker (drawing), Tylonn J. Sawyer (painting), Tom Stoye (photography) and Darryl DeAngelo Terrell (photography).

Literary arts winners are 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) and Madelyn Porter (creative nonfiction).

Gilda Award winners were Aiko Fukuchi (fiction) and Noura Ballout (photography).

Criteria for picking the fellows, each of whom gets a year-long program of professional development and support, are a record of artistic accomplishment and work of highest quality. The judges also look for growth potential, and the artist's ability to reflect or impact communities in Metro Detroit. 

Gilda awardees reflect Snowden's commitment to encouraging artists at the very beginning of their careers. 

In a prepared statement, foundation President Rip Rapson said, "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 (and) economically."

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