Sixteen metropolitan Detroit artists and two collectives have been awarded Kresge Artist Fellowships for 2015. Each of the 18 fellowships, rewarding literary and visual artists for their creative vision and commitment to excellence, includes an unrestricted $25,000 prize and a year ofintensive professional development support.

Kresge Artist Fellowships are funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the Kresge Arts in Detroit program of the College for Creative Studies. The fellowship program represents the foundation’s desire to advance the careers of artists living and working in the foundation’s hometown, as well as to elevate the profile of metro Detroit’s artistic community.

The work of the 2015 Fellows reflects the breadth of Detroit’s cultural communities, and highlights the wide array of disciplines within the literary and visual arts: from graphic novels to experimental poetry, from arts criticism to flash fiction, from fiber art to painting, from performance art to new media.

“From the traditional to the experimental, the work of the 2015 Kresge Artist Fellows exemplifies the creativity that continues to enliven our city and capture the attention of the art world,” says Kresge Arts in Detroit Director Michelle Perron. ”The fellows represent the depth and multiplicity of Detroit’s artistic communities.”

Photographer: Bruce Giffin

First Row (seated): Bridget Michael, Carole Harris, Airea D. Matthews, Tiff Massey, Cynthia Greig

Second Row:  Faina Lerman, George Tysh, Nancy M. Mitchnick, Desiree Cooper, Lillien Waller, Jonathan Rajewski, Chris Schanck

Third Row: Walerian Domanski, Kahn Santori Davison, Jefferey S. Chapman, Saffell, Billy Mark

Not Pictured: Annica Cuppetelli, Cristobal Mendoza and Sarah Rose Sharp

Through a competitive process, more than 650 applications were reviewed by two independent panels of national and local artists and arts professionals. The panelists provided a balance of artistic perspectives, an understanding of the local artistic environment and extensive knowledge of the art forms being reviewed.


Samiya Bashir: Poet, founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writers festival for LGBT writers of African descent, assistant professor of creative writing at Reed College

renée c. hoogland: Writer, professor of English at Wayne State University, editor of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts

Kim Hunter: Writer, co-director of the Woodward Line Poetry Series, poet-in-residence with InsideOut Literary Arts

Albert Mobilio: Writer, editor for Bookforum, editor for Hyperallergic Weekend, assistant professor of literary studies at the New School’s Eugene Lang College

Anne Waldman: Poet, performer, co-founder of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University


Chakaia Booker: Contemporary sculptor

Sonya Clark: Artist, chair of Craft/Material Studies in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University

Elizabeth Dee: American gallery owner (Elizabeth Dee Gallery), co-founder of Independent (alternative art fair established in New York in 2010, expanding to Brussels in 2016)

Valerie Parks: Painter, educator

Senghor Reid: Painter, filmmaker, artist-in-residence at Cranbrook Schools

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to theFoundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, its Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014. For more information, visit kresge.org

Kresge Arts in Detroit which comprises the Kresge Artist Fellowships and Kresge Eminent Artist Award, is generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies.Kresge Arts in Detroit represents one facet of The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Program, a comprehensive community-development effort to strengthen the long-term economic, social and cultural fabric of the city and surrounding region. The goals of Kresge Arts in Detroit are to enrich the quality of life for metropolitan Detroiters by helping artists provide a broad spectrum of cultural experiences; celebrate and reflect the richness and diversity of our community in all its aspects; heighten the profile of arts and artists in our community; and strengthen the artistic careers of local artists. Since 2008, Kresge Arts in Detroit has recognized 126 Kresge Artist Fellows with $25,000 awards and seven Kresge Eminent Artists with $50,000 awards, a total of $3.5 million. kresgeartsindetroit.org

The College for Creative Studies, located in midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, is a world leader in art and design education that prepares students to enter the new, global economy where creativity shapes better communities and societies. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. The College also offers free art education for more than 4,000 Detroit youth annually through its Community Arts Partnerships program. In addition, the College’s Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies is a public charter middle and high school enrolling more than 800 students in a high-performance academic curriculum with a special focus on art and design. collegeforcreativestudies.edu

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