Detroit, Michigan – June 22, 2017 Eighteen metropolitan Detroit artists have been selected to receive 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowships in recognition of their creative vision and commitment to excellence, In addition, two emerging artists will receive Gilda Awards.

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. The latest awards provide nine Kresge Artist Fellowships and one Gilda Award in the literary arts and nine Kresge Artist Fellowships and one Gilda Award in the visual arts.

Each fellowship comes with an unrestricted $25,000 prize and a year of professional practice support provided by Creative Many Michigan, including an invitation to an intensive professional development retreat presented by New York-based artist-service organization Creative Capital.

The two Gilda Award recipients receive $5,000 unrestricted awards to foster their work. The award is named in honor of the late artist, CCS professor and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden’s legacy as a mentor and champion of young, emerging artists in metropolitan Detroit.

“From arts criticism to young adult fiction, sculpture to performance art and beyond, the 2017 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients exemplify the thought-provoking, high-quality creative work that has always been a hallmark of Detroit’s creative sector,” says Christina deRoos, Director of Kresge Arts in Detroit.

Taylor Renee Aldridge, Arts Criticism

Benjamin Alfaro, Poetry
Tommye Blount, Poetry
Mike Burdick, Graphic Novels
Jean Alicia Elster, Young Adult Fiction
Allie Gross, Creative Non-Fiction
Andrew Mehall, Interdisciplinary
Drew Philp, Creative Non-Fiction
Satori Shakoor, Storytelling

Leah V., 
Creative Non-Fiction

Jeanne Bieri
, Fiber Art

Jennifer Harge, Performance Art
Matthew Angelo Harrison, Sculpture
Sydney G. James, Painting
Nicole Macdonald, Painting
Juan Martinez, Metalwork
Catie Newell, Installation
David Philpot, Collage
Robert Sestok, Painting, Sculpture

Austen Brantley, 

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals from over 750 applications.

Lynn Crawford,
Fiction and Arts Criticism Writer; Founding Board Member, MOCAD; 2010 Kresge Artist Fellow
Kahn Davison,
Writer; 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow
Brian McGuigan,
Writer; Program Director at Artist Trust (Seattle)
Anna Moschovakis, Writer; Adjunct Associate Professor of Writing, Pratt Institute; Writing Faculty, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College
Janet Webster Jones, Owner, Source Booksellers            


Sabrina Nelson, Artist; Education Studio Assistant, Detroit Institute of Arts; Admissions Counselor, College for Creative Studies
Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Jorge Rojas, Artist; Curator; Art Educator; Director of Education and Engagement, Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Sarah Rose Sharp, Art Critic; Artist; 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow
John Sims, Artist; Writer

*The 2017 Kresge Artist Fellows’ and panelists’ biographies and head shots are available in Dropbox:

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals from over 750 applications.

“It was a pleasure to be part of the panel and process of curating a group of artists to represent metro Detroit,” says visual arts panelist Sabrina Nelson. “It was like having access to the highest quality ingredients to put into an amazing pot of jambalaya.”
The Kresge Arts in Detroit program represents the foundation’s desire to support artists living and working in the foundation’s hometown, and to elevate the profile of metro Detroit’s artists and creative communities.

“The diversity of talents reflected in this cohort of Artist Fellows and Gilda Awardees is breathtaking.  As with the eight annual groups before them, their talents, accomplishments and aspirations are a reflection of our community’s broader collective cultural and artistic wealth,” says Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “Detroit’s resilience and revival cannot be understood without reference to the work that artists in every corner of the city are pursuing – to improve community life, to pioneer new forms of expression, to connect our past and present to our future.”

Since 2008, the Kresge Arts in Detroit program has contributed over $4.5 million to the local creative economy through the Kresge Eminent Artist Award, Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards in Film & Music, Literary Arts, Live Arts, and Visual Arts.  This investment in artists working in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties – a total of 177 awards to date – empowers culturally minded thinking and strengthens Detroit’s position as a major center for arts and culture nationally and internationally.

“Through the Kresge Arts in Detroit program, The Kresge Foundation shines a light on the invaluable creative contributions of metro Detroit artists, supporting individual artists to advance their practice, and reminding all of us of the cultural assets that bring so much vitality to our communities,” says Richard L. Rogers, president of the College for Creative Studies.


The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. Kresge’s Detroit Program collaborates with civic, nonprofit and business partners to promote long-term, equitable opportunity in Kresge’s hometown. The strategy includes place-based efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for residents; efforts to strengthen arts and culture, early childhood development, community development and other citywide systems of support; and efforts to bolster civic capacity, the ability of Detroiters to join, influence and lead the city’s renewal. For more information, visit kresge. .

The College for Creative Studies, located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising, Copywriting, Advertising Design, Communication Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Accessories Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Interaction Design, Integrated Design, and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing and Precollege Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.

Kresge Arts in Detroit, is generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies. 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 awarded more than $4.5 million through nine Kresge Eminent Artist awards ($50,000 each), 162 Kresge Artist fellowships ($25,000 each), and six Gilda Awards ($5,000 each).

To provide further support and services to the fellows, Creative Many Michigan designs and delivers a series of professional practice and engagement opportunities for the artists awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowships. The program features individual meetings with Creative Many staff, a kick-off retreat, six group workshops and presenter brunches, and validation services (reviewing applications and proposals, providing letters of support and waiving application fees for its Lawyers for the Creative Economy referral program). The program has brought over 171 esteemed arts professionals to Detroit to work with fellows and the wider creative community. Creative Many is a statewide organization and its mission is to develop creative people, creative places and the creative economy for a competitive Michigan. It works to frame, invest and empower Michigan’s creative industries through research, programs, funding, communications, public policy and advocacy. It is headquartered in Detroit with offices in Lansing and Grand Rapids.