Margaret Curtis Selected as 2021 Joan Mitchell Foundation Inaugural Fellow

The New York–based Joan Mitchell Foundation, which earlier this year refocused its funding model to better provide artists with long-term assistance, today announced the inaugural recipients of the Joan Mitchell Fellowship. Fifteen artists working in the fields of painting or sculpture will each receive an unrestricted $60,000 grant, to be disbursed over a five-year span. During that time, recipients will also be given access to such services as private consultations with arts professionals; networking meetings; and programs focused on personal finance, legacy planning, and critical discourse.

Among the recipients are Mexico-born sculptor Raúl de Nieves, whose soft sculptures reference drag costuming and traditional Mexican culture; Japanese American painter Chie Fueki, who typically chooses mulberry paper or wood panels as substrates for her work blending folk and decorative art; and Brooklyn-born multimedia artist Kambui Olujimi, who in the past themed some of his works around activist Catherine Arline, a community leader in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of his youth. All fifteen fellows are between the ages of thirty-five and seventy-one. Eighty percent are artists of color, with 40 percent identifying as Hispanic, Latinx, or Chicanx. Forty-seven percent of the fellows identify as female and 13 percent as gender non-conforming. The artists were selected via a multi-phase jury process from among 166 applicants identified by a diverse pool of nominators from across the country and reflecting a wide range of arts backgrounds. Fellows are also eligible to apply for a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.

“The new fellowship program continues the foundation’s decades-long commitment to providing unrestricted resources directly to individual artists working in painting and sculpture, while expanding to a five-year model that strengthens the financial and career-development support we will provide,” said the foundation’s executive director, Christa Blatchford. “This fellowship, which bears Joan Mitchell’s name, deepens the way we fulfill her wishes for the foundation to give artists the agency needed to sustain a life-long studio practice.”

The Joan Mitchell Fellowships represent a reimagining of the foundation’s traditional Painters & Sculptors Grants, which launched in 1994 and annually awarded twenty-five artists unrestricted grants of $25,000. The new model is meant to provide the recipients with a steady income stream that will allow them to build their creative practices and careers.

A full list of recipients is below.

María Berrío, Brooklyn, NY
Margaret Curtis, Tryon, NC
Adam de Boer, Los Angeles
Raúl de Nieves, Brooklyn, NY
Justin Favela, Las Vegas
Chie Fueki, Beacon, NY
Emily Gherard, Seattle
Angela Hennessy, Oakland, CA
Mie Kongo, Evanston, IL
Guadalupe Maravilla, Brooklyn, NY
Kambui Olujimi, Queens, NY
Ronny Quevedo, Bronx, NY
Rose B. Simpson, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM
Liza Sylvestre, Champaign, IL
Luis Tapia, Santa Fe, NM