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List of Kresge Fellows

Alphabetical listing

Show chronological listing

Chronological listing

Show alphabetical listing

2009 Fellows in the Visual Arts

Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave was selected Eminent Artist in 2009. The year prior, Charles McGee was chosen for the Eminent Artist award.

The Eminent Artist awards are different from the Fellowships in that they are not applied for. An Eminent Artist is ineligible for a Fellowship and for a repeat Eminent Artist award. However, a Fellow from one year is eligible for an Eminent Artist award in a later year.

2010 Fellows

In 2010, the Kresge Foundation selected Fellows in the Literary Arts and Performing Arts categories. These are not of interest to us here unless it turns out that one of them is a visual artist who just couldn't win in the Visual Arts category (seriously, are you gonna turn down the $25K just because it's awarded to you in the wrong category?), or maybe they get into the visual arts later on in their careers.

It seems that no Eminent Artist was selected in 2010.

2011 Fellows in the Visual Arts

The Eminent Artist of 2011 was Bill Harris, husband of textile artist Carole Harris, who later won a Fellowship in the Visual Arts.

2012 Fellows

In 2012, the Kresge Foundation selected Fellows in the Literary Arts and Performing Arts categories. I think that Chris Pottinger, who won in the Performing Arts category that year, had also dabbled in painting, but my memory could be getting mixed up. Poet Naomi Long Madgett was selected as the Eminent Artist.

2013 Fellows in the Visual Arts

There were also nine Fellows selected in the Literary Arts category that year, and Michigan Opera Theatre director David DiChiera was selected as the Eminent Artist.

2014 Fellows

For 2014, the Kresge Foundation decided to subdivide the Performing Arts category into Dance/Music and Film/Theatre. Perhaps some of the Fellows in the latter category are of interest to us here. Also, photographer Bill Rauhauser was chosen for the Eminent Artist award.

2015 Fellows in the Visual Arts

There were also nine Fellows selected in the Literary Arts category this year. Designer Ruth Adler Schnee was chosen for the Eminent Artist Award.

Following the unexpected 2014 death of Gilda Snowden (who had been awarded a Fellowship in 2009), the Kresge Foundation started the Gilda Awards, a $5,000 prize to be awarded to two artists each year, starting in 2015. Fellowship applicants can ask to be considered or not considered for the award. If I understand correctly, someone who receives the Gilda Award one year but not the Fellowship can apply for the Fellowship the following year.

A poet and an "interdisciplinary media artist" were chosen for the Gilda Award in 2015.

2016 Fellows

I'm a little confused by 2016. Ralph Taylor is listed as a Fellow in Theatre and the Visual Arts, and Carlos Garcia ("L05") is listed as a Fellow in Film and Visual Arts. The rest of the Fellows for 2016 are all in categories other than Visual Arts.

Photographer Leni Sinclair was chosen as the Eminent Artist of the year. An animator and a choreographer were selected for the Gilda Award.

2017 Fellows

There were also nine Fellows in the Litarary Arts, three of which are of interest to us here: art critic Taylor Renee Aldridge, graphic novelist Michael Burdick (who is also on the list of Red Bull House of Art artists), and Andrew Mehall, an "interdisciplinary" artist whose name I seem to recall from a work list at some gallery or other.

Earlier in 2017, the Kresge Foundantion announced the selection of harpist Patricia Terry-Ross as the Eminent Artist of the year. Austen Brantley and a novelist each won the Gilda Award this year.

2018 Fellows

Saxophonist Wendell Harrison was given an Eminent Artist early in 2018. Eighteen Fellows were chosen in Music, Theatre, Dance and Storytelling.

2019 Fellows

Also, nine writers were awarded fellowships in the Literary Arts category. Photographer Noura Ballout and a fiction author were given a Gilda Award each.

Earlier in 2019, Gloria House was given an Eminent Artist award.

2020 Fellows

Early in 2020, ceramicist Marie Woo was given the Eminent Artist award.

Later in the year, twenty fellows were chosen in dance, music, theatre and "interdisciplinary," including visual artists Kia Arriaga, Bree Gant and Melanie Manos.

Tyree Guyton with a young fan
Tyree Guyton (right) and a young fan at Inner State Gallery.

The Kresge Fellowship, from the Kresge Foundation, is the most prestigious prize for artists in Detroit, the one worth winning. Unfortunately, selection is by committee, and not by anyone from the Kresge family.

The strange thing is, they seem to actually worry each year that no one's going to apply. In 2017, there was a major improvement in the way rejection letters were written. Before you might feel like you wasted your time. Now you might feel like maybe you should apply again next year.

There's no need to post the application link here, for when the application time starts up again, the link will be almost ubiquitous. The application deadline is usually in January.

The Kresge Fellowships are awarded in different categories of the arts. The Visual Arts category is the one that is of interest to us here. It has usually been awarded in odd years. It's possible that could change in the future.

Also, the Kresge Foundation might subdivide the Visual Arts category, as well as make changes we can't foresee.

Bruce Giffin at Detroit Artists Market
Bruce Giffin at Detroit Artists Market.