2013/14 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists

2013/14 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists Selected

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, in conjunction with the Jerome Foundation, is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 13/14 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists: Kjellgren Alkire of Lake City, and Pao Her, GraceMarie Keaton, Robin Schwartzman, and Nate Young of the Twin Cities.

These artists were selected out of a pool of 232 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Ross Elfline, assistant professor of contemporary art at Carleton College; Elyse Gonzales, curator of exhibitions at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and John Hitchcock, professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This competitive fellowship provides $10,000 awards to each recipient. In addition, the fellows will have the opportunity to meet with three visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year, to have their work featured in a group exhibition that will open in fall of 2014 in MCAD Gallery, to have an essay written about their work that appears in the exhibition catalog, and to participate in a public panel discussion.

The Jerome Foundation has generously supported this fellowship program since its inception in 1981.


Kjellgren Alkire mixes sculpture, design, and performance to celebrate and interrogate social denotations of Americana, mythology, masculinity, humor, vernacular language, agriculture, and architecture. Performances of his alter ego, the Reverend Roughstock, have been presented at a variety of venues in the West and Midwest, as have his prints and other sculptural ephemera. The recipient of grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Missouri Arts Council, Alkire has a BA from Concordia University in St. Paul, and a MFA from Arizona State University. He teaches at Winona State University.

Pao Her is the subject, maker, and gatherer of her photographic work. Employing different vernaculars of photography, she investigates the idea of desire within the Hmong community from both her personal and cultural consciousness. Her’s work has been exhibited in both solo and group shows on both coasts and in Minnesota. The recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants, she has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a MFA from Yale University.

GraceMarie Keaton physically and conceptually alters imagery so as to produce photographic objects that question materiality, representation, origin, perception, and assumed photographic truths. A BFA graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Keaton has participated in a number of residency programs and has shown her work in galleries in the Midwest and East Coast.

Robin Schwartzman employs anthropomorphized characters, fictional stories, bright lights, and humorous audio pieces to create playful sculptures and interactive installations that often reference the memorable aesthetics of bygone eras. Her large-scale projects, commissions, and performances have been featured at the Walker Art Center, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Northern Spark, and Art Shanty Projects, to name a few. A 2012 recipient of a Minnesota Sate Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, Schwartzman has a BFA from Syracuse University and a MFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Nate Young engages in conceptually-based projects that explore how language operates. His video and mixed media installation work collapses the space between different systems of thought, forcing the viewer to negotiate spaces and rhetorical tensions. Recent exhibitions include Fore at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Go Tell it on the Mountain at the California African American Museum and the 2013 Minnesota Biennial at The Soap Factory. The recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Collaboration Grant and a Bush Fellowship, Young has a BA from Northwestern College, a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is co-founder and director of the alternative exhibition/project space The Bindery Projects.

The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905–1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. The Foundation makes grants to nonprofit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City.
The focus of the Jerome Foundation is to support emerging professional artists who are the principal creators of new work, and:

  • who take risks and embrace challenges
  • whose developing voices reveal significant potential
  • who are rigorous in their approach to creation and production
  • who have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment
  • who are not recognized as established artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators

Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to art and design education, MCAD is home to nearly eight hundred students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Learn more online at mcad.edu