The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, on behalf of the Jerome Foundation, is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2020/21 MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Early Career Artists: Katayoun Amjadi; Nooshin Hakim Javadi; Kehayr Brown-Ransaw; and Kuab Maiv Yaj, Koua Mai Yang, all from the Twin Cities.

These artists were selected out of a pool of 100 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Jackie Clay, executive director of Coleman Center for the Arts in rural West Alabama; Duskho Petrovich, artist and professor of New Arts Journalism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Ginger Porcella, executive director and chief curator of Franconia Sculpture Park.

Remarking on the fellowship jurying process, Dushko Petrovich stated: "Jurying this fellowship was a great way to learn about and discuss the work of emerging artists in the Twin Cities."

This competitive fellowship provides $10,000 awards to each recipient. In addition, the fellows have the opportunity to meet with visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year, to have their work featured in a group exhibition that will open in January 2022 in the 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.


Katayoun Amjadi is an Iranian-born, Minneapolis-based artist, educator, and independent curator. In her artworks, she often considers the social systems that continually construct the binaries which shape our perceptions of Self and Other, such as religion, gender, politics, and nationalist ideologies. Amjadi is interested in blurring these boundaries and creates a balanced hybrid style both in life and art. Her art is an attempt to understand the relationship between past and present, tradition and modernity, and individual versus collective identity, as well as to spur discussion about our understanding of time and the tangled roots of our histories. She holds an MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and currently teaches visual art at Normandale Community College. Her work has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Minnesota Museum of American Arts; Rochester Art Center; Instinct Art Gallery; Weisman Art Museum; The Soap Factory; University of St. Thomas; Public Functionary; Beijing Film Academy; Karlsruhe Art Academy; and 7Samar Gallery in Tehran. Amjadi is the fiscal year 2015 and 2019 recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She was born in Tehran, Iran, resides in Minneapolis, and maintains a studio in the Q.arma building in NE Arts District.

Nooshin Hakim Javadi works at the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance. As an Iranian now living in the United States, Javadi’s practice investigates the material culture of conflict, displacement, and transition, considering how these experiences are internalized by the body. She received the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center in 2017, while completing her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her interdisciplinary works and performances have been shown in the United States, Germany, and Iran including the Museum fur Neue Kunst, Freiburg, Germany; Parks Exhibition Center, Idyllwild, CA; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim, Neuenhaus, Germany; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD; Walker Art Center; Weisman Art Museum. Javadi is the recipient of a 2017 Franconia Sculpture Park Jerome Fellowship and was a 2018/2019 Target Studio for Creative Collaboration Fellow at the Weisman Art Museum. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at St. Olaf College.

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and curator with a BFA in Furniture Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (‘19). Brown-Ransaw’s practice focuses on traditional crafts of quilting, weaving, and printmaking to engage in conversations of individualism vs. collectivism, familial histories, concepts of gendered work, tradition, and Blackness/Black identity. He has exhibited work at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; FilmNorth; Vine Arts Center; and BI Worldwide, with public works at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Sculpture Garden. He is the recipient of a Fiscal Year 2020 Next Step Fund Award from the Metro Regional Arts Council, and 2020-21 fellow through the Emerging Curators Institute Fellowship program. Additionally, Brown-Ransaw is an active and operating member of the People’s Library having exhibited works at and collaboratively in arts programming at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Soap Factory, Walker Art Center, and Minneapolis Institute of Art. 

Kuab Maiv Yaj, Koua Mai Yang is a HMong American female artist based in St. Paul. Yaj’s studio practice investigates HMong identity, culture and history. Ongoing for a little over 820 days, her current project, Hnav HMoob, Wear HMong, consists of photographs, moving images, and installations. The project engages in everyday HMong clothes through making, dressing, and performance to raise questions about HMong materiality, aesthetics, culture, and female representation in the circulation of global cultural production. The project seeks to understand the history of HMong traditional dress from a female perspective, a place of labor, experientially and through an embodied methodology. The heart of her work is to hold space for the possibilities of addressing the legacy of statelessness, wars, invisibility, and the layers of oppression in HMong female experiences. Yaj holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.



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 early career artists. The Foundation makes grants to early career artists and those nonprofit arts organizations that serve them in the state of Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City.