PDF version of the Press Release

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2011/12 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists. This year the awards went to Liz Miller from Good Thunder, MN, and Christine Baeumler, Elizabeth Simonson, and Marcus Young, all from the Twin Cities.

Designed to identify and support outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement from national visiting critics, and a catalog and culminating exhibition at the MCAD Gallery in the summer of 2012. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation and administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

About the 2011/12 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship recipients:

Christine Baeumler is both a studio and public environmental artist. Her multimedia work explores species affected by global climate change and habitat loss, and her community-based practice reconnects residents to nature in their own neighborhoods. Baeumler received a BA in Fine Arts from Yale University and an MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Nancy H. Gray Foundation for Art in the Environment, and The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, among others. Baeumler is currently an associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Liz Miller creates dynamic mixed media installations and drawings by combining a variety of shapes, signs, and symbols from historical and contemporary sources. Her work has been featured in exhibitions around the country and abroad, most recently in the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program galleries at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. A recipient of several Minnesota Arts Board Grants and a 2007/8 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, Miller has a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is an associate professor of art at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Elizabeth Simonson makes large-scale mixed media installations and smaller sculptures and drawings out of common, everyday materials. Her work begins as a precise, analytic system and develops over time into an organic expression of unanticipated results. Simonson has undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine art from Hunter College, New York. She has exhibited widely on both coasts and in the Midwest, and has had solo shows in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, and Malmö, Sweden. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Hunter College, and Goldman Sachs.

Marcus Young is a self-described conceptual and behavioral artist who uses an array of media to plumb aspects of the human mind—individually, in groups, and in various situations and places. His performative, non-object based practice is both a personal and a collective exploration of mindful living. Young graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, with a BA in music and from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with an MFA in theatre arts. His performances, public events, and installations have occurred throughout the United States and in many countries around the world, including China, England, and France. Since 2006, Young has been City Artist in Residence for St. Paul, Minnesota.

This year’s McKnight Visual Artist Fellows were chosen from a field of 224 applicants. The selections were made by a panel of art professionals comprised of Tumelo Mosaka, curator of contemporary art at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Colleen Sheehy, director of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND; and Kay WalkingStick, a New York City-based artist and professor emeritus at Cornell University.

Exhibition For 2010/11 Recipients

The MCAD Gallery will be featuring an exhibition of new work by the 2010/11 McKnight Visual Artist Fellows—Matthew Bakkom, Cameron Keith Gainer, Aaron Spangler, and Andréa Stanislav—from July 8 to August 19, 2010. The opening reception will be held on Friday, July 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. The artists will discuss their work and the fellowship year on Thursday, July 14, at 6 p.m. in Auditorium 150. Bartholomew Ryan, assistant curator at the Walker Art Center, will serve as moderator. All events are free and open to the public.

About The McKnight Artist Fellowships

The McKnight Artist Fellowship program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the fellowship program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in twelve areas, totaling nearly $1 million each year. Arts organizations oversee the administration of the fellowships and structure their own programs to respond to the unique opportunities and challenges of different creative disciplines.

About The McKnight Foundation

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grant making, coalition building and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation has assets of approximately $1.6 billion and granted about $93 million in 2007.

About The Minneapolis College Of Art And Design

Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to nearly 800 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts degrees.