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Date posted: 4/30/2010

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is pleased to announce the four artists selected to receive the 2010-11 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists: Matthew Bakkom, Cameron Gainer, and Andrea Stanislav from the Twin Cities, and Aaron Spangler from Park Rapids, MN.

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 visiting critics, and a catalog and exhibition at the MCAD Gallery in the summer of 2011. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Matthew Bakkom's artistic practice focuses on the creative interpretation of archives. By mining historical documents and objects and re-presenting them in novel ways—as newsprint publications, prints, books, mixed-media objects, and installations—the artist seeks to "animate" them for a contemporary audience. Bakkom received a BA from the University of Virginia in 1991 and an MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2007. A former participant in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, Bakkom has been awarded grants from the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and he has participated in artist residencies both nationally and abroad.

Working in what has become characterized as the "expanded field of sculpture," Cameron Gainer uses multifaceted sculptural, photographic, and video projects to deliberately disrupt the experience and expectations of the viewer. His public works have played upon iconic photographs drawn from popular culture. Gainer received his BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1999 and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art in 2003. He has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Artist Grant among many other travel and study fellowships.

Aaron Spangler's narrative sculptures combine traditional woodcarving techniques with the epic qualities of WPA-era mural paintings. Using locally cut basswood that is hand-carved and then painted with black gesso and graphite, the interplay of shadow and light within the varying depths of bas-relief give his work a cinematic power. A 1993 graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Spangler has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation, and he has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, most recently in New York and Berlin.

Andréa Stanislav creates mesmerizing sculptures, paintings, and videos that reflect the limits and failures of the idea of utopia. Employing highly reflective surfaces and potent symbols of colonialism such as obelisks and flags, the artist makes human desire—for the Real, for beauty, for power—both palpable and repulsive. In addition to having been the recipient of numerous awards and artist residencies, Stanislav has had her work exhibited internationally and nationally including Beijing, Dublin, London, Mexico City, New York City, Toronto, and Stockholm. An associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Stanislav received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990 and an MFA from Alfred University in 1997.

This year's McKnight Artist Fellows were chosen from a field of 247 applicants. The selections were made by a panel of art professionals composed of Deborah Cullen, director of curatorial programs at El Museo del Barrio in New York City; Matthew Drutt, executive director of Artpace in San Antonio; and MK Guth, a multimedia artist and recent chair of the MFA program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.

The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists program is recognized as one of the most prestigious foundation-based grant opportunities for visual artists in the Twin Cities. During its existence, the program has influenced the careers of more than 150 artists. Their work, in turn, has contributed to the creative vitality of the region.