Introducing | NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program Recipients and Finalists

Introducing | NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program Recipients and Finalists

NYFA has awarded a total of $644,000 to 95 New York State artists.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program, which it has administered for the past 31 years with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The organization has awarded a total of $644,000 to 95 artists (including three collaborations) whose ages range from 25-84 years throughout New York State in the following disciplines: Crafts/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. Fifteen finalists, who do not receive a cash award, but benefit from a range of other NYFA services, were also announced. A complete list of the Fellows and Finalists follows.

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program makes unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, awarding five per year on a triennial basis. The program is highly competitive and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 2,744. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $31 million to more than 4,400 artists.

“Being an artist is hard work, and a struggle for many; a recent report by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs found that 40% of the artists surveyed cannot afford art supplies and tools,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “This sobering figure is one of the reasons why we are proud to support artists across New York State with unrestricted grants. For 31 years, artists of all disciplines have put the money towards anything that helps make their lives and practice easier, including buying the supplies and time they need to make their art and push their careers forward” he added.

New York State Council on the Arts Chair, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, said: “The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program supports New York State’s creative communities, and NYSCA is proud of our leadership role in this nearly 32-year collaboration with NYFA. Since 1985, NYSCA has provided $31 million in funding for this critical program. Each individual grant helps the recipient more freely engage in imaginative work, and expand the boundaries of creative media. It is gratifying to know that this program has made a real difference in the daily lives of thousands of artists, throughout New York State.“

Richard Barlow of Oneonta, New York, was awarded a Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. He expressed that “the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship is an incredible validation of my work as a visual artist. As a relative newcomer to New York State, it also feels like an acknowledgement that I have established a successful art practice and presence in my new home.” He added that the money will “offset many of the costs of maintaining an active artistic practice: travel, shipping, residencies, materials, promotion, fabrication, etc., and in doing so will alleviate financial pressures and open some mental breathing room to allow for more creative work.”

Neda Toloui-Semnani, a Fellow in Nonfiction Literature from Brooklyn, New York, shared the following about her fellowship: “The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship has given me, a nonfiction writer, the luxury of resource. It has given me both peace of mind and a great deal of joy because I get to see through the final reporting and writing of my first book without compromising. It’s an extraordinary gift.”


Fellowship Recipients and Finalists by Discipline and County of Residence:


Sharif Bey (Onondaga)
Robert Bittenbender (Kings)
Kathy Butterly (New York)
Jack Elliott (Tompkins)
Hiroyuki Hamada (Suffolk)
Dave Hardy (Kings)
Valerie Hegarty (Kings)
Sophie Hirsch (Kings)
Jerome Johnson (Kings)
Robin Kang (Nassau)
Zaq Landsberg (Kings)
China Marks (Queens)
Melanie McLain (Queens)
Shari Mendelson (Schoharie)
Toshiaki Noda (New York)
Kambui Olujimi (Kings)
Peter Opheim (Kings)
Jim Osman (Kings)
Lina Puerta (New York)
Patrick Robideau (Niagara)
Diana Shpungin (Kings)
Elise Siegel (New York)
Kurt Steger (Kings)
Joanne Ungar (Kings)

Crafts/Sculpture Finalists

Jarrod Beck (Ulster)
Oasa DuVerney (Kings)
Panagiotis Mavridis (Kings)
Susan Meyer (Columbia)

Crafts/Sculpture Panelists

Mikhail Gubin (Queens)
Cal Lane (Putnam)
Ryan Sarah Murphy (Kings)
Armita Raafat (New York)
Kako Ueda (Kings)

Digital/Electronic Arts

Merche Blasco (Kings)
Jeremy Couillard (Queens)
João Enxuto and Erica Love (New York)*
LoVid (Suffolk)*
Melinda Hunt (Westchester)
Zohar Kfir (Kings)
Jen Liu (Richmond)
Amelia Marzec (Kings)
Eva and Franco Mattes (New York)*
Joseph Morris (Kings)
Ziv Schneider (Queens)
Pascual Sisto (Kings)
Christopher Woebken (New York)

Digital/Electronic Arts Finalists

Anthony Graves and Carla Herrera-Prats – Camel Collective (Queens)*
DeeDee Halleck (Ulster)
Mattia Casalegno (Kings)

Digital/Electronic Arts Panelists

Peter Burr (Kings)
Heather Bursch (Kings)
Moo Kwon Han (New York)
Gabriela Monroy (Kings/International)
Boryana Rossa (Onondaga)

Nonfiction Literature

Humera Afridi (New York)
Jennifer Baker (Queens)
Ava Chin (New York)
Mitchell Jackson (New York)
T Kira Madden (New York)
Alia Malek (Kings)
Joseph Osmundson (New York)
Brice Particelli (New York)
Ross Perlin (Queens)
Hugh Ryan (Kings)
Aurvi Sharma (New York)
Neda Toloui-Semnani (Kings)
Kelly Tsai (Kings)**
Alejandro Varela (Kings)
Katherine Zoepf (New York)

Nonfiction Literature Finalists

Brian Castner (Erie)
Lisa Chen (Kings)
Rong Xiaoqing (Queens)

Nonfiction Literature Panelists

Shahnaz Habib (Kings)
Abeer Hoque (Kings)
Annie Lanzillotto (Westchester)
Thaddeus Rutkowski (New York)
Eben Wood (Kings)


Desiree C. Bailey (Queens)
Jennifer Bartlett (Kings)
Wo Chan (Kings)
Alan Davies (New York)
Joey De Jesus (Queens)
Betsy Fagin (Kings)
Jameson Fitzpatrick (Kings)
Harmony Holiday (New York)***
Jake Matkov (Kings)
Uche Nduka (Kings)
Allyson Paty (Kings)
Tommy Pico (Kings)
Jayson Smith (Kings)
Ann Stephenson (New York)
Bridget Talone (Queens)
Michelle Whittaker (Suffolk)
Samantha Zighelboim (New York)

Poetry Finalists

Ana Bozicevic (Kings)
Krystal Languell (Kings)
Asiya Wadud (Kings)

Poetry Panelists

Albert Abonado (Monroe)
Rosebud Ben-Oni (Queens)
Rachel McKibbens (Monroe)
Stacy Szymaszek (Kings)
Matvei Yankelevich (Kings)

Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts

Richard Barlow (Otsego)
Alex Barry (New York)
Natalie Beall (Dutchess)
Thalia Chantziara (New York)
Amanda Church (New York)
Amy Cutler (Kings)
Terry Conrad (Saratoga)
Donna Diamond (Bronx)
Mark Dion (New York)
Mark Ferguson (Kings)
Johanna Goodman (Rockland)
Ellen Grossman (New York)
Takuji Hamanaka (Kings)
Amir Hariri (Queens)
Carla Rae Johnson (Westchester)
Cotter Luppi (Columbia)
Kymia Nawabi (Kings)
Susan Rostow (New York)
Jennifer Schmidt (Kings)****
Charlotte Schulz (Westchester)
Sean Sullivan (Ulster)
Dannielle Tegeder (New York)
Scott Teplin (Kings) 

Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts Finalists

Nicole Maloof (New York)
Debra Priestly (Ulster)

Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts Panelists

Perry Angelora (Kings)
Gil Avineri (New York)
George Hrycun (Allegany)
Svetlana Rabey (New York)
Jen Ray (Queens)

* Collaborating Fellows
**Joanne Chen Fellowship: Kelly Tsai (Nonfiction Literature); the Joanne Chen Fellowship is awarded annually to a Taiwanese American artist residing in New York State
***Shelley Pinz Fellow: Harmony Holiday (Poetry)
****Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation Fellow: Jennifer Schmidt (Printmaking/ Drawing/Book Arts)

Click here for more information about the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program.


Funding Support

Major funding is also provided by the New York State Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). Additional funding is provided by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and individual donors.


Images, from above: Terry Conrad (Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts ‘17), Photo Credit: PD Rearick; Kathy Butterly (Fellow in Crafts/Sculpture ‘17), Chaos Monkey, 2017, clay and glaze, Photo Credit: Alan Weiner; Amelia Marzec (Fellow in Digital/Electronic Arts ‘17), Weather Center for the Apocalypse: Weather Tower, 2016, Wood, glass, acrylic, electronics

Amy Aronoff
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