Artist Trust Announces 2019 Fellowship Award Recipients

June 17, 2019 – Artist Trust is proud to announce the 13 recipients of the 2019 Fellowship: visual artists Juan Alonso-Rodriguez and Joe Feddersen; interdisciplinary artist Romson Bustillo; graphic novelist Ellen Forney; poets Paul Hlava and Lena Tuffaha; vocalist Johnaye Kendrick; choreographer Dani Tirrell; writer Jessica Mooney; multidisciplinary artist Kristen Ramirez; filmmakers Gilda Sheppard and Lynne Siefert; and painter Asia Tail. Each receives an award of $10,000.

Artist Trust Fellowships are merit-based awards providing support to practicing professional artists of exceptional talent and ability residing in Washington State. These unrestricted awards are given annually to artists of any discipline in recognition of artistic excellence and dedication to their practice. The first Fellowship Awards were selected in 1987, making it Artist Trust’s longest-running award program.

“The boost this Fellowship provides is priceless,” says recipient Juan Alonso-Rodriguez. “I am in this creative process for the long haul, which means that ongoing support, financial and otherwise, is crucial in order to maintain longevity and relevance.”

In 2019, Artist Trust increased its Fellowships from $7,500 to $10,000 and added two new opportunities through the award program: the Vadon Foundation Native Artist Fellowship, for which Asia Tail was selected, and the Yayasan Bali Purnati Residency, which Romson Bustillo received. The Vadon Foundation Native Artist Fellowship is a $10,000 award for Native artists presented in partnership with the Vadon Foundation, a Seattle-based foundation committed to sustaining healthy thriving indigenous nations. Created in partnership with Artist Trust founding director David Mendoza, the Yayasan Bali Purnati Residency provides a month-long residency in Indonesia at the Balinese arts center, including airfare and accommodations, in addition to the $10,000 award.

Artist Trust received 354 applications from artists across Washington State for Fellowship. An independent selection panel made up of artists and arts professionals representing a range of disciplines and practices reviewed the applications and met over two days to select the awardees. Of the 13 recipients, 10 identified as people of color, and four reside outside of King County, including three artists based in Tacoma.

“I find strength and courage by embracing challenge and vulnerability, and my work, especially my work about mental health, has given me a significant sense of purpose and mission,” says recipient Ellen Forney. “These are [the reasons] why I do my art. I wouldn’t have it any other way, except, ‘embracing challenge and vulnerability’ doesn’t pay the health care bills; ‘passion and sense of purpose’ don’t give me the financial security to take chances in my work. Many thanks to Artist Trust for awarding real financial support with this Fellowship, as well as bestowing a fantastic honor.”

The 2020 Fellowship Awards open in February 2020, and the deadline to apply is March 9. Guidelines will be posted on the Artist Trust website in January.

More information about the 2019 Fellowship recipients and selection panelists is listed below. Fellowship award recipients’ biographies and work can be viewed on the Artist Trust website.

About Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in individual artists through grant programs, and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at artisttrust.org.

###

2019 Fellowship Recipients

Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, King County
Romson Bustillo, King County*
Joe Feddersen, Okanogan County
Ellen Forney, King County
Paul Hlava, King County
Johnaye Kendrick, Pierce County
Jessica Mooney, King County
Kristen Ramirez, King County
Gilda Sheppard, King County
Lynne Siefert, Pierce County
Asia Tail, Pierce County**
Dani Tirrell, King County
Lena Tuffaha, King County

*recipient of the Yayasan Bali Purnati Residency
**recipient of the Vadon Foundation Native Artist Fellowship

2019 Fellowship Selection Panelists
Steven Barker, author & essayist, King County
Anne de Marcken, interdisciplinary artist and writer, Thurston County
Ramón Esquivel, playwright and professor at Central Washington University, Kittitas County
Elisheba Johnson, artist, curator, and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture public art manager, King County
Josephine Keefe, actor, director, and One Heart Native Arts & Film Festival board president, Spokane County

About Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in individual artists through grant programs, and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at artisttrust.org.