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Franklin Evans awarded NYFA Painting Fellowship

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the recipients and finalists of its Artists’ Fellowship Program. The organization has awarded a total of $642,000 to 95 artists (including four collaborations) throughout New York State in the following disciplines: fiction, folk/traditional arts, interdisciplinary work, painting, and video/film. Fifteen finalists (three per discipline), 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 Artists’ 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 2,606. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $27 million to more than 4,000 artists. This year’s announcement marks the 30th anniversary of the program and NYFA, with regional partners, will be celebrating that milestone with public programming around New York State this coming year.

The grants give our new Fellows the chance to create freely, support their communities, inspire their audiences, and make our society richer in the process,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael L. Royce, “The leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts has been essential and we are grateful to them and our other funders for enabling us to continue the encouragement of New York State artists.”

Fiction Fellow Bill Cheng from Brooklyn mirrored this sentiment, stating that for him “it’s really the affirmation that your work has potential that I find the most nourishing as an artist.” He continued to say that “so much of writing is done by yourself, in your own head that it’s easy to lose track of how you think your work is. I feel privileged to be a winner of a NYFA Fellowship this year”.

For Onondaga-based artist Biboti Ouikahilo the award is providing him with the opportunity to continue the work with his community. He expressed that “everything I’m doing is not about me. So upon receiving the grant, my first thinking was how can everybody enjoy this? This Fellowship will help with essential dance studio maintenance, the repairs of all Djembe and Dundun drums, and it will assist me in giving remuneration to my two consultants, who are incredibly helpful.”

Image (detail): Franklin Evans, matisseasirwinorange, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 68 x 67 inches, 172.7 x 170.2 cm, A/Y#21480

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