NACF announces 2020 Mentor Artist Fellowship Awards

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/21/2020 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Brenda Mallory of Portland, Oregon, has received a Mentor Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Brenda Mallory works on her art in her studio. The Portland, Oregon, resident has received a Mentor Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee artist Brenda Mallory creates mixed media artwork. This piece is partially made from deconstructed thread spools and cores. COURTESY
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has announced its 2020 Mentor Artist Fellowship awards. 

The fellowship is broken up into two categories – Contemporary Visual Arts and Traditional Arts. One of the fellowship recipients in Contemporary Visual Arts is Cherokee Nation citizen Brenda Mallory of Portland, Oregon, for Mixed Media/Installation. She will mentor Lehuauakea Fernandez, Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian).

“NACF is a wonderfully supportive resource for artists. I am honored and grateful to be a recipient of this award and proud to be in the company of the talented and committed artists who received it,” Mallory said. 

The fellowship is a regional award open to accomplished American Indian and Alaska Native artists and culture bearers located in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Southern California, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. 

Following an open call for applications, a panel of arts professionals who specialize in Contemporary Visual Arts and Traditional Arts reviewed 60 Native artists. This year, 11 artists were selected to receive a $30,000 fellowship award designed to support an established Native artist to mentor an emerging Native artist in the two categories.

“NACF is proud of the success of our Mentor Artist Fellowship. This intensive one-to-one mentoring program has proven to propel emerging artists and their careers, revitalize cultural and artistic practices within communities, and strengthen the mentoring skills of established Native artists and culture bearers,” said NACF Director of Programs Francene Blythe (Diné/Sisseton-Wahpeton/Eastern Band Cherokee). “With great pleasure and enthusiasm, we look forward to working with the eleven 2020 Mentor Artist Fellows and their apprentices in another promising mentorship experience.”

The fellowship is a structured 15-month program designed to empower artists and build capacity in Native communities for future generations. As part of the program, mentors and their apprentices will complete art projects by the end of the fellowship period to broaden Indigenous worldviews in both Native and non-Native communities. 

Established in 2009, NACF has supported more than 350 Native artists and organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s mission is to promote the revitalization, appreciation, and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures through grant making, convening and advocacy. To see a full list of this year’s NACF fellows and to learn more about NACF’s work, visit http://www.nativeartsandcultures.org.

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