United States Artists Announces Class of 2022 Fellows

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Artists from the United States (USA) today announced their class of 2022 Fellows. Last year the class was the largest it has ever been, and this year the cohort is even larger . 63 artists received US scholarships to pursue their artistic practice.

Fellows will receive unlimited prizes of $50,000 to use as they see fit to support their artistic work, whether through direct investment in art materials or covering other necessities to give them the time and space needed. to work on their art. The categories in which the artist works are architecture and design, crafts, dance, film, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, visual arts and writing.

Past recipients include Kara Walker, Alexander Chee, Theaster Gates, Nick Cave, Ocean Vuong and Claudia Rankine. This year’s cohort comes from 23 different states and Puerto Rico.

This year, the United States chose six writing fellows to award: Chen Chen, Leroy F. Moore Jr., Dawn Lundy Martin, Kiese Laymon, Emmy Pérez, and Grace Talusan.

The 2022 USA Scholars Reading List

When I grow up I want to be a list of other possibilities by Chen Chen

In her first book of poetry, Chen tackles the complex issues of love and family. It also discusses his experiences as a queer Asian American immigrant and how this affects his view of grief, joy, and identity. Chen’s skillful writing attracted the attention of major awards: this debut album was shortlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award.

Cover of Black Disability Art History 101 by Leroy F Moore Jr.

Black Handicapped Art History 101 by Leroy F. Moore Jr.

Leroy F. Moore Jr. works as a writer, activist and music archivist and also chair of the Black Disability Studies Committee for the National Black Disability Coalition. He does a lot of work to support artists with disabilities, and this book is a children’s book that Moore wishes he had grown up to help him see that artists can come from anywhere. It tells the story of important artists throughout history who had a disability, from blues singers to graffiti artists.

Cover Life in a Box is a Pretty Life by Dawn Lundy Martin

Life in a Box is a Pretty Life by Dawn Lundy Martin

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry, this collection of poetry questions how language shapes our experiences and how to construct new narratives for ourselves. Martin takes language from past racist texts and breaks them down with his own perspective. This is a collection that rewards multiple readings due to its deep and complex approach.

heavy cover by kiese laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon’s collection of essays traces his experiences growing up in Jackson, Mississippi. His essays are deeply personal and touch on a variety of traumatic, life-changing topics. In addition to these personal explorations, he addresses the failures of American society in pushing progress at the expense of reckoning with the past.

Cover of Solstice by Emmy Pérez

Solstice by Emmy Perez

Emmy Pérez is the 2020 Texas Poet Laureate, and it’s clear how much her work resonates in this 2003 collection of poetry. Her poems bring strong imagery as well as a touch of mystery and surrealism. She meditates on the natural world and its connection to the cycles of the body. Her exploration of the world through poetry is broad, from personal issues to how our environments affect us.

Grace Talusan's body papers

Grace Talusan’s body papers

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in a New England suburb. She suffered abuse as a child and discovered a long history of abuse in her family. As an adult, she is diagnosed with cancer and continues to deal with the reverberating effects of family trauma. However, she doesn’t want to hammer her family: she returns to the Philippines and finds hope in her family’s story of strength.

The future of the United States

This year’s writers’ themes are broad, but many of them focus on the experience of growing up in America in a marginalized community. All of these writers have an interest in approaching American history in a nuanced way.

Overall, the United States is striving to expand its pool of artists from all walks of life. This year’s cohort includes the highest percentage of Indigenous and Indigenous artists, as well as artists with disabilities, in the organization’s history. As the United States continues to grow and affirm the essential role of art in our society, it is exciting to see what kind of voice it will be able to raise.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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