Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship

Last year, I featured a post on the renowned artist and painter Jacob Lawrence, his wife Gwendolyn Knight, and the foundation that was established in their name, the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation.

Here’s a snippet from the post: Artist and painter Jacob Lawrence is among the most celebrated and best known African American artists of the twentieth century. Throughout his career, most of his artwork depicted the history and struggle of African Americans. Born in 1917, his mother enrolled him in an after school art program in Harlem, where he studied alongside leading African American artists. He married fellow artist Gwendolyn Knight in 1941. (Read the full post here).

In addition to Harlem, another city that lays claim to Jacob Lawrence is Seattle. In the 1970’s, the Lawrence’s settled in the city, where Jacob became an art professor at the University of Washington. He painted until his death in 2002 at the age of 82.

The foundation has supported many initiatives, among them the Savannah College of Art and Design's Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Annual Lecture Series on African-American Art. And just this week, it was announced that the first Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellow has been selected.

Via “Contemporary artist Titus Kaphar is the inaugural Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellow at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Director Mimi Gates has announced. Kaphar will be featured in the first solo exhibition in SAM's Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Gallery April 3 through September 6, 2009.

The Seattle Art Museum's Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship is awarded bi-annually to an early career black (not necessarily African-American) artist – an individual who has been producing mature work for less than 10 years. The selected artist is honored with a one-person exhibition in SAM's Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Gallery and receives a $10,000 award to further his or her artistic practice.

The Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship was created to provide inspiration for young artists and scholarship in the field of art history, especially as it pertains to the artistic and cultural life of black artists, both of which were important to Knight and Lawrence. Funding for the fellowship is provided by the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Endowment.

In selecting artists to receive the fellowship, emphasis is placed on individuals whose original work reflects the Lawrences' concern for artistic excellence, education, mentorship and scholarship within the cultural contexts and value systems that informed their work and the work of other artists of color.”

Read full article here to learn more about the Fellowship and the artist.

On the web:

Photos: Foundation website/

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