United States Artists Names 2018 Fellows, Including Dread Scott, Pepón Osorio, and Cassils

The Chicago-based foundation United States Artists has named the 45 artists and collectives across nine disciplines who are its 2018 fellows. The fellowship comes with an unrestricted $50,000 grant.

The fellowships look “to address the lack of unrestricted funding available to artists,” according to the organization’s website. The fellows come from across the United States, from Montana to West Virginia, Alaska to Puerto Rico, Los Angeles to New York, and represent various fields of artistic production: Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Arts, and Writing.

“[The 2018 USA Fellows] produce some of the most moving, incisive, and powerful artistic work in this country, and it is our privilege to honor them,” Deana Haggag, the foundation’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Collectively, they are a reminder of the beauty produced by hardworking artists on a daily basis, too much of which is often overlooked.”

This year’s recipients include: in media, the film production company TNEG, founded by Elissa Blount Moorhead, Arthur Jafa, and Malik Sayeed; in writing, poet and scholar Fred Moten; and in theater and performance, Tarell Alvin McCraney, who adapted his play for the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, and the performance art collective My Barbarian, which is composed of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, Alexandro Segade.

In visual arts, the fellows include Cassils, who recently had an exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York; Abigail DeVille, who staged a performance at the Whitney Museum as part of the programming of the “Calder: Hypermobility” exhibition; Pepón Osorio, whose moving installation, Badge of Honor (1994), is currently on display in the traveling exhibition “Home—So Different, So Appealing” at the MFA Houston; Dread Scott, whose 2015 flag A Man Was Lynched by Police was acquired by both the MCA San Diego and the Whitney; and Cauleen Smith, whose banners were included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and some of which were acquired by the museum.

Past recipients of the fellowship include Judith F. Baca, Senga Nengudi, Shirin Neshat, and Stanley Whitney.

The full list follows below.

Architecture & Design

Norman Kelley (Carrie Norman, Thomas Kelley) – Architects & Designers – Chicago, IL
Amanda Williams – Public Artist – Chicago, IL


Julia Galloway – Potter – Missoula, MT
Tony Marsh – Ceramicist – San Pedro, CA
Martinez Studio (Wence Martinez, Sandra Martinez) – Weaver & Painter/ Designer – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Warren Newton Seelig – Sculptor – Rockland, ME
Patti Warashina – Ceramicist – Seattle, WA


Oguri – Dancer & Choreographer – Venice, CA
Okwui Okpokwasili – Performer & Choreographer – Brooklyn, NY
Allison Orr – Choreographer – Austin, TX
Bill Shannon – Performance & Video Artist – Pittsburgh, PA
Amara Tabor-Smith – Dancer & Choreographer – Oakland, CA


Starlee Kine – Podcaster & Writer – Brooklyn, NY
Terence Nance – Artist – Brooklyn, NY
Elaine McMillion Sheldon – Filmmaker – Morgantown, WV
TNEG (Elissa Blount Moorhead, Arthur Jafa, Malik Sayeed) – Filmmakers – Baltimore, MD, Los Angeles, CA


Terence Blanchard – Trumpeter & Composer – New Orleans, LA
Amir ElSaffar – Multi-Instrumentalist & Composer – New York, NY
Ruthie Foster – Singer & Songwriter – Atlanta, GA
Tania León – Composer & Conductor – Nyack, NY
Danilo Pérez – Pianist & Composer – Quincy, MA
Toshi Reagon – Musician – Brooklyn, NY
Wayne Shorter – Composer – Los Angeles, CA
Somi – Vocalist & Songwriter – New York, NY
Tyshawn Sorey – Composer & Musician – New Haven, CT

Theater & Performance

Luis Alfaro – Playwright – Los Angeles, CA
Lileana Blain-Cruz – Theater Director – New York, NY
Las Nietas de Nonó (Lydela Nonó, Michel Nonó) – Performance Artists – Trujillo Alto, PR
Tarell Alvin McCraney – Writer – Miami, FL
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, Alexandro Segade) – Performance Art Collective – New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA
Mary Kathryn Nagle – Playwright – Tulsa, OK

Traditional Arts

D.Y. Begay – Textile Artist – Santa Fe, NM
Sonya Kelliher-Combs – Mixed-Media Artist – Anchorage, AK
Dawn Nichols Walden – Basketry Fiber Artist – Vulcan, MI

Visual Art

Cassils – Multidisciplinary & Performance Artist – Los Angeles, CA
Abigail DeVille – Installation Artist – Bronx, NY
Vanessa German – Sculptor & Citizen Artist – Pittsburgh, PA
Pepón Osorio – Installation Artist – Philadelphia, PA
Ebony G. Patterson – Painter & Mixed-Media Artist – Lexington, KY
Dread Scott – Multidisciplinary Artist – Brooklyn, NY
Cauleen Smith – Multidisciplinary Artist – Los Angeles, CA


Molly Brown – Poet & Essayist – Sweet Briar, VA
Lucas Mann – Writer / Literary Nonfiction – Providence, RI
Fred Moten – Poet & Cultural Critic – New York, NY
Susan Muaddi Darraj – Writer / Fiction – Phoenix, MD

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