MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowships | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowships

For Early Career Artists

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is the administrative home for this fellowship for early career Minnesota-based artists.

Jerome Foundation logo

Since 1981, this fellowship program, funded by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, has artistically and critically advanced the careers of more than 200 visual artists.

The artists considered for these fellowships may work in a variety of visual art media, including traditional and new media. The program is aimed at visual artists who can present their work in a gallery context. Eligible applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and have not yet attained professional acknowledgment commensurate with the quality of their work. MCAD and the Jerome Foundation welcome applications from artists representing diverse cultural perspectives.

An independent jury of three arts professionals awards four grants of $12,000 each to early- career Minnesota artists. Fellowships may be used to purchase materials, cover the production costs of new artwork, and supplement living or travel costs. During the fellowship year, each artist receives three studio visits from professional critics, access to technical assistance, a culminating exhibition at the MCAD Gallery, a catalog with a critical essay on each artist's work, and the opportunity to partake in a public panel discussion.

Contact Program Director Keisha Williams or Associate Fellowship Coordinator Melanie Pankau at or 612.874.3667 for more information.

About the Jerome Foundation

The Jerome Foundation, founded in 1964 by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), honors his legacy through multi-year grants to support the creation, development, and presentation of new works by early career artists.

The Foundation makes grants to vocational early career artists, and those nonprofit arts organizations that serve them, in all disciplines in the state of Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City.

2022/23 MCAD–Jerome
Fellowship Exhibition

2022/23 jerome exhibition header

Exhibition: January 16–March 2, 2024, MCAD Main Gallery
Reception: Friday, January 19, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Thursday, February 1, 6:00–7:00 p.m.; Moderated by writer Sun Yung Shin

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), on behalf of the Jerome Foundation, is excited to present new projects by the four recipients of the 2022/23 MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Early Career Artists: Roshan Ganu, Erika Terwilliger, Moira (Miri) Villiard, and Peng Wu.

Meet the 2023/24 Fellows

On behalf of the Jerome Foundation, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2023/24 MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Early Career Artists: Zoe Cinel, Leeya Rose Jackson, Prerna, and Ziba Rajabi. The Jerome Foundation has generously supported this fellowship program since its inception in 1981.

The artists were selected from 94 Minnesota-based applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Alex Buffalohead (Bdewakantowan Dakota), Director of Communications, Branding, and Partnerships at the Native American Community Development Institute and All My Relations Arts Gallery; Carol A. Stakenas, Director and Chief Curator of Providence College Galleries; and Jade Yumang, artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jade Yumang stated: “I am excited to see the rise of early-career artists coming from Minnesota, especially with the caliber of applications we saw. There is an intense dedication to research and craft. They are pushing their work with such inventiveness and thought-provoking questions. I can't wait to experience the diverse worlds that they open up.” 

This competitive fellowship provides a $12,000 award to each recipient for the production of new work. In addition to being featured in a group exhibition at the MCAD Gallery, fellows will have an opportunity to meet with visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year, write an essay about their work for the exhibition catalog, and participate in a public panel discussion.

Zoe Cinel

Zoe Cinel
Natura Morta with Adalimumab (Humira), 2022
Archival inkjet print
58 x 32 in.

Zoe Cinel is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and educator from a Mediterranean culture. Through art they build community around human experiences that are isolating and complex to navigate, such as chronic illness and immigration. Starting from their personal journey as an O1B immigrant and a chronically ill artist, they strive to connect with others and produce social change. Through the lens of disability justice and immigration, their current research explores non-binary, interconnected, intersectional and interdisciplinary ways of healing and care. Collaboration and community-building is fundamental in Cinel’s practice. Since 2017, they have been a member of CarryOn Homes, an artistic collective dedicated to centering stories of immigration to Minnesota. More recently they are serving as a consultant with the Disability Justice Collective MN. Cinel’s awards and achievements include a 2023-2024 University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Hub Residency with the collaborative project “Sound Stories”, 2023-2024 MRAC Arts Impact for Individual Grant supporting the event series “Conversations about Care,” and 2022-2023 residency with Second Shift Studio. Their artistic and curatorial work has been featured by institutions such Walker Art Center, Mana Contemporary Chicago, Rochester Art Center, Gordon Parks Gallery, among others. After graduating with a MFA in Visual Studies in 2018 from MCAD, they are now a Visiting Professor at Carleton College and a Community Faculty at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

Leeya Rose Jackson

Leeya Rose Jackson
Universal Change, 2022
Acrylic on wood
Photo Credit: Courtney Perry
Leeya Rose Jackson
Affirm. Adage, 2023
Acrylic, cotton textile on canvas, acrylic on carved wood, animation on LED

Leeya Rose Jackson is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Detroit, MI. Now based in North Minneapolis, she works as a painter, printmaker, creative director, filmmaker, and designer. Jackson is the Creative Founder of Noisemakers Studio, specializing in design, art direction, and illustration. Her work explores identity, focusing on Blackness, neurodivergence, femininity, and queerness, and is characterized by vibrant celestial, floral patterns and magical-realism motifs. Jackson earned her BFA in Fine Art, Painting and Printmaking from Illinois Wesleyan University. She has exhibited her work across the Twin Cities, Detroit, Italy, Fargo, California, and Boston. She has completed a printmaking residency with Pears Studio of NDSU and Arthouse of Moorhead, MN. Jackson is an active member of the Roho Collective, AdWomxn, and Public Functionary Studios Program. Her public artwork has been commissioned by The Mall of America, The Four Seasons Mpls, Hello Adorn, and University of Minnesota. She has also received illustration commissions from University of Minnesota Press, Playwrights Canada Press, Target's Black Beyond Measure, MPR, American Public Media, The Coven Mpls, Sony Music, Giphy, Metro Transit, AdCouncil, Teach for America, and National Parks Conservation Association.



Drywall monobloc chair (detail), 2020
CNC routed and etched drywall, ink, MDF

Prerna is a multidisciplinary artist born in Mumbai, India. In her most recent works she engages with familial archives and governmental documents to discern the overlapping elements of bureaucracy and superstition, arguing that they are two sides of the same coin. She is interested in her relationship to being the subject and being subjected, using the materials and language found in government buildings, airports, classrooms, and other spaces, where the body undergoes categorization and evaluation. Through these actions, images and objects blur the lines between the domestic and the institutional, the intimate and the formal, the hand and the machine. Prerna received her MFA from University of Minnesota. She has been awarded global opportunities and residencies, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Artists for Artists Edition 4: Language Is Never on the Ground. Prerna has exhibited nationally at SooVAC, LUMP Gallery, SNAG Gallery, and Papa Projects. Her work has been published in The Other Way Around, a catalog of artists at University of Minnesota and Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin, and the visual art magazine FAKE. Prerna is the Exhibition Services Manager at Minnesota Museum of American Art.

Ziba Rajabi

Ziba Rajabi
Glitched Home, 2021
Acrylic on canvas, dyed cotton thread, mirrors
Dimensions variable

Ziba Rajabi is originally from Tehran, Iran. She received her MFA from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and her BFA from Sooreh University, Tehran, Iran. Her primary practice is focused on painting, drawing, and fabric-based installation. She is the recipient of the Artist 360 Grant, a program sponsored by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Her work has been included in a number of national and international exhibitions, such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AR; CICA Museum; South Korea; Masur Museum; LA; 21C Museum, AR; Araan Gallery, Iran; The II Platform, UK. She has been an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center, Terrain Residency, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

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