2016/17 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

2016/17 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition

Main Gallery
Gallery Exhibition
2016/17 MCAD/Jerome Fellowship Exhibition

MCAD and the Jerome Foundation are pleased to present an exhibition of new work by recipients of the 2016/17 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists: Nikki J. McComb, Kelsey Olson, Edie Overturf, and Jovan C. Speller of the Twin Cities, and Amanda Wirig of Mankato, Minnesota.



2016/17 Jerome Foundation Fellowships Catalog (PDF)

Nikki J. McComb’s public safety campaign titled #ENOUGH uses art as a catalyst for change and social disruption. Taking on the seemingly unsolvable problem of illegal firearms, McComb uses photographs and video to reach people from the street level to the legislative arena and to help provide communities an outlet where they feel safe enough to seek help, empowered enough to give help, provoked enough to work harder to unify, and unified enough to make change collectively through art. For seventeen years, McComb has applied her artistic interests and skills to working relentlessly in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities in youth and family achievement. In addition to being an art educator, she has organized exhibitions, including Art Is My Weapon, a program whereby local artists select decommissioned guns to then create new work for display. McComb is a 2016 recipient of a MicroGrant for photography and a 2014 and 2015 recipient of Community Leadership Awards. Read an interview with McComb.

Kelsey Olson makes paintings and photo-based works that take the materiality of analog and digital printing techniques as a point of departure. By incorporating mediums and processes from multiple disciplines, the resulting works show a vast range of image production possibilities outside of usual genre parameters. Olson has had solo exhibitions in Minnesota at venues and temporary spaces including GAS Gallery and Press, Party At My Parents’ House, and the Rochester Art Center, and has participated in group exhibitions at David Petersen Gallery and St. Cloud State University. Along with several friends, she helped create and run They Won't Find Us Here Gallery in Minneapolis from 2010 to 2012, and has organized other publishing projects and exhibitions since that time. Olson is from Montana and received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010. Read an interview with Olson.

Edie Overturf uses traditional printmaking techniques to create visual narratives that question the act of storytelling as well as voices of authority and their effects on communities. The open-ended narrative quality she employs allows the viewer to relate to any or all of the represented spaces, the developed characters, or the suggested scenarios. Overturf has exhibited nationally and locally, including a solo exhibition at the Red Garage Studio in Minneapolis and group exhibitions at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Kala Art Institute in Berkeley. She is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants and an Academic Innovation Grant from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She received her BFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and her MFA from California State University in Chico. Overturf currently lives in Minneapolis and is a visiting assistant professor of printmaking and drawing at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Read an interview with Overturf.

Jovan C. Speller’s work is influenced by women, childhood, and the land. It explores the juxtaposition of beauty and deterioration and the beauty of deterioration. As a result, her artistic practice has a meditative quality—one that looks inward, beyond ego and assertion, to subjectivity. Her photographs are an effort at unity between personal reconciliation and global observations. The images and the impressions they conjure denote feelings of searching dissatisfaction, impatience, or deficiency. Speller was a partner recipient of a 2014/15 Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership grant and had her work published in INTO: Minneapolis (2016). She holds a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. In addition to her art practice, Speller is an independent curator with a ten-year exhibition history that spans across the United States. Originally from Los Angeles, Speller currently lives and works in Minneapolis. Read an interview with Speller.

Amanda Wirig is a visual artist and musician, as well as an educator and nonprofit administrator. Her paintings and mixed media work utilize pop culture and humor to address social and political issues in a meaningful and forthright manner. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, Wirig received a BFA in art and a BA in music from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and later received a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership from the same university. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the Midwest, including at the Emy Frentz Gallery in Mankato, the Evelyn Matthies Gallery in Brainerd, and the David Leonardis Gallery and 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. She is also the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, the McKnight Foundation, and the Split Rock Arts Program. Read an interview with Wirig. 

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is honored to have been the administrative home for this fellowship program since its inception in 1981. The 2016/17 Jerome fellows were selected out of a pool of 229 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Gabriel Ritter, curator of contemporary art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Amos Kennedy, Jr., letterpress printmaker and founder of Kennedy Prints! in Detroit; and Dr. Jeannine Tang, art historian of contemporary art at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

This competitive fellowship provides $12,000 awards to each recipient. In addition, the fellows have the opportunity to meet with visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year and have access to various MCAD facilities.

The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905–1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. The Foundation makes grants to nonprofit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City.