McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is the administrative home of the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships for mid-career artists.

The 2023 McKnight Fellowships application cycle is now closed. The 2023 fellows will be announced on Monday, June 5.


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About the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships

Since 1982 the McKnight Fellowships for Visual Artists has rewarded talented Minnesota visual artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage beyond emerging.

Each year six $25,000 fellowships in the visual arts category are awarded. The focus of the fellowship program is to connect fellows to national and international visiting critics, participate in a McKnight Discussion Series featuring fellows and invited critics, and work with each fellow to pursue additional professional development opportunities. In addition, the fellows have the opportunity to have their artwork professionally documented, access a range of MCAD facilities, and enjoy discounted MCAD Continuing Education classes. All McKnight Artist Fellows are eligible to receive eight hours of consultation support from Springboard for the Arts and participate in a one-two week residency facilitated by the Alliance of Artist Communities.

Contact Associate Fellowship Coordinator Melanie Pankau at or 612.874.3803 for more information.

About the McKnight Artist Fellowships Program

Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in fourteen different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit McKnight Artist Fellowships.

About the McKnight Foundation

The McKnight Foundation is a Minnesota-based family foundation that advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and the planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts in Minnesota, neuroscience, and international crop research.

Meet the 2022 Fellows

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), on behalf of the McKnight Foundation, announces the six recipients of the 2022 McKnight Fellowships for Visual Artists: Ruthann Godollei, Pao Houa Her, Amanda Lovelee, Lamar Peterson, Emmett Ramstad, and Jonathan Thunder. Designed to identify and support mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement from national visiting critics, an opportunity to participate in a speaker series, and a 1-2 week residency facilitated by the Artist Communities Alliance (ACA). The fellowships are funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by MCAD.

The 2022 McKnight fellows were selected from a group of 141 applicants by a national panel of arts professionals. This year’s jurors were Jongwoo Jeremy Kim, Associate Professor of Art History and Theory, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Julio César Morales, artist and Curator of Visual Arts at Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe; and Katie Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art.

Jongwoo Jeremy Kim reflected on the jurying process: "Working with my distinguished fellow jurors, I was thrilled to meet with the leading artists in the diverse, creative communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The complex human experience in the tumultuous reality of our society today is wonderfully captured in the artworks we saw during our visit, and it was deeply heartening to see so many artists who are problem solvers, care-workers, and dream-makers for the future of our nation and its healing."

Image of Wish Machine, an installation

Ruthann Godollei

Godollei creates testimonial objects, bearing witness to the abuses of power. Her work in multiple media often incorporates text and found materials to comment on inequities and social issues. Exhibits include La Línea: 22 Years of Grupo Soap del Corazón, Plains Museum, Fargo, ND, 2022; The Wish Machine, SNAP gallery, Edmonton, AB Canada 2021; Many Waters: A Minnesota Biennial, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN, 2021; Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, 2020; North American Screenprint Biennial, 2020; The Big Crash, IMPACT, Biblioteca Central de Cantabria, Santander, Spain, 2018; the 9th Biennale Internationale d’Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada; etc. She has created projects for Northern Spark Festival in St. Paul, MN and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Her work is in many international collections, including KUMU Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; the Centre For Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Polish National Museum of Art, Poznañ, among others. Author of a DIY printmaking book, "How to Create Your Own ... " (Voyageur Press), she was the recipient of a 2019 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Printmaking at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. She is a Professor of Art at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and the owner/operator of Printland Press LLC.

Black and white portrait of a woman surrounded by plants

Pao Houa Her

Her is a visual artist living in Minneapolis. She works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong American community. Her holds a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, CT. She is the recipient of many fellowships and grants, and has exhibited extensively in Minnesota, across the United States, and more recently, in Southeast Asia. Her work is included in this year’s Whitney Biennial 2022. 

Picture of a can and cooler that say pop-up meeting

Amanda Lovelee

Lovelee is a visual artist working as the Parks Ambassador for the Metropolitan Council based in the Twin Cities. Lovelee acts as a translator between government and community with the goal of building places where everyone belongs. Lovelee focuses on civic engagement through both her projects Pop Up Meeting, a city popsicle truck and Urban Flower Field, a vacant lot turned gathering space/live science project. She is interested in how people connect and the spaces in which they do so within contemporary society. Her work has been funded by the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Forecast Public Art, and Art Place America. She has an MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a BFA in Photography from the University of Hartford.

Painting of a man laying in the middle of a garden

Lamar Peterson

Peterson (born 1974 in St. Petersburg, Florida). He received a BS from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1999 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2001. He has had previous solo exhibitions at The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; Rochester Arts Center, Minnesota; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; University Art Museum at SUNY, Albany; Deitch Projects, New York; and Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN.  He has exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Fifth International SITE Santa Fe Biennial 2004, Santa Fe, NM; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; The Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, MI; Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL, and most recently was included in “Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art” at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando Florida. Peterson is represented by Fredericks and Freiser Gallery in New York City and lives and works in Minneapolis. He is currently an associate professor of drawing and painting at the University of Minnesota.

Image of Ramstad's installation Escape to the Country

Emmett Ramstad

Ramstad’s sculptures explore body maintenance and the intimate collectivity of public space by modifying the scale and function of familiar care products. Ramstad lives in Minneapolis and has exhibited artworks nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Rochester Art Center. He is a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including an Onassis Eureka Commissions Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Jerome Foundation Franconia Sculpture Park Fellowship, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Award, a Forecast Public Art Research and Development Grant, and a Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant. He has performed in productions with collaborator Maxe Crandall as HOLD and with The BodyCartography Project. He has made costumes and sets for five touring contemporary dance productions and has curated and organized numerous gallery shows. His work is in collections at The Minnesota Museum of American Art, The Weisman Art Museum, University of Michigan Library, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, MCAD, and Second State Press. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art at University of Minnesota.

Painting of mythological figures playing pool

Jonathan Thunder

Thunder infuses his personal lens with real-time world experiences using a wide range of mediums. He is known for his surreal paintings, digitally animated films and installations in which he addresses subject matter of personal experience and sociopolitical commentary. Thunder is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe, and makes his home and studio in Duluth, MN. He has attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics in Minneapolis, MN at the Art Institute International. His work has been featured in many states, regional, and national exhibitions, as well as in local and international publications. Thunder is the recipient of a 2020–21 Pollock Krasner Foundation Award for his risk taking in painting. Since his first solo exhibit in 2004, he has won several awards for his short films in national and international competitions. His painting and digital work is in the permanent collections of multiple museums and universities.

McKnight Visual Artist Discussion Series

This program pairs a visiting critic with three McKnight Visual Artist Fellows and offers attendees an opportunity to learn more about the fellowship recipients as well as how their work intersects with broader contemporary art ideas and concerns.

McKnight Visual Artist Discussion Series

Jasmine Wahi, David Bowen, Mara Duvra, and Rotem Tamir

April 6, 6:30 p.m.
Mia, Pillsbury Auditorium
Free, but ticketed. Registration opens March 6.

McKnight Visual Artist Discussion Series: Gregory Volk, Ben Moren, and Dyani White Hawk

April 20, 6:30 p.m.
Mia, Pillsbury Auditorium
Free, but ticketed. Registration opens March 20

Additional McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship Information

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