2013/14 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

2013/14 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition

Exhibition Press:

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and the McKnight Foundation are pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of work by recipients of the 2013/14 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists: Catherine Meier of Duluth, and Joe Sinness, Amy Toscani, and Dyani White Hawk of the Twin Cities.

Designed to identify and support outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement from national visiting critics, an artist book, and exhibition at the MCAD Gallery. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by MCAD.



Catherine Meier will be installing large-scale graphite drawings on paper that depict the subtlety of the vast, open grasslands of the North American Great Plains. Meier has shown her work in gallery and museum settings in the Midwest, South, and Japan at film festivals and in the very landscapes that gave rise to her drawings. She has a BFA in studio art from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and an MFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her awards include two from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.

Joe Sinness continues to push the limits of colored pencil on paper as he exhibits a series of still-life drawings that explore cinematic performance, sexual desire, and narcissism. The artist received his BA in studio art and English literature from St. John’s University and his MFA in studio art from MCAD. Sinness’s work has been widely exhibited around Minnesota and Wisconsin and in 2014 he will have his first international solo show in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The artist is also a 2013 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Amy Toscani, a sculptor who has fallen in love with flatness, has begun thinking more in terms of collage. The pieces on display will be more energetic, personal, and self-deprecating than ever imaginable. Toscani, the recipient of many grants and awards from the Jerome, McKnight, and Bush Foundations, has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Minnesota and the Midwest. Her commissioned work is on view on the campuses of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and MCAD and in Lowertown, St. Paul. The artist completed both her undergraduate and graduate studio art degrees at Ohio University.

Dyani White Hawk will exhibit selections from a variety of series explored over the last three years. Spanning the media of painting, printmaking, mixed media, and drawing, White Hawk continues to expose pre-existing intersections and mold new possibilities between the histories of abstract painting and Native American art forms. White Hawk received her MFA in studio art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her work has been widely exhibited in New Mexico and the Upper Midwest and was on view in 2013 at the University of Venice, Italy. In addition, White Hawk is a recent recipient of the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Discovery Fellowship. She is currently the gallery director and curator at All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis.

The 2013/14 McKnight fellows were selected from a group of 190 applicants by a panel of arts professionals of varying backgrounds whose careers intersect with the visual arts in different ways. This year’s jurors were Megan Hamilton, an arts writer and program manager at the Creative Alliance, a community-based non-profit arts organization in Baltimore; Gilbert Vicario, senior curator at the Des Moines Art Center; and Lynne Yamamoto, a practicing artist and associate professor of studio art at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

As part of the 13/14 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship program, over the next few months the fellows will be meeting with Dean Daderko, curator at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; David Humphrey, a New York-based painter and writer; and Candice Hopkins, a Canadian independent curator who is co-curating the 2014 SITE Santa Fe Biennial. In addition, the 13/14 fellows will be working with Scott Nedrelow of Location Books to create individual limited edition artist books and an online publication.


The McKnight Artist Fellowship program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the fellowship program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in eleven areas, totaling nearly $1 million each year. Arts organizations oversee the administration of the fellowships and structure their own programs to respond to the unique opportunities and challenges of different creative disciplines.

The 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artists exhibition will be the last group exhibition featured in MCAD Gallery. After 32 years, this part of the McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship program is being retired as part of a larger re-imagining of the fellowship in 2014. The visual arts category will include photographers and there will be a total of eight $25,000 awarded. The focus will be on bringing in more visiting critics to meet with the fellows and strengthening that relationship so that the critics will be paired with the fellows and together will participate in a four-part McKnight Discussion Series. Commissioned essays about each individual fellow will appear in either their limited-edition artist books or online publication produced by Location Books.


The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grant-making, coalition-building, and the encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $91 million in 2011.


Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to more than 700 students and offers professional certificates, bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of science degrees, and graduate degrees.

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Installation - Rik SferraInstallation - Rik Sferra


Installation - Rik SferraCatherine Meier, I could hear voices on the wind, Sage Creek Rim Road (detail), Graphite on paper

Catherine Meier, I could hear voices on the wind, Sage Creek Rim Road, Graphite on paper.

Amy Toscani, Harry, Mixed media (in progress)

Amy Toscani, Harry, Mixed media (in progress).