Art department’s Lauren Kalman named among 2023 Kresge Artist Fellows

Wayne State University Professor and Department Chair Lauren Kalman is among 30 Metro Detroit artists who will share an unrestricted $550,000 in the 2023 Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Awards.

Lauren Kalman. Photo by Cybelle Codish.

“It is such an honor to be a Kresge Fellow and part of the vibrant Detroit art community. It is especially validating as I enter my mid-career as a visual artist to have my work recognized in this way,” said Kalman, chair of the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design. “I am looking forward to getting to know the amazing 2023 Fellow cohort better over the course of the year and build stronger bonds with my creative colleagues in the city.”

The no strings attached awards were announced June 29 by the Kresge Arts in Detroit office located at the College for Creative Studies, which administers the program on behalf of The Kresge Foundation. WSU alumna Juana Williams (BA Art '09 and MA Art History '17) was one of the 2023 Visual Arts Panelists.

Quinn Alexandria Hunter, a former WSU adjunct faculty and Artist in Residence, earned a Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Award for emerging artists.


Hunter's exhibition, Paradise: Myth of a Liberal North, was featured in Wayne State’s Elaine L. Jacob Gallery during the winter 2023 semester. The exhibition focused on the displacement of Black Americans in the 1950s by focusing on the Detroit experience of red and green lining, white flight, and municipal divestment.

Gilda Awards — named in honor of Gilda Snowden’s (1954–2014) legacy as a mentor and champion of emerging artists in Metro Detroit — recognize artists who are early in their artistic career, gaining momentum, and demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form.

Since 2008, Kresge Arts in Detroit has awarded nearly $8 million in unrestricted dollars directly to Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County artists through 15 Kresge Eminent Artist Awards ($50,000 each), 278 Kresge Artist Fellowships ($25,000 each), and 52 Gilda Awards ($5,000 each).

Alumna Juana Williams is among the 2023 Visual Arts Panelists.

This year’s recipient cohort consists of 15 Kresge Artist Fellows in Visual Arts and five Kresge Artist Fellows in Literary Arts, as well as seven Gilda Awards in Visual Arts and three in Literary Arts. The awards in each category were proportional to the relative number of applications received.

In addition to the monetary prize, Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients are invited to participate in a series of tailored professional development experiences that include skill-building, networking, promotion and coaching opportunities.

Produced by Kresge Arts in Detroit, offerings are created and delivered in collaboration with artists and arts and culture organizations representing local and national perspectives.

Kresge Arts in Detroit also pairs Fellows with local filmmakers to create short films featuring the newest fellows’ art practices and perspectives. The most recent films, featuring the 2022 Kresge Artist Fellows, premiered on Detroit Public Television in March and are available online.

The 2023 cohort is comprised of artists from various career stages and disciplines. The selection criteria for Kresge Artist Fellowships include a demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high-quality work; the potential to grow and advance one’s artistic career; and the potential to reflect, enhance or impact communities within metro Detroit.

“This cohort of artists includes voices that are often overlooked and not always celebrated,” said Jean Alicia Elster, Literary Arts panelist. “The collective impact of this cohort of artists is heightened by a profoundly varied range of backgrounds and experiences.”

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