Press Release

Front & center

May 6, 2020

Announcing the 2020 Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellows

This year’s ten fellows receive a total of $150,000.

Photo courtesy of

Colin Knight, "With Changing Tides," 2020.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Alyssa Ruberto, Communications Coordinator
828-785-1357 | press@centerforcraft.org


ASHEVILLE, NC (April 20, 2020) –  The Center for Craft is proud to announce the 2020 Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellows, recognized as the top emerging craft artists in the United States.

A generous $5.7 million program endowment from the Windgate Foundation of Little Rock, Arkansas, secured funding for the Center’s emerging artist fellowship program in perpetuity. Now in its fifteenth year, the fellowship’s new name honors wood sculptor Stoney Lamar.

The name change reflects Lamar’s lifelong dedication, as a founding board member of the Center for Craft, to serving and supporting emerging craft artists. Lamar, who currently lives in western North Carolina, has always worked at the leading edge of wood, creating remarkable sculptures through his unique method of multi-axial lathe work.

The Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellowship supports emerging makers by providing $15,000 each to a diverse group of ten graduating college seniors – one of the largest awards offered to undergraduate students in the country. Evaluated on artistic merit as well as contributions to the field of craft, the awardees spend the twelve-month fellowship period engaged in practices that will further their careers.

“The program endowment from the Windgate Foundation ensures that we may provide both the financial award and recognition for these noteworthy artists,” says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director. “This year is particularly critical as so much of the world has changed. What we do know is that the Fellowship instills confidence and fosters bravery to take risks. I am confident these newly awarded Fellows will teach us all what it means to adapt and succeed.”

Historically following the award, the Windgate-Lamar Fellows often step into positions as working artists, curators, or exhibitors at world-renowned museums and galleries, accept full-time faculty roles, attend MFA programs, and establish successful studios of their own.  

This year, the Center for Craft received 92 applications, from which 10 awardees were selected by a juried panel of four leading experts in craft. The 2020 panelists are –

- Indira Allegra, Assistant Adjunct Professor at Mills College, Artist, 2019 Burke Prize Winner, and 2015 Windgate-Lamar Fellowship Fellow (Oakland, CA)

- Jonell Logan, Independent curator, Arts advocate, Executive Director of The League of Creative Interventionists, and Founder of 300 Arts Project (Charlotte, NC)

- Barbara MacFadyen, Metalsmith and Enamelist (Chapel Hill, NC)

- Emily Zilber, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at the Wharton Esherick Museum and Guest Curator for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA)

We are proud to present the 2020 Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellows –

Nathaniel Atkinson, Alfred University, woodwork/printmaking
Atkinson uses materials derived from the landscapes in which he immerses himself, will work with local boat-builders who create historically and regionally accurate watercraft. Atkinson plans to study the spaces that fostered their development, teasing out the relationship between place and identity.

Vicki Cook, Western Michigan University, Frostic School of Art, metals/jewelry
Using small scale metalwork combined with natural objects, like honey locust thorns and other media, Cook crafts hollow bowl forms that represent the individual, referencing the body as a vessel. Cook plans to develop a series of new sculptural hollow forms to continue her exploration of this metaphor.

Jessica Howerton, Tennessee Technological University, metalsmithing/jewelry
Inspired by the collection and cataloguing of specimens, Howerton will train, study, and continue her practice of making intricate metal objects and reliquaries – vessels which integrate personal feelings of loss and invite the play of memory, melancholy, and imagination.

Sydnie Jimenez, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, sculpture/ceramics
Jimenez’s figures express the individuality of youth of color within communities on the fringes of dominant white, Eurocentric culture, ultimately highlighting race as a social construct. Jiminez will travel to the Dominican Republic – her father's home – to investigate Latinx identity, diasporic cultures, and race and ethnicity.

Colin Knight, Virginia Commonwealth University, furniture
Knight reimagines British mid-century modern design in his furniture, which recontextualizes wartime materials and forms. Knight will travel to Europe – including England, Italy, and France – to study design, and will prototype and present his research at the Mediterranean Arts & Design Program this summer.

Daniel Le, Otis College of Art and Design, fashion
Using paper to explore mythology, sacred geometries, the abstract, and the spiritual, Le creates intricate pieces using layering, geometry, and numerology. The Fellowship will enable Le to source new technologies and training, including 3D rendering, as well as access to designers and tailors to assist with new modes of fabrication and marketing.

Mac McComb, California College of the Arts, woodworking/furniture
Creating furniture that speaks to the relationship between humans and the environment, McComb juxtaposes the natural and the synthetic in a reciprocal framework. McComb will spend time researching to create a furniture line produced with local, sustainable materials, and will purchase a bandsaw mill to process locally-sourced timber in his studio.

Fawn Penn, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ceramics
Inspired by their own experiences with chronic illness, Penn uses clay and porcelain to chart how pain moves across the body, as well as examine themes including medical sterility, healing, and decay. Penn will use the Fellowship to open a space devoted to ceramics that builds an inclusive clay community.

Ethan Townsend, Rochester Institute of Technology, glass
Townsend’s experimental, process-based work joins molten glass, performance, and documentation, creating states of flux that depend on the glass furnace itself as both tool and artwork. With the Fellowship, Townsend will create new work in the context of the molten glass studio that questions the standard gallery space.  

Marley White, Virginia Commonwealth University of the Arts, jewelry
White’s pieces reimagine lived experience as body adornment, investigating challenges of emotional intimacy through metalsmithing by creating works that metaphorically link the body and mind and resonate with the subconscious. Over the course of the year, White will research jewelry’s communicative capabilities through self-inquiry and study, exploring old-world methods alongside pioneering techniques.

Find out more about the 2020 Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellowship and past fellows here.

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ABOUT CENTER FOR CRAFT Founded in 1996, the Center for Craft (formerly The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design) is the leading organization in the United States identifying and convening craft makers, curators, and researchers, and matching them with resources, tools, and networks to advance their careers. Over the years, the Center has become a vital community resource, serving thousands of visitors annually. As a national 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the field of craft, the Center administers more than $300,000 in grants to those working in the craft field. www.centerforcraft.org