Center for Craft 25th anniversary logo in red

Press Release

Front & center

May 16, 2019

The Center for Craft Announces 2019 Windgate Fellows

In celebration of ᏔᎷᏣ The Basket

$150,000 awarded to undergraduate students in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of

Elizabeth Schweizer

ASHEVILLE, NC - Now in its 14th year, the Center for Craft’s Windgate Fellowship marks $2.1 million awarded to 140 emerging craft artists nationwide. Each year, the Windgate Fellowship identifies ten graduating college seniors with exemplary skill in craft. Awardees receive $15,000 — one of the largest awards offered nationally to undergraduate art students.

“The Windgate Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for art students who are between college and graduate school or life as a working artist,” says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director. “The Fellowship instills confidence and encourages innovative risk-taking at a critical period in the students’ career.”

Supporting the next generation is one of the Center for Craft’s main focus areas identified to build a thriving national craft field. The Windgate Fellowships help further this goal by providing students with the opportunity to engage in career-enhancing activities. Previous Windgate Fellowship recipients have gone on to hold full-time faculty positions, have been accepted into nationally renowned residence programs, earned MFAs, mounted solo shows, and established successful studios.

This year, four panelists reviewed a national pool of 109 applicants on the basis of artistic merit. They also discerned the potential of each applicant to make significant contributions to the field of craft. The 2019 selection panel included:

  • Patrick Aaron Decker, 2012 Windgate Fellow, Jeweler ( Detroit, MI)
  • Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director, The Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Andres Payan Estada, Curator of Public Engagement, Craft and Folk Art Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sylvia Peters, Collector (Knoxville, TN)

The 2019 Center for Craft Windgate Fellows are:

Cassandra Adame, The University of Texas at El Paso, Jewelry/Metalsmithing
Statement: As a metalsmith and jeweler, I combine traditional and non-traditional processes, creating wearable work that references the autobiographical nature of the home, but also speaks to larger ideas of culture, memory, and place.

Brendan Barrett, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Wood/Furniture
Statement: I design and build one-of-a-kind or small batch production furniture pieces from a craft centered, studio-based practice. My process employs wooden furniture as a structure to present a specific form or material, calling attention to its individual characteristics, personality, and significance.

Galen Boone, California College of the Arts, Jewelry/Metalsmithing
Statement: In my uneasy camp fantasies, I counter the myth of binary gender by offering my own panoply of sybaritic gods, adorning androgynes in strange jewels—anatomical armor, metal pubic hair, enameled nipples spilling drops of bone “milk”—and posing them in an alternate jungle of Eden.

Geoffrey Bowton, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Sculpture
Statement: My path to becoming an artist began while embedded inside a combat zone. After deploying to the Middle East for the Army, and subsequently returning to non-military life, I discovered the potential of art to both reconcile and share my experience. My work confronts military service and re-entry into civilian life.

Jill Childress, East Tennessee State University, Ceramics
Statement: As an artist, I have an appreciation for the working properties of both dough and clay. In my current body of work, I choose to aestheticize the marriage of two historically associated materials. I create collections of rigid molds, fragile cage-like structures, and streamlined hand tools designed to specifically reveal evidence of the baking process.

Reniel Del Rosario, University of California at Berkeley, Ceramics
Statement: I work in an expanded ceramics field that combines objects and interactivity. I create mass-produced goods in a factory process with my own hands. Everything is multiplied in a playful recreation full of imprints and inconsistencies. From donuts to cigarettes to paintbrushes to skin bleaching soap, these products are made by the dozen.

Juan Hurtado Salazar, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Ceramics/Art History
Statement:  It wasn’t until I encountered crafts, where I found the greatest storytellers and learned to reclaim my own narrative, and rewrite its predefined arc. By performing a role within a story arc, fictional moments become sites of living history and experience. In this way, storytelling exhibits itself as a pillar in the formation of society.

Cory Perry, University of Arkansas School of Art, Fiber/Textiles/Sculpture
Statement: The purpose of my work is to disrupt and destabilize the hegemonic western gaze (perception) of different facets of Black culture and experiences. Through my research of African/African Diasporic spirituality, Pan-Africanism, sexuality, and Afrofuturism I’m able to conceptualize objects and paintings that show alternate timelines of  history.

Elizabeth Schweizer, The Rhode Island School of Design, Fiber/Textiles
Statement: My work is about bringing childhood mystery back to life using the accessibility of textile craft, as it relates to human bodies and sensory experience. Textile making presents a mystery and magic of its own: the transforming of elemental materials into pattern and texture, from idea into physical form.

Sidnee Tyree, Kendall College of Art and Design, Jewelry/Metalsmithing
Statement: While many view art as a means pleasure, I view my art as a tool for generating growth and mindfulness. Orchestrated in metal and harmonized into a solid form, my weaves symbolize the continuous circulation of highs and lows and communicate their direct correlation with spiritual enlightenment and understanding the flow.

Learn more about the Windgate Fellowship and the 2019 recipients.