Six Emerging Artists Receive Jerome Grants

Six Minnesota artists were awarded Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each in early 2015 by VSA Minnesota. The 19th annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to complete new work. Selected from 58 applicants, the grantees are:

Name – City – Medium
Renae Carpenter, Cambridge, acrylic painting
Michael Cohn, Minneapolis, dance: choreography & performance
Naomi Cohn, St. Paul, poetry
Chris Juhn, Burnsville, photography
Romayne Kilde, Moorhead, pencil drawings
Liza Sylvestre, Minneapolis, multi-media: painting/drawing/performance

The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with extensive backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. They looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. The highest-scoring artists received awards. Naomi Cohn is a previous grant recipient, and the others are first-time Jerome grant recipients. Members of the panels included:
* Leslie Ball, singer/performer, host of Balls Cabaret, Mpls.
* Brian Corner, writer, musician, digital specialist for Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls.
* Deb Costandine, artist, writer, past grant recipient, St. Paul
* Carl Franzen, writer, graphic artist, singer/songwriter, Mpls.
* Craig Harris, musician, composer, arts administrator, Mpls.
* Prudence Johnson, singer/performer, Mpls.
* Christine Sikorski, writer, past grant recipient, Mpls.
* Mindy Breva, development manager, Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer
* Char Coal, artist, musician, arts/disability event coordinator, VSA MN Board member, Mpls.
* Teresa Engeltjes, director, Circa Gallery, Mpls.
* JoAnn Griffin, co-chair, Children’s Hospital Assn Gala, Mendota Heights
* Jeff Millikan, photographer, instructor, Mpls.
* Claudia Morgan, artist, Stillwater
* Jessie Roelofs, communications & programs manager, Intermedia Arts, Mpls.

VSA Minnesota is a nonprofit organization working to make the arts accessible to people with all types of disabilities. For more information, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883; or e-mail

abstract multi-colored floating shapes, wisps, fibers

Mazarine Tessitura, 30x40x12 acrylic & ink on canvas, 2014, by Liza Sylvestre

pencil-scratched abstract drawing based on photo (lower right) of men in five bathtubs and 3 caregivers in white.

Hydrotherapy Men at Work, pencil drawing based on old photo, by Romayne Kilde

A helmeted skater is poised in mid-air against a round concrete-framed stained glass window.

Hang Time, 2014 photo by Chris Juhn

Against a background of green brush and leafless trees, a bulky man and woman wearing hats carry a pile of lavender across a brown field.

Lavender, 16×20 acrylic, 2014, by Renae Carpenter

Jerome Foundation: Celebrating the creative spirit of emerging artists -- 50 Years (on red background)

Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary logo

Comments (0) • Posted in Artists with Disabilities, News by Jon Skaalen on April 16, 2015.

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