Six Emerging Artists with Disabilities Receive 2016 Jerome Grants

Six Minnesota artists have been awarded Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each by VSA Minnesota. The 20th annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to complete new work. Selected from 40 applicants, the 2016 grantees are:

In this photography-filtered image, velvety water flows past little iceberg rocks

“Fire and Ice” by Paul Ernst

Name City Medium
Becca Cerra, Shafer — dancing sculpture hybrid
Kristin Dieng, Plymouth — stained glass-on-glass mosaics
Paul M. Ernst, Minneapolis — photography based art
Angelique Lele, Minneapolis — dance
Samuel Lynn, Brooklyn Center — painting
Lucas Scheelk, Minneapolis — poetry

The grants were awarded the first week of February 2016 following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists scoring highest in artistic quality and received awards. All grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients. They will each be working on projects during 2016 and an exhibit of their new work will be mounted in 2017.

yellow, orange and red rectangular stained glass pieces rise into greens and blues in four-pained window

Sunrise in four-paned stained glass window by Kristin Dieng

Members of the grant reviewing panels included:
* Randy Beard, playwright, music reviewer, Minneapolis.
* Bryan Boyce, director, Cow Tipping Press, Minneapolis
* Gabriell Butler, a writer new to the Twin Cities, Coon Rapids
* Alyssa Herzog Melby, executive director, Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield
* Chiaki O’Brien, SAORI weaver, teaching artist, performer in Mu Daiko, Chaska
* Scott Pakudaitis, photographer, theatre patron, St. Paul
* Jill Vaughn, History Theatre access coordinator
* Laura Brooks, Courage Kenny, coordinator of annual Art of Possibilities Show, Golden Valley
* Geri Connelly, visual artist, active in Minnesota Irish Artists, St. Paul
* Karen McCall, artist, graphic designer and owner of McCall Design, Inc., Minneapolis
* Michael-jon Pease, executive director, Park Square Theatre; previously founding director of Cornucopia Art Center (now Lanesboro Art Center), St. Paul
* Mary Welke, visual artist (landscape & nature painter), Burnsville
* Patricia Young, retired from 26th Street Artists, Minneapolis

More information about each artist will be available shortly. VSA Minnesota anticipates a new round of grants for 2017, with a deadline in late 2016. For more information, or to be sure you receive a mail or email announcement, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883; or e-mail

Comments (0) • Posted in Announcements, Artists with Disabilities, News by Jon Skaalen on February 10, 2016.

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