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Fellowships for FY2014

Fellowships for FY2015

Fellowship grants acknowledge the work of 25 of Rhode Island's finest artists in a variety of arts disciplines. Meet below the recipients of our 2015 Fellowship Awards:

Sydney Skybetter is a choreographer, curator, and consultant for performing arts organizations. After studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Columbia, and New York University, Skybetter performed with Christopher Williams and the Anna Sokolow Foundation. Skybetter is a founding partner at The Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency, which provides change management and technology consulting for such institutions as the Mark Morris Dance Group and New York University, and has written about performance history and technology for the Ballet Review, The Huffington Post and Dance Magazine. He is a Producer with the Dance [NOW] NYC Festival, and is a regular guest lecturer at NYU, Juilliard, Skidmore College, The New School and St. Mary’s College. Skybetter is the Founding Chairman of the Technology Committee for the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, and received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University


Jamie Jewett is a choreographer, filmmaker, and new media artist who directs Lostwax Multimedia Dance. He creates hardware and software systems for use in live performance. He is an Associate Arts Professor of Dance and New Media at NYU/Tisch. Previously he was the Director of Dance at the College of Morris in NJ and a Visiting Professor in the Masters program in Sound, Image, and the Body at E.M.A. Fructidor in France. Jamie was the 2012 State of Rhode Island Choreographic Fellow, and recent works have been seen at the New Genre Festival (OK), Ringling Museum (FL), Here (NYC), Danspace (NYC), the Atlas Institute (CO), Boston Cyberarts (MA), and FirstWorks (RI) as well as London, Amsterdam, Dijon, and Vancover.


Boris' work is a disciplined body of objects which vary from eccentric through formal to humorous; provoking thought and reflecting some of the distortions of our ordered world. His practice is a near transparent amalgam of the skills of an able industrial designer, a gifted craftsperson, a savvy business man, a discriminating sculptor, and a clever cultural critic. Bally is a working artist - someone who has integrated their studio practice, their means of monetary support, and his family into a seamless (sleepless?) lifestyle that is puncutated by the dissected remains of streetsigns. -Phil Renato


Bonnie Schultz Platzer graduated from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill in 1969 with a degree in English Literature. But her time as a health volunteer in Togo, West Africa (1969-71) and in Morocco (2006-2008) inspired an interest in textiles that motivated her to follow up with continuing education courses in weaving, spinning and dyeing, including classes through the New School at Parsons School of Design and with Mary Lane at the Ruth Scheuer Tapestry Studio. While working on a newsletter at the African American Institute in New York and raising three children during two years living in Kenya and nine years in Vienna, Austria, Bonnie realized she was happiest weaving images of people she met during her travels when particular encounters provoked questions about ourselves and our surroundings. She has had exhibits in Nairobi, Vienna, and Providence. She continues to work part time as an activities coordinator in senior citizen settings.


Masha Ryskin is a Russian born artist currently based in Rochester, NY and Providence, RI. She received a classical art education in Moscow, Russia, followed by a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the University of Michigan. She uses a variety of media, including drawing and painting, printmaking, installation, and fibers. Her work is concerned with landscape and its elements as a metaphor for memory, history, and passage of time. Masha's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She has participated in a number of artist residencies, both in the United States and abroad. She is a recipient of many grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright grant to Norway. In addition to her individual work, she has participated in many collaborations with other artists, musicians, and dancers, most consistently with Allison Paschke, Margaret Yuko Kimura and Serge Marchetta. She also works as a designer. Her work is currently represented by Candita Clayton Gallery in Pawtucket, RI, the Artist File at the Painting Center, New York, NY, and Yellow Peril Gallery Flat Files in Providence, RI.


Sue McNally was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in New England. She received a BFA from the University of Rhode Island and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been a resident artist at The Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo and Ucross, in Ucross Wyoming. Her work is in the permanent collections of Fidelity Investment Corporate Collection, Boston, MA, The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, and the Newport Art Museum. She lives with her husband Doug Sabetti in both Newport, Rhode Island, and, off grid, in a yurt in rural Utah.


Michael Stewart is the author of four very short books: A Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Magic; Almost Perfect Forms; Sebastian, an children’s book for adults; and The Hieroglyphics. His work has appeared in a variety journals, anthologies, and installations. In 2011, he was chosen by Starcherone Books as one of the thirty under thirty most innovative young writers. He has won several awards including Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowships in both Fiction and Poetry. Michael holds an MFA from Brown University and a BA from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Currently, he lectures at Brown and lives in Providence.


Serge Shea is a writer and educator. He has been published in several national and international literary journals. His work has been included in the short story collection Philly Fiction as well been a  finalist in Munster Literature Centre's Sean O'Faolain Short Story contest. He received an MFA from New York University and is currently working on finishing a collection of short stories. He makes his home with his wife and son in Providence. 

Laura is a writer/director in film and theater. She has written and directed three narrative feature films as well as several shorts. At the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards, her most recent feature Breakfast With Curtis was nominated for a Cassavetes Award and received a distribution award. The film was released theatrically by Abramorama and digitally by BOND 360/Sundance Artists Services. Laura was a Sundance Directing and Screenwriting Fellow with her second feature Stay Until Tomorrow, and her first feature Tax Day also received support from Sundance. She is currently editing behind-the-scenes footage she filmed on the set of Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film Inherent Vice. Laura’s films have screened at well over 100 festivals, winning over 25 awards. She studied filmmaking at Harvard, earned an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown, and is represented by United Talent Agency and Circle of Confusion. She is a Senior Critic at RISD, and Founding Faculty Chair of the MFA in Film program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her plays include Magic Hour and Back East Out West, and she also collaborates on multimedia productions with Everett.


Peter Glantz uses stage and screen to tell stories of cosmic whimsy. His cartoon series "Worldword!" premiered on MTV's Liquid Television in 2013 and his web series We Can Do It! with Becky Stark has featured guests from John C. Reilly to Jena Malone. He recently directed music videos for Wilco, Andrew W.K., and Death Vessel and is co-director of the tour documentary Lightning Bolt - Power of Salad. He performs his own stage show, most recently at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. He currently is creative director of LED effects for the band OK Go's 2014 touring show. The rest of the time he gardens with his wife, artist Meredith Stern, where the annual cucumber harvest feeds his powerful pickling habit. They live together in an old house called Wonderland in Providence, RI.


Rachel Rosenkrantz is a French luthier based in Providence, Rhode Island, who started handcrafting custom-made guitars under the guidance of master luthier Dan Collins, after years of playing music and developing architectural-design products and furniture. Born and raised in Montfermeil, France, Rachel studied Design at ESAG-Penninghen, in Paris as well as at RISD, where she was exposed to both fine arts and applied arts. Her thesis project, "Les Animaux Totem", was already combining music and woodworking. Her understanding of construction through her design years as well as her knowledge of music are two strong assets forming a stable backbone to her actual art making of string instruments. Some of her previous artwork was shown in exhibits at Le Carousel du Louvre, at Le Musée d'art contemporain du Palais de Tokyo, Paris France, at the Hangaram museum of modern art, Seoul Korea and the RISD museum in Providence, Rhode Island.  Just like her music and her designs, Rachel works her luthiery by exploring the combination of both traditional and new styles and techniques and tries to bring a unique perspective to her work. Rachel's studio is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, space she shares with guitar maker Otto D'Ambosio.


Jacob Richman is a mixed-media composer whose work explorers the relationship between sight and sound in mixed performance and installation settings. He is fascinated by what he sees as the interconnectedness of things – sounds with images, places with memories, people with the natural world – and his work is his attempt to express these greater connections that surround us. Jacob received his PhD in multimedia production from Brown University in 2013, and currently teaches in the Art and Film Departments at the University of Rhode Island. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.



Born in Connecticut, Barbara Kolb attended the Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, where she received her B.M. (cum laude) and M.M. degrees. She has been the recipient of many awards, including three Tanglewood Fellowships, four MacDowell Fellowships, and two Guggenheim Fellowships. Ms. Kolb became the first woman to receive the American Prix de Rome (1969-71) in music composition. She was also awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for a year of study in Vienna. Other honors include a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Institute for Arts and Letters grant, and three previous Fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Many organizations have commissioned works from Barbara Kolb, including the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Radio France, IRCAM, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Fromm Foundation. Her music is performed internationally: Millefoglie (1983), her much-admired score for chamber ensemble and computer tape, has been played in Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Dallas, Washington DC, Gelsenkirche (Germany), Helsinki, Liège, Montreal, Paris, San Francisco, Vienna, and Tokyo, where it was performed by the Tokyo Sinfonietta under Kunitaka Kokaji as part of the 1996 Tokyo Summer Festival.


S. Hollis Mickey is an interdisciplinary artist, born in the foothills of North Carolina, now living and working in Providence, Rhode Island. She holds a BA with honors and MA in Performance Studies from Brown University. Through text, textiles, sculpture, installation and performance, her work seeks to capture and remember ephemeral, everyday moments-- those glimpses of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Hollis has created site-specific installations and durational performances across Rhode Island locales. Her texts have been published in audio and print formats, most recently in the audio chapbook ‘Hair Room’ and the print journal, Catacomb. In addition to being a practicing artist, Hollis works as Assistant Educator, Gallery Interpretation at the RISD Museum, where she serves as an editor of the Museum’s journal Manual, performs research and evaluation, and teaches from the collection.


Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s recent exhibitions include SepiaEYE, New York City, the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, Guangzhou Biennial of Photography, China, Tang Museum, NY, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Upcoming is a solo exhibition in 2015 at the Royal Ontario Museum of Art, Toronto, Canada. Recent grants in suppor of Matthew‘s work include a 2012 Fulbright fellowship, the inaugural SPE Future Focus Project support grant (2013), the John Gutmann Fellowship, the Rhode Island Foundation’s MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and a Rhode Island State Council of the Arts Fellowship. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The British Journal of Photography, BBC World and The Village Voice, among others. She has been an artist in residence at the Yaddo Colony and the MacDowell Colony. Her work can be found in the collection of the George Eastman House, Fogg Museum at Harvard, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Center for Creative Photography, and the RISD Museum among others. Matthew’s work was recently featured on the New York Times Lens, CNN photo blog and Buzzfeed.com. Matthew’s work is included in the book BLINK from Phaidon, Self-Portraits and Home Truths: Motherhood, Photography and Loss by Susan Bright and The Digital Eye by Sylvia Wolf. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island and Director for the URI Center for the Humanities. Matthew is represented by SepiaEYE, New York City.





Heather Leigh McPherson is a Providence-based artist whose work deals with painting, digital expression, and contemporary models of identity. She has shown in a variety of venues, most recently in a solo exhibition called Hot Salad at 186 Carpenter in Providence; she also completed a studio residency in 2014 at the Wassaic Artist Residency in Wassaic, New York. She has been on the full-time faculty of Providence College since 2009, where she teaches courses tackling painting, studio research, and contemporary art history. She has a solo show entitled A Platform For Traits opening at Providence College's Reilly Gallery in January 2015, followed by solo exhibitions in Kansas City and Los Angeles. McPherson holds a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's from Rhode Island School of Design.


Natalja Kent is an artist based in Providence working with photography, performance, and sound. Her practice examines intimacy and longing through tropes including fluids, outer space, flesh (and similar textural surfaces), portraiture, snapshots of private moments, storytelling, and experimentation with light. While some projects allow access into private realms of thought and experience, others describe great physical and metaphorical distances. Kent’s zine series “Tuesday Terrs” is a part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In February 2014 she participated in Living As Form, a group show and performance at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her collaborations include multiple U.S. and European tours with the music/art collective, the Good Good; contributing to shows as a working member of the fine art installation collective AVAF at the Tate Liverpool, the De La Cruz Collection on Key Biscayne, Florida (in conjunction with Art Basel Miami), and an installation at Hiromi Yoshii Gallery in Tokyo, Japan; and participating as a member of The Dirt Palace, in Providence, RI, including contributing to a performance at PS1 MOMA, in Queens.


Josephine Sittenfeld grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned her BA summa cum laude from Princeton University and an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been included in shows at Soho Photo in New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, NM; Queens Museum in Queens, NY; Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, MA; Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, NM; Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, NJ; Princeton Art Museum in Princeton, NJ; and the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. Sittenfeld teaches in the Photography Department at RISD and lives with her husband and two children in Providence.


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Lawrence Goodman is the author of The Jewish War, The Disappearance of the Jews, If I Forget Thee, Oh Jerusalem, Keep Your Distance, An Evening of Highly Self-Indulgent Semi-Autobiographical Comedy, and Rain Later. His work has been performed at The Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia, the HERE Arts Center in New York, and the New York International Fringe Festival.  He was a Playwriting Fellow at the Huntington Theater in Boston from 2011 to 2013 and received the 2011 RISCA Fellowship Merit Award in Play and Screenwriting. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont and a B.A. in English from Harvard College and lives in Providence.

Jed Hancock-Brainerd and Rebecca Noon are Providence-based theatre-makers who comprise one-half of the tri-coastal devising company, Strange Attractor, creating original theatre in Providence, Philadelphia, and Juneau, AK. In recent years they have co-created and performed Special Happy, If You Shoot a Boot You Might Get Wet, A Terrific Fire, Enlightenment on E Floor North, and Idle. Additionally, they were members of the design team behind the School House Long House at the RISD Museum's 2013 show, Locally Made and the 2013 Foo Fest performance box, Gimme Shimme and the Daytime Effect. Jed and Rebecca each hold an MFA from the London International School of Performing Arts in Lecoq Based Actor Created Physical Theatre.


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Julie Danho’s chapbook, Six Portraits, won the 2013 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems and essays have appeared in Barrow StreetMid-American ReviewWest BranchSouthern Poetry Review, and Bellingham Review, among other journals. She received an M.F.A. from Ohio State University and has previously been awarded fellowships in poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Julie works as an editor in Providence, Rhode Island.


Colin Channer was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and lives in Providence. The poems selected for his fellowship were taken from the manuscript for his first collection Providential, which is set for release in 2015. Colin’s essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Among his published books are the novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes, “a nearly perfect moral fable” in the words of Russell Banks. Colin’s credits as an editor include the fiction Iron Balloons and Kingston Noir. It also includes a poetry anthology, So Much Things to Say, co-edited with Kwame Dawes. Academic highlights include appointments as the Newhouse Professor in Creative Writing at Wellesley College, and the Fannie Hurst Writer in Residence at Brandeis University. Personal milestones include a ten-year stint as the artistic director and board chairman of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust, a not-for-profit producer of readings, seminars and writing workshops presented at no cost.


Ben Watkins was born in 1977 in Owensboro KY. He received his BFA at Murray State University and did his post-graduate work at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2004 he co-founded Box Elder Studio in Providence RI. Ben’s work has been exhibited at galleries in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island, and can be found in private and corporate collections. Ben currently works from his solo studio in Providence, established in 2007.


Mikhail Mansion is a new media artist, musician, engineer and educator living in Providence, Rhode Island. His work combines elements of sculpture, electronics and code to explore physical forces of nature and other scientific phenomena. End results typically manifest into kinetic installations or objects, as well as interactive screen-based works. A key component of every work is the creative composition of signal transmissions, comprised of both live and historic data culled from nature, and delivered by way of environmental sensors. These sensors inputs are routed into telepresent objects and spaces, from which signal origins blend with the material interventions of the artist, as well as with the observation of viewers, thus becoming attenuated, augmented or enhanced. Through these intersections and ecologies Mansion forms the basis of his creative practice. Much of his creative direction is attributed to the ideas formed during an early career in the USAF, where he contributed to the development of prototype weapons systems. After a brief tour of duty at the Kennedy Space Center, home of NASA, and having seen several rocket and shuttle launches, Mansion’s involvement with destructive forces of warfare began to morph into a fascination with how such forces might instead be applied creatively. Today Mansion continues to not make weapons in order to evolve his creative practice and career as an artist and has exhibited works in a handful of museums, galleries, observatories and science centers around the Northeastern United States, Canada, Dubai, South America, China and also New Zealand. He holds art and technology degrees from Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University and the University of Tampa. He currently teaches part time at RISD, Brown and Salve Regina University. Mansion also works as a creative technologist and interactive software developer at Tellart, an experience design and engineering firm headquartered in Providence.