The Chicago-based non-profit organisation United States Artists (USA) is honouring its biggest set of fellows this year, with 63 artists and collectives receiving grants of $50,000 cash. The fellows work across disciplines from visual art, craft practices and dance to music, film and media art. The grants, totaling more than $3.1m this year, represent the largest group of fellows USA has supported since its founding in 2006.
The 2022 grantee cohort is exceptionally diverse: according to the organisation, Indigenous artists make up 20% of this year’s group, while 17% of the selected artists identify as disabled. The grantees represent 23 US states and Puerto Rico, as well as a remarkable range of artistic practices, from artists reinterpreting different forms of traditional textile processes in their work like Melissa Cody (Navajo), Indira Allegra and Jordan Nassar, to sculptors whose multivalent practices range far beyond making physical objects like Nicole Marroquin, Sharif Bey and Lonnie Holley.
“When you honour me and artists like me, you also honour the materials we work with,” says Holley, an Atlanta-based artist whose practice also spans painting and music, but who may be best known for his assemblage sculptures. “The bones, the debris, the industrial waste, is the castaway materials of our lifestyles. We all, as Americans, have struggled to tell our stories. Recognizing a wide range of diverse artists helps us tell a complete story of our nation.”
The funds from the USA grants are unrestricted, allowing artists to put them toward executing ambitious projects, covering studio costs, or paying for personal needs.
“The support of the United States Artists fellowship will allow me to do something more pragmatic than investing in materials—it will allow me to take care of my health,” says Allegra, an artist based in Oakland, California, whose practice incorporates textile processes as well video, sculpture, installation and performance. “Artists don't have a great reputation for living long lives and unrestricted funds allow me to care for my primary instrument which is my bodymind.”
Visual artists and collectives included among this year’s USA grantees also include Alison Croney Moses, Jovencio de la Paz, Sharif Farrag, American Artist, Salome Asega, Critical Design Lab, Andy Slater, Peggie Hartwell, César Castro Karen Ann Hoffman, Las Imaginistas, Brett Ratliff, Marty Two Bulls Jr., Andrea Carlson, Robert Andy Coombs, Jorge González Santos, Olu Oguibe, Jordan Weber and two renowned artists named Peter Williams—the creator of bitingly satirical figurative paintings who died last August, and the Alaska-based Sitka textile artist and designer behind Shaman Furs.