Lynden Sculpture Garden
Press Release

2019 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists Awarded

Five Artists Share $70,000 in Seventeenth Cycle

By - Nov 18th, 2019 10:53 am

Five recipients of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists have been selected from a field of 159 applicants in the seventeenth annual competition. Cecelia Condit and Ras ‘Ammar Nsoroma were chosen in the Established Artist category and will each receive a $20,000 fellowship. Vaughan Larsen, LaNia Sproles, and Natasha Woods will receive Emerging Artist fellowships of $10,000 each. All of the 2019 fellows are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to receiving an award, the Nohl Fellows participate in an exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art that opens in early June 2020. An exhibition catalogue will be published and disseminated nationally.

Finalists in the Established Artist category included David Niec, Santiago Cucullu, Valaria Tatera, David Najib Kasir, and Matthew Lee.

Finalists in the Emerging artist category included Grant Gill, Nykoli Koslow, Madeline Grace Martin, Daniel McCullough, Rosy Petri, Brennen Steines, and Michael Ware.

The panel of jurors included Dean Daderko, Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Janet Dees, Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; and Jessica S. Hong, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth. The panelists were in Milwaukee November 7-9, reviewing work samples and artists’ statements and visiting the studios of the seven finalists in the Established Artist category.

“As three first-time visitors to Milwaukee,” the panelists observed, “jurying the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists together provided a vibrant and concentrated introduction to the diverse interests that shape and connect this city’s visual arts community. The artworks we encountered—from ceramic sculpture, to performance, socially-engaged projects, painting, photography, and experimental film and video—were full of character and surprise. We encountered emerging artists offering inventive, challenging ways to approach and expand narratives around abstraction and perceptions around race, gender, and identity more broadly. We also met with established artists who continue to find ways to innovate in their studios, mentor fellow artists, and give back to their communities. Coming together to jury the Nohl Fellowships enabled us to provide levels of support that feel both substantive and meaningful. We look forward to continuing engagements with Milwaukee artists, and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and administered by the Bradley Family Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists provide unrestricted funds for artists to create new work or complete work in progress. The program is open to practicing artists residing in the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties). The Mary L. Nohl Fund also supports a Suitcase Fund for exporting work by local artists beyond the four-county area.

Artist Mary L. Nohl of Fox Point, Wisconsin, died in December 2001 at the age of 87. She left a $9.6 million bequest to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Her fund supports local visual arts and education programs, keeping her passion for the visual arts alive in the community.

About the Fellows
Established Artists
Since 1981, Cecelia Condit has created videos and heroines whose lives swing between beauty and the grotesque, innocence and cruelty, strength and fragility. Her work puts a subversive spin on the traditional mythology of women in film and the psychology of sexuality and violence. Exploring the dark side of female subjectivity, her “feminist fairy tales” focus on friendships between women, mothers, memories and the natural world. Her most recent work, We Were Hardly More Than Children, is an epic tale of a friend’s traumatic abortion; a deep hurt not remembered, but poignantly visible in her paintings.

Condit has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Film Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, Mary L. Nohl Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Council and the National Media Award from the Retirement Research Foundation. Her work shows internationally and is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Centre Georges Pompidou in France. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In addition, Condit received a B.F.A. in sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art and M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in photography. At present, she is professor emerita in the Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Formerly, she was a professor and director of the graduate program in film.

Ras ‘Ammar Nsoroma is a muralist, portraitist, and mixed media painter. His work centers around the spiritual, cultural, and political consciousness of the African Diaspora. Nsoroma has worked as an artist for 35 years. He studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His current body of work explores the world of the Orisha, African deities of the pantheon of the Yoruba people.

Emerging Artists
Vaughan Larsen received their BFA with an emphasis in Photography and Imaging from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2019. Their practice currently explores issues of identity and relationships at the intersection of queer culture. In 2019, Larsen has earned local, national, and international honors: After School Special’s Grilled Cheese Grant; the SPE Student Award for Innovations in Imaging (to attend the annual conference of the Society of Photographic Education); first place in the Creative Bursary LGBTQ+ Stories by Getty Images; and first prize in the Unique competition of the Amsterdam Pride Photo Award. Larsen’s work has been written about in publications such as Urban Milwaukee, Phemme Zine, Photo Emphasis, and Humble Arts Foundation.

LaNia Sproles grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated with a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. She devotes most of her time to conducting research on the philosophies of self-perception, queer and feminist theories, and inherent racial dogmas, while also examining the contemporary works of Kara Walker, Wangechi Mutu, and many other Black artists. The combination of printmaking and drawing inspires her to challenge these concepts and to push beyond the traditional expectations of both the figure and printmaking itself. Through collage and assemblage she strives to create work that is honest in its vulnerability and that pays homage to imagery free from the barriers of social constructs.

Filmmaker Natasha Woods was born in Iowa in 1992. She received her BFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2018. At the forefront of her practice is an interest in a hybrid approach to storytelling: she investigates microhistories and counternarratives through manipulation of artifacts and archives. Woods attempts to reposition canonical histories through a feminist lens, posing questions that grapple with how the subject senses comfort and belonging. Her film Confrontations has recently screened at the Milwaukee Film Festival and is currently on tour with Sequence01, a traveling program curated by the underground microcinema, No Evil Eye Cinema.

For more than a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,300 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world and is now among the largest.

For further information about the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists program, please visit


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