Hamiltonian Artists Announces 2021-2023 Fellows

By Editorial Team on October 19, 2021
From left to right: Kyrae Dawaun, Cecilia Kim, Ara Koh, Samera Paz, and Matthew Russo

Hamiltonian Artists is pleased to announce the new cohort of fellows for 2021–2023. They are Kyrae Dawaun, Cecilia Kim, Ara Koh, Samera Paz, and Matthew Russo. Each artist will receive a $2,000 annual honorarium, individualized mentorship, access to an expansive network of alumni and professional contacts, participation in group exhibitions, and a final solo exhibition at Hamiltonian Artists in 2023. The first exhibition of new fellows’ work is new.now., on view at Hamiltonian Artists December 18, 2021–January 26, 2022.

The cohort was selected for their artistic vision, dedication to growth and experimentation, and commitment to Hamiltonian Artists’ communities, mission, and values by a panel of independent jurors: Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Tim Doud, artist, curator and professor in the Department of Art at American University, Washington, DC; Isabel Manalo, visual artist, educator and curator-at-large, Washington, DC; Jonathan Monaghan, visual artist, associate professor and chair of the Art Department at Catholic University, Washington, DC; and Terence Washington, arts educator, administrator, and project director for Readying the Museum, Washington, DC. The four local jurors will continue to work with the fellows through Hamiltonian Artists’ formal mentorship program.

“We would like to thank our esteemed jurors for their time, energy, and commitment to the Hamiltonian Artists community when selecting this impressive new cohort,” says Lily Siegel, executive director. “These five artists, along with the current and past Hamiltonian Fellows, represent the breadth of artistic excellence and diversity found in and around Washington, DC.”

“I am thrilled to be working with such an inspiring group of artists,” adds Tomora Wright, fellowship director. “In my first six months at Hamiltonian, I have greatly enjoyed working towards a renewed program in support of our mission and vision that reflects our three core tenets: professional development, artistic excellence, and community. We couldn’t do what we do without the fellows!”

The returning fellows are Amber Eve Anderson, Maria Luz Bravo, Jason Bulluck, Joey Enriquez, Stephanie Garon, Madeline A. Stratton, and Lionel Frazier White III.

Hamiltonian Artist Fellows work to develop a single major project over the two-year program with guidance provided by mentors, Hamiltonian staff, peers, and other professional guests. Hamiltonian Artists provides expertise and resources to frame development from project idea to exhibition. Together, we help define the future of the field while providing the skills, knowledge, and resources to ensure the sustainability of independent artists as art professionals in their communities.

About the Fellows

Kyrae Dawaun was born on the edge of Queens, NY, transplanted from this affective mecca onto Baltimore, Maryland, then Washington, DC. He received his BFA at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2013. His timely return to working in DC came soon after he achieved his MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

He has been invited to work, reside, and exhibit in Los Angeles, Italy, Toronto, and Berlin. In 2016, Pyramid Atlantic hosted him as a Denbo Fellow, and in 2017 DC Commission on Arts and Humanities awarded him an Arts and Humanities Fellowship. He has recently exhibited at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Hampton Roads, and Sculpture Center in Long Island City.

Cecilia Kim is a Korean video artist working in Richmond. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kim has lived in five countries, including Australia, England, Singapore, and the United States. She is an MFA candidate and adjunct instructor in Photo+Film at Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kim was recently awarded Best in Show, First Place, at the 19th annual Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows, including The Immigrant Artist Biennale, virtual; 0 GALLERY, Seoul, Korea; Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA; Hume Gallery and Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; and at film festivals and screenings, including the NoFlash Video Show, The Anderson Gallery, and Student Experimental Film Festival Binghamton. Kim was a resident artist at the Busan International OpenArts Residence in 2020, and at the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency in 2021.

Ara Koh was born in Seoul, South Korea, from a fashion designer mother and an industrial designer father. She received her BFA in Ceramics and Glass from Hongik University, Seoul, in 2018, and was an exchange student at California State University, Long Beach, in 2016. Koh graduated with an MFA in Ceramic Art at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2020. Her works are installations claiming space across a variety of materials, particularly clay.

Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries, including the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; and Korea Culture Center, Washington, DC. Koh has received numerous awards, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honor by the Korean government. Her works have been collected by Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Daekyo Culture Foundation, Winell Corporation in Korea, and many private collections. Koh currently lives and works in Washington, DC.

Samera Paz is a multidisciplinary self-taught visual and performance artist, activist, educator, and community organizer born and raised in Washington, DC. Her work is inspired by social-political issues, mental health, and her identity as a Black and Colombian woman in today’s modern world. She enjoys working in a multitude of mediums including photography, video, performance art, and public installation. In 2015, Paz founded Girl Power Meetups, a women’s empowerment organization that hosts monthly meetups to empower, educate, and support young women in the DC area. She is active in her community as an organizer who facilitates public meetings and events and is a member of NW4BlackJustice, an activism collective founded by DC natives in the summer of 2020.

Paz has exhibited her work and performed in art exhibitions around the United States. She has been interviewed and published in blogs and media for her art and work, including Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Politico, The Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, and many more.

Matthew Russo was born in Worcester, MA. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC, as a studio technician, educator, and artist. His work actualizes theoretical research into sculpture, painting, and drawings. He uses abstraction as a language to dissect the relationships between objects, materials, and their roles in gender, consumerism, class, and personal history. He earned his BFA in Painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in 2018. As part of his art education, he studied in Prato, Italy, where he focused on traditional forms of painting and printmaking. In 2020, he graduated with his MFA from American University in Washington, DC. Russo has recently exhibited his work at Dodomu Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and But, Also in Washington, DC.

For full juror bios, visit: www.hamiltonianartists.org/about

About Hamiltonian Artists
Hamiltonian Artists’ mission is to build a dynamic community of innovative artists and effective visual art leaders by providing professional development opportunities to innovative new artists and by advancing their entrepreneurial success. Through its unique investment into the next generation of cutting-edge artists, Hamiltonian helps artists to develop important business skills, professional experiences, and visibility to support and sustain their art career. Through artist talks, public events and its membership program, the organization contributes to the vitality of DC’s burgeoning arts scene by deepening the appreciation for contemporary art and culture throughout Washington, DC, and beyond.