2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship
Application Prescreening for Eligibility
Jerome Foundation staff will review and prescreen applications for eligibility before assigning them to the panels. Any applicant who does not clearly establish eligibility in their application materials will be eliminated for further consideration at the prescreening stage.
Staff must be able to confirm from the application that applicants:
- Are residents of either Minnesota or the 5 boroughs of New York City for at least a year at the time of application
- Are artists early in their career
- Are generative artists who are currently creating new original work
- Are not enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting program nor a full-time tenured faculty member (or equivalent thereof)
- Meet the minimum eligibility for work sample and resume/CV requirements:
- Work samples: 2 work samples, each from a different completed and publicly presented work that the applicant has conceived, generated and publicly delivered as a generative artist. Artists are asked to use their recent and strongest work. Panels prefer work created within the last 3 years. Older samples may be submitted and an explanation provided in the “work sample context” field. Work created and presented while in a degree-granting program is not eligible for this requirement. Artists may submit a third work sample of a work-in-progress, especially if this is a project they will be pursuing during your Fellowship.
- Resume/CV: at least 1 work on their resume that has been supported by a presenting organization or funder (for a project grant from either a foundation or a federal, state or local arts agency). Work that has been self-presented or work created and presented while in a degree-granting program is not eligible for this requirement.
Applications are reviewed by panels of experts, with each discipline evaluated by a separate panel. Panelists are charged with recommending a slate of grantees and alternates to the Jerome Foundation Board of Directors, which retains sole authority to authorize or decline grants.
Panelists consider all elements of the application and only those elements. They do not visit websites or social media channels, or consider materials beyond those submitted by the applicant, even though they may bring their personal experience to bear if they have attended/read/experienced public presentations/publications/exhibitions of work by the artist.
This page explains the review criteria panelists use to evaluate your application and how these criteria are connected to the application.
Applicants are reviewed on artistic merit, including their dedication to and artistic accomplishments thus far, the potential impact of a fellowship on their careers and their artistic field, their readiness and their alignment with Jerome’s values. In reaching the final roster of Fellows and alternates, panels are charged to think not only of the ability of every finalist to meet each criterion strongly, but of recommending a cohort of Fellows that collectively captures the energy and diversity the arts field.
Artistic merit, evaluated in terms of achievement as well as potential, is the highest priority criterion. Inspired by the Foundation’s core value of innovation and risk, this Fellowship supports bold, innovative and risk-taking artists with distinctive vision and voice, and inspiring imagination.
Artistic merit is assessed by the panel based on work samples and responses to questions. Due to the high volume of applications, only artists whose work is compelling will be assessed on the remaining criteria.
Work samples: In looking at work samples, panelists consider whether the creative work is and/or has the potential to be:
- Compelling—offering distinctive vision and authentic voice;
- Deeply considered, imaginative, and executed with attention to craft and with technical proficiency, providing artistic experiences that communicate unique perspective/s, and invite viewers to question, discover, explore new ideas in new ways;
- Innovative and risk-taking—engaging, questioning, challenging or re-imagining conventional artistic forms.
Panelists will consider artist responses to the following questions:
- What drives the artist’s work? What are the questions they are grappling with in their work?
- What is the artist’s lineage? Are there artists, artistic communities, practices, and/or spaces that have influenced their work? Are there specific subject areas or aesthetic styles that they embrace within their work?
- How do they see their work as innovative and risk-taking—engaging, questioning, experimenting with and/or re-imagining conventional artistic forms? If they are working within a specific artistic tradition, how does their work expand or challenge, not merely preserve, that tradition?
The panel is interested in seeing the alignment between the artist’s responses to the questions and how that is demonstrated in the work samples.
Impact is assessed by the panel based on artist responses to questions on the potential impact of the Fellowship—on their artistic career and development as well as on their artistic field(s) and/or their intended communities/participants/audience(s). Inspired by the Foundation’s value around humility, this Fellowship supports artists who embrace their roles as part of a larger community of artists and citizens, and consciously works with a sense of purpose, whether aesthetic, social or both.
Panelists consider the following questions:
- What are the most important questions, opportunities or activities you want to pursue during the fellowship period?
This is not a request for a project plan. This is not “What will the artist do?” but more “What does the artist hope to figure out?” What is the artist excited to learn or experience? Are they looking to expand or learn new technical skills, research/engage with new ways of practicing their work, explore new aesthetics styles or creative content? At the end of the two-year fellowship, what do they hope to have achieved? What will be different?
- Who are the specific communities/participants/audiences the artist hopes to engage? Does the artist have an authentic relationship with/connection to them? What is the desired impact?
How does the artist see their work inspiring these communit(ies)? What are their strategies for fostering meaningful connections?
- What kind of impact—artistic, intellectual, communal, civic, social, etc.—motivates the artist’s work?
How does the artist’s work influence or have the potential to influence the artistic field in which they are working?
Readiness is assessed by the panel’s review of the artist’s resume/CV and their responses to the questions: Does the applicant have the flexibility and openness of schedule to take advantage of this opportunity? Is this coming at a point in the artist’s development that it will be impactful and well used?
The Foundation’s intention is that Fellowship funds will provide artists with more time and resources for their creative pursuits, but all schedule and work arrangements are determined by the artist (i.e., there is no expectation that anyone will take a leave of absence from their job/s).
Resume/CV: In reviewing the resume/CV, panelists will evaluate how the artist’s background demonstrates ongoing motivation, diligence and growth in pursuit of the creation of new original work in their artistic field over a multi-year period.
Panelists consider the following questions:
- Does the artist have the flexibility and openness to take advantage of this opportunity? Why is this the right time for a two-year fellowship?
Are there circumstances, either artistic or personal, that make this an especially opportune time for a two-year fellowship?
- What are the strengths of your work? What areas need more development for you to further your creative work?
Artists might consider connecting how strengths and areas of development are reflected in the work samples.
- How many years have you been generating new original work?
If your experience as an artist extends beyond 10 years and you have discussed eligibility in advance of submitting an application with Jerome staff and received approval to apply, please explain the circumstances (whether personal or geographic) or the specific creative practice considerations (i.e., the scale of work and/or extended creative cycles necessary to complete a single work) that position you as early career. Recommended maximum length: 200 words, 1.5 minutes of video.
Parameters for this program’s definition of early career artist are provided in the Discipline-Specific Guidelines. In general, early career artists are typically in their 2nd to 10th year of creative practice, post-degree-granting program (if applicable). This spectrum is framed by artists with some track record of creating and presenting full work (not beginning artists), and artists who are NOT at a point in their careers where they receive consistent development and production opportunities and significant recognition, awards, and acclaim (not mid-career or established artists).
- In addition to any works in development listed on your resume/CV, do you have confirmed projects now or for the future? Additionally, do you have ongoing representation (gallery representation or agent)?
Please list such projects, ongoing representation or other opportunities that are not on your resume/CV if relevant. Do not include opportunities you have applied for but which are not confirmed. Recommended maximum length: 200 words.
- Ensembles/collectives/collaboratives: Describe the roles of each of the applicants and how your group’s creative process structured.
Do individuals within your group have set roles, wear multiple hats or change roles depending on the project? What is your typical timeline for developing your work?
- Is there anything else beyond the questions asked in the application that the artist wants the panel to know?
All artists have needs for time, money and resources. We discourage using this to make an appeal based on need.
JEROME’S VALUES: Diversity, Innovation/Risk and Humility
In reaching the final roster of Fellows and alternates, panels are charged to think not only of the ability of every finalist to meet each criterion strongly, but of recommending a cohort of Fellows that collectively captures these values.
Diversity is considered in the broadest sense. The Foundation supports a diverse range of artists and organizations, including but not limited to those of diverse cultures, races, sexual identities, genders, generations, aesthetics, points of view, languages, physical abilities, and missions. We support a diverse range of artistic disciplines and forms, created in a variety of contexts and for different audiences, and a diverse range of early career artists.
Innovation and risk-taking reflect the Foundation’s interest in supporting artists from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are expanding ways of working, asking questions, and inspiring new ways of imagining. The Foundation applauds unconventional approaches to solving problems and supports artists that challenge and engage the traditional aesthetic and/or social dimensions of their respective disciplines.
Humility is the Foundation’s aspiration to support artists who embrace their roles as part of a larger community of artists and citizens, and who consciously works with a sense of purpose, whether aesthetic, social or both. The Foundation works for artists (rather than the reverse) and believe that artists are the best authorities to define their needs and challenges—an essential humility reflective of Jerome Hill, our founder.
Please see the Jerome Hill Artist Fellows to get a sense of who has been funded by this program and their artistic pursuits for ideas about how our values are reflected by the artists we support.