Tamarack Foundation for the Arts selected five new Fellows for the 2022 Emerging Artist Fellowship. The fellowship enables promising early-career artists to pursue knowledge of and experience with the arts-based business component of being a creative entrepreneur and working artist in West Virginia. Selected fellows demonstrate a superior level of mastery in their craft as well as the aptitude to become successful professionals leading well-managed creative enterprises.
Fierce Sonia, a mixed media artist from Greenbrier County, was selected as one of five 2022 Emerging Artist Fellows.
“[I create] vivid mixed media layered portraits of women inspired by fairy tales and pop culture, simultaneously nostalgic and novel. My work is strong and distinctive. I look forward to participating in shaping the evolving narrative of Appalachian culture embracing diversity. Women have been overlooked through most of recorded history. In my own limited human effort, I will try to move the lever,” said Sonia. “I make my work out of optimism for the future. My narrative work is similar to any story telling. My stories are celebrations for girls and women in their empowered multiverse where they can joyfully reign. My mixed media work combines collage, text, acrylic paint, ink, and mark making in layers that reward viewers with buried treasures I leave for them to discover. A narrative is constructed by the tension between the lush layers moving to dreamy feminine mindscapes with a brighter palette. If you listen closely my work has a soundtrack, a rhythm, a pulse that will give you a magic carpet ride to a fairytale that restates your own heartbeat.”
Fellows receive technical training, mentoring, consulting, branding and a $2,500 award to assist with the successful development and launch of their creative business. Through increased visibility, marketing and networking, Tamarack Foundation for the Arts assist Fellows to integrate into local and regional markets and access professional development.
Tamarack Foundation for the Arts will host an Emerging Artists Fellowship gallery show at Taylor Books Charleston in August 2022.
Tamarack Foundation for the Arts Executive Director Renée Margocee said, “Being a successful artist is more than developing an artistic practice. Those looking to earn a living based on creativity must also understand efficient business strategies, marketing, pricing, and networking. This fellowship develops these skills to help artists remain in their communities and thrive in the Mountain State.”
The 2022 Emerging Artist Fellows, which include Steve Hughart of Cabell County, Rachel Dennison of Wetzel County, Robert Shobe of Grant County, and Mary Roy of Harrison County, were selected by an independent committee consisting of master-level artists and arts leaders from across West Virginia. This year’s selection committee included Robert Villamagna, mixed media artist and an assistant professor of art; Adam Hodges, Interim Assistant Program Director of WVSU Extension Service and former Director of Museums for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Robert Moore, mixed media artist and Executive Director of Beckley Arts Center; Susan Feller, artist and arts advocate at ArtWools; and Brian Reed, artist, designer, performer, and educator.
To learn more about the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts and the Emerging Artist Fellowship, visit tamarackfoundation.org.