FRANKFORT, Ky. — Seven Kentucky visual artists, and one media artist, have been awarded $7,500 each as recipients of the Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

The Fellowship program supports Kentucky artists engaged in creating work of high quality and recognizes creative excellence in practicing, professional Kentucky artists. The fellowship awards are named after Al Smith, a retired Kentucky journalist and past arts council board chair.

The eight fellowship recipients are:

  • Hui Chi Lee, Fayette County, drawing
  • Felicia Szorad, Fayette County, metal
  • Jenny Zeller, Jefferson County, photography
  • Dominic Guarnaschelli, Jefferson County, experimental
  • Robert Salyer, Letcher County, video
  • Brandon Smith, Madison County, painting/acrylic
  • Seth Green, Rowan County, ceramics
  • David Marquez, Warren County, sculpture

"Across the nation today, artists are changing and improving their communities, playing major roles in community development and revitalization," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "Programs like the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships have the potential to make a difference for much more than the artist who receives them. The arts council is glad it can continue to offer this support to Kentucky’s artists."

The selection process for the fellowship awards uses a "blind jurying" system that does not provide the selection panel with applicants' names; the panel reviews the work samples and applications according to application numbers only. Criteria for the awards include artistic excellence and professional achievement.

In alternate years, the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships are available to writers, composers and choreographers. The next application deadline is Feb. 15, 2014.

For more information about the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship Program or other Kentucky Arts Council opportunities for artists, contact Individual Artist Program Director Tamara Coffey at tamara.coffey@ky.gov or 502-564-3757, ext. 479.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Note to editors: To request biographical or contact information for a specific artist, contact Emily B. Moses, communications director, at 502-564-3757, ext. 472.

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