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The 2018 MacArthur Fellows were announced today. Each awardee will receive $625,000 of unrestricted funds over the course of five years. Among 25 recipients, many are prominent figures in the arts, including Julie Ault, Titus Kaphar, and Wu Tsang.
The MacArthur fellowship, commonly called the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, is awarded annually to United States residents working in any field who display “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” The award, considered an “investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential,” does not accept applications, but rather anonymous nominations which are reviewed by an confidential selection committee of about a dozen people. Most recipients discover their win with a congratulatory phone call.
Wu Tsang (36) is a filmmaker and performance artist “creating new conceptual and visual vocabularies for exploring hidden histories and marginalized narratives in works that collapse the boundaries between documentary and fiction.”
Titus Kaphar (42) is a painter and co-founder of NXTHVN “highlighting the lack of representation of people of color in the canon of Western art with works that deconstruct the literal and visual structure of the artwork.”
Julie Ault (60), is an artist and curator “redefining the role of the artwork and the artist by melding artistic, curatorial, archival, editorial, and activist practices into a new form of cultural production.”
Other winners include playwright Dominique Morisseau; poet Natalie Diaz; choreographer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili; and the youngest recipient in the 2018 class, 28-year-old composer and conductor, Matthew Aucoin.
Read the full list of winners here.