Lily Wong, "At Our Closest Point," (2021), acrylic on paper (courtesy the artist, Kapp Kapp Gallery, and the New York Foundation for the Arts)

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has awarded 92 New York-based artists a total of $616,000 in grants as part of its 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship. The 36-year-old fellowship program, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), gives each artist an unrestricted cash grant of $7,000.

Selected from an applicant pool of 3,572, the artists represent five disciplines that were selected for this year’s round of grants: fiction; folk or traditional Arts; interdisciplinary work; painting; video or film. The grantees range between the ages of 25 to 70 and come from all across New York State. Fifteen finalists were also announced. While they won’t receive a cash award, they will benefit from other NYFA services, according to the foundation.

As expected, life under the COVID-19 pandemic was a common theme among the proposed projects. Others dwelled on political and social issues following last year’s widespread protests against racism and police violence. According to NYFA, the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders were also reflected in the size of the proposed artworks and the materials used to make them. “Within the visual arts categories, artists showcased smaller-scale works and used materials or repurposed objects in new, unexpected ways,” the foundation said in an announcement today, July 13.

Next year’s award cycle will open in the fall of 2021 and will accept proposals in the following categories: architecture, environmental structures, and design; choreography; music and sound; photography; and playwriting and screenwriting.

Below is a list of all the fellows and finalists of the 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship.

Painting Fellows

Paolo Arao (Kings)
Ever Baldwin (Greene)
Yevgeniya Baras (Queens)
Polina Barskaya (Kings)
Amy Bennett (Putnam)
Matt Bollinger (Tompkins)
Esteban Cabeza de Baca (Kings)***
Jennifer Coates (Queens)
J.A Feng (Kings)
Julie Heffernan (Queens)
Erinn Heilman (Kings)
Will Hutnick (Dutchess)
Yongjae Kim (Kings)
Osamu Kobayashi (Kings)
Athena LaTocha (Westchester)
Talia Levitt (Kings)
Ron Milewicz (Columbia)
Nicholas Moenich (Kings)
Bridget Mullen (Kings)
Tammy Nguyen (New York)
Jeremy Olson (Kings)
Erika Ranee (New York)
Clayton Schiff (Queens)
Minshik Shin (Nassau)
Khalif Tahir Thompson (Queens)
Lily Wong (Kings)
Mie Yim (New York)

Painting Finalists 

Akira Ikezoe (New York)
Fernanda Mello (Orange)
Tsai-ling Tseng (Kings)

Interdisciplinary Work Fellows

Nobutaka Aozaki (Queens)
Mimi Bai (Kings)
Amanda Browder (Kings)
WANG Chen (Kings)
Melanie Crean (Kings)
Amie Cunat (Kings)
Ben Gould (New York)
Tara Homasi (Kings)
Ayo Jackson (Kings)
Katelyn Kopenhaver (New York)
sTo Len (Queens)**
Ying Liu (Kings) 
Leeza Meksin (New York)
Laura Nova (New York)
Calli Roche (Kings)
Kenneth Tam (Kings)
Brigitta Varadi (Dutchess)

Interdisciplinary Work Finalists

Dora Budor (New York)
Aliza Shvarts (Kings)
Kiyan Williams (Kings)

Folk/Traditional Arts Fellows

Hamid Al-Saadi (Kings)
Vincent Chong (Kings)
Hee Jung Han (Westchester)
Hayden Haynes (Cattaraugus)
Jason J. Edwards (Queens)
Julia Loiza Gutiérrez-Rivera (Bronx)**
Richard Koski (Tompkins)
Horla Kutte (Bronx)
Catherine Ochún and Luz Soliz (Bronx)*
Niio Perkins (Franklin)
Mariachi Real De Mexico de Ramon Ponce (Queens)
Ling Tang (Queens)

Folk/Traditional Finalists

Andres Jimenez (Queens)
Victor Murillo (Queens)
Yacouba Sissoko (New York)

Video/Film Fellows

Sahar al-Sawaf (Westchester)
Nesa Azimi (New York)
Casey Carter (Kings)
Martin DiCicco (Kings)
Sarah Friedland (Kings)
Ash Goh Hua (Kings)
Eimi Imanishi (Kings)
Sandra Itainen (Kings)
Caroline Voagen Nelson (Queens)
Rome Kyn Neal (Kings)
Alison Nguyen (Kings)
Nazanin Noroozi (Queens)
Irina Patkanian (Kings)
Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz, and Kiara C. Jones (Kings)*
Alina Simone (New York)
Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (Kings)

Video/Film Finalists

James Bascara (Kings)
Suneil Sanzgiri (Kings)
Patrick Smith (Suffolk)

Fiction Fellows

Lauren Acampora (Westchester)
Amanda Ajamfar (Ulster)
Janani Balasubramanian (Kings)
M. Dean and Salvador Aguilera (Dutchess)*
Lyn Di Iorio (New York)
Christopher Gonzalez (Kings)
Elaine Hsieh Chou (Kings)
Jonathan Lee (Ulster)
Amanda Lee Koe (Kings)
Su-Yee Lin (Suffolk)
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa (Bronx)
Leila Mohr (Kings)
Hoa Ngo (Oneida)
Emily Rems (New York)
Cam Terwilliger (Dutchess)
Jack Wang (Tompkins)

Fiction Finalists

Malcolm Hansen (New York)
Jen Lue (Kings)
Christina Milletti (Erie)

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant and he holds an MFA in Art Writing from the School of Visual...