Arts advocacy group names three 2014 USA Knight Fellows – Knight Foundation

Arts advocacy group names three 2014 USA Knight Fellows

Thien To records an audio diary for Philly Youth Radio. Photo by Brad Larrison. Courtesy of United States Artists. 

Three artists have been named USA Knight Fellows for 2014 by United States Artists, the national grantmaking and advocacy group. They include Edouard Duval-Carrié, a Miami-based visual artist who recently had a solo exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Yowei Shaw, an independent radio producer in Philadelphia, and visual artist Sandow Birk of Long Beach, Calif. They are part of a group of 34 USA Fellows named today.

Each receives $50,000 in unrestricted funds to use as they choose. Knight Fellows, all of whom live in communities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight owned newspapers, also receive $5,000 for a community engagement project.

From top to bottom: Edouard Duval Carrié, Yowei Shaw and Sandow Birk.

Led by former Miamian Carolina Garcia Jayaram, United States Artists was created after a landmark survey found that while 96 percent of Americans value art in their cities, only 27 percent value artists. The group works to close that gap and support the artists who make communities vibrant places to live.

Here’s more from United States Artists about each USA Knight Fellow:

Edouard Duval-Carrié is a painter, sculptor and curator born in Haiti and now based in Miami. His work uses his homeland and the Caribbean Diaspora as a source of inspiration and research, creating a visual vocabulary that includes his personal narrative intertwined with the history and plight of his native country. He has had solo shows at Brown University, the Pérez Art Museum, the Figge Art Museum, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami and the Monterey Museum of Art in Mexico, among others. With the support of the Institut de France, he organized “The Global Caribbean” series, a five-year program to present contemporary Caribbean art during Art Basel Miami Beach. Currently, he is curating the 30-year anniversary of the South Florida Art Center in Miami Beach and he is also curating the first “History of Haitian Photography” exhibition to be presented at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale in 2015.

Yowei Shaw is an independent radio producer in Philadelphia. She has contributed to “This American Life,” “Studio 360,” and NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” She specializes in short-form stories about cultural issues, particularly the experience of people of color. Shaw created Philly Youth Radio, a project that provided high school students with the tools and training to produce radio stories about their lives and communities, and is the recipient of the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, a Third Coast International Audio Festival honorable mention, and the National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association. Listen to her stories, including one on how her parents, Taiwanese immigrants, avoided a midlife crisis by learning to tango or her weekly “First Person Arts” podcast.  

Sandow Birk is a graduate of Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design whose work deals with contemporary life. Frequently developed as expansive, multimedia projects, past themes have included inner-city violence, graffiti, social and political issues, travel, prisons, the Quran, surfing, and skateboarding. He was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts International Travel Grant to Mexico City in 1995, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Rio de Janeiro for 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting, followed by a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship in 2001. One of his projects involved the rewriting and illustrating of the entire “Divine Comedy” into contemporary American English. A feature film of the project, “Dante’s Inferno,” was released in 2007. His most recent project is a consideration of the Quran as relevant to contemporary life in America; he single-handedly created a hand-transcribed and illuminated manuscript of the holy text in English.