The MacArthur Foundation announced the 2021 winners, including artists Daniel Lind-Ramos and Jordan Casteel, curators Nicole Fleetwood and Jacqueline Stewart

THE MACARTHUR FOUNDATION in Chicago today announced a new class of Fellows, 25 visionaries who are helping us “reinvent what is possible”.

Talented change actors in the visual arts are represented among 2021 MacArthur Fellows, including Nicole R. Fleetwood, who is known for her groundbreaking exhibition and book project, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration”; harlem portrait painter Jordan Casteel; Daniel Lind-Romas, whose works explore the history and rituals of its Afro-Puerto Rican community; and Jacqueline Stewart, a cinema specialist dedicated to bringing visibility to neglected black filmmakers.

Clockwise from top left, 2021 MacArthur Fellows include Jordan Casteel, Nicole R. Fleetwood, Jacqueline Stewart and Daniel Lind-Ramos. | Photos (4) Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

“As we emerge from the shadows of the past two years, this class of 25 fellows are helping us reinvent what is possible. They demonstrate that creativity has no borders. This is happening in all fields of activity, among the relatively young and the more experienced, in Iowa and Puerto Rico, ”said Cecilia Conrad, executive director of the MacArthur Fellows program, in a statement announcing the new class.

“Once again, we have the opportunity to exult in recognizing the potential to create objects of beauty and admiration, to advance our understanding of society and to foster change to improve the human condition. “

“As we emerge from the shadows of the past two years, this class of 25 fellows are helping us reinvent what is possible. They demonstrate that creativity has no borders. – Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur Foundation

Recognizing exceptional individuals in the arts, sciences and beyond, the MacArthur Fellows program supports and encourages ambitious creative, intellectual and professional pursuits, by offering rewards without conditions, obligations or requirements, such as reports or projects. finished, expected in return.

External nominators, experts in their fields, recommend candidates for the opportunity based on their originality and insight and potential to advance their work and further contribute to the betterment of the company. Fellows receive stipends of $ 625,000 distributed in quarterly payments over five years.

In addition to Fleetwood, Lind-Ramos, Casteel, and Stewart, the 2021 fellows include civil rights activist Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition; Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, choreographer and founder of the performance ensemble Urban Bush Women; Columbus, Ohio-based music critic, essayist, and poet Hanif Abdurraqib; Ibrahim Cissé, biologist physicist; American historian Ibram X. Kendi, founder and director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and author of “How to Be an Antiracist” (2019); and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, historian at Princeton University and author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation” (2016)

2021 Scholar Reginald Dwayne Betts works at the intersection of art, law and poetry. A lawyer and activist trained at Yale, Betts’ support for incarcerated people is informed by his own experience of incarceration. His written poems were presented alongside the work of artist Titus Kaphar in the “Redacted” exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2019. CT

SEE FULL LIST of 2021 MacArthur Fellows

LEARN MORE The MacArthur Fellows Program celebrates its 40th anniversary with an exhibition “Towards a Common Cause: Art, Social Change and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40”. The 29 artists featured include Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mark Bradford, Mel Chin, Nicole Eisenman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jeffrey Gibson, Toba Khedoori, Rick Lowe, Julie Mehretu, Kara Walker and Carrie Mae Weems. The main venue is the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago (July 15-December 19, 2021). Several other institutions in the city host related programs, including the Rebuild Foundation.

Art historian and curator Nicole R. Fleetwood, 48 (New York, NY). | MacArthur Foundation Video

Nicole R. Fleetwood is the author of the award winning book “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration”. She curated a museum exhibit of the same name which opened last year at MoMA PS1 in New York and is currently on display at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After 16 years at Rutgers University, Fleetwood joined New York University earlier this year as a James Weldon Johnson Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication.

Fleetwood: “One of the main functions of prisons is to keep people captive and make them invisible to society as a whole. Making art in prison is a very effective way of resisting the erasure of states and making it invisible. “

Sculptor and painter Daniel Lind-Ramos, 68 years old (Loíza, PR). | MacArthur Foundation Video

Daniel Lind-Ramos lives in Loíza, an Afro-descendant community in Puerto Rico. His work covers a variety of mediums ranging from painting and drawing to sculpture, video and performance. He is particularly recognized for his sculptural assemblages, which “embody the social history, religious rituals and built and natural environments” of his community. Lind-Ramos participated in the Whitney Biennale 2019.

Lind-Ramos: “I work with objects. Objects related to palm trees, objects given to me by members of the community, and objects that I also create. Objects activate my memory and also, of course, they activate my imagination.

Painter Jordan Casteel, 32 (New York, NY). | MacArthur Foundation Video

Artist Jordan Casteel paints near life-size portraits of people she meets on the streets of Harlem, on the New York subway, and in her classroom. (She was professor of painting at Rutgers University from 2016 to 2021). Artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Casteel recently presented a major exhibition at the New Museum. “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach” was his first solo exhibition in a New York institution.

Casteel: “I have always been curious about people. I always wanted painting to be an opportunity to explore. … Many of the subjects I have chosen may have had times when they didn’t feel seen. Knowing that they feel seen for the long haul is one of the greatest honors of my life.

Filmmaker, archivist and curator, Jacqueline Stewart, 51 (Los Angeles, California). | MacArthur Foundation Video

Jacqueline Stewart is the artistic and programming director of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which opens to the public on September 30 in Los Angeles. The author of the landmark study “Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity”, Stewart is currently on leave from the University of Chicago, where she is a professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and a was appointed Director of Arts + Public Life in 2019. She is also the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies.

Stewart: “There are a number of black artistic pioneers who made films for a separate African American audience during the first half of the 20th century. There was a kind of mutual relationship that I think had been under-explored. The ways that darkness influenced the development of cinema as a medium and how cinema played an important role in the development of black identity.

Nicole R. Fleetwood’s award-winning book “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” is accompanied by a museum exhibit. Jacqueline Stewart is the author of “Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity”. The exhibition catalog “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach” documents the artist’s first exhibition in a museum in New York.

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