Caitlin Cherry, visual artist
Caitlin Cherry, a Brooklyn-based visual artist, combines painting, sculpture and installation art. Describing her work to Interview magazine, she said, “It’s sculpture trying to mold into painting, painting trying to mold into sculpture.” In the work “Hero Safe” in a 2013 solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, Cherry built life-size wood-and-rope weapons of war inspired by Leonardo da Vinci – a catapult, a crossbow, a trebuchet – that use her own paintings as their ammunition. Cherry brings “humor, complexity, aggression and virtuosity” to works that meld “the historical with the present, the fabricated with the actual, in order to fight an ongoing social battle of past and present, powerful and powerless,” says Shelly Silver, chair of Visual Arts at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, which sponsored Cherry and from which she received her master’s degree. Cherry, who was born in Chicago, used her funds to collaborate with tech specialists at MIT to create a more interactive art experience.  In 2016, she received a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship Residency.  Click here for more information on Caitlin Cherry.
Joseph Gorak, American Ballet Theatre soloist
Joseph Gorak was promoted to Soloist at American Ballet Theatre in 2014 from the Corps de Ballet. “With his finely pointed feet and scrupulous classical line, Mr. Gorak is a future prince who opts for elegance over flash,” wrote Gia Kourlas in The New York Times. ABT’s artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, says Gorak “holds the potential to be a leading dancer of unparalleled stature. He has an ideal physique and displays a depth of artistry that can be startling in its clarity and facility.” In 2005 he joined Orlando Ballet, under the direction of ABT’s Fernando Bujones, and won the Grand Prix Award at the 2006 Youth America Grand Prix competition. His repertoire at ABT includes “Cinderella” (Prince) and “Coppélia” (Franz), as well as originated roles (in Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Tempest” and Demis Volpi’s “Private Light”). It is his “lifelong dream and aspiration,” he says, “to be a principal dancer at ABT.” Fellowship support will enable him to work with master teachers, take acting lessons, and visit ballet companies in Europe to learn about the origins of some of the renowned classical ballets.
Julia Bullock, soprano
A soprano hailed in the New York Times as a “mesmerizing performer” who has demonstrated “ravishing, impassioned artistry,” Julia Bullock won First Prize at both the 2014 Naumberg International Vocal Competition and the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  She was also a recipient of Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, the 2015 Richard F. Gold Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, and the 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence.  After earning a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, she received a Master’s degree at Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.  Cast by director Peter Sellars in the title role of Henry Purcell’s The Indian Queen, she performed at the Perm Opera House, Teatro Real, and the English National Opera.  She also appeared in Kaija Saariaho’s La passion de Simone and the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait at the Ojai Music Festival in the summer of 2016.   This season she is performing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony.  Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Bullock integrates her musical life with community activism.  She has organized and participated in benefit concerts in support of the FSH Society, which funds research for Muscular Dystrophy, the Medicine Initiative for New York’s Weill Medical Center, and the Shropshire Music Foundation, a non-profit that serves war-affected children and adolescents through music education and performance programs in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Uganda.  She used her fellowship for voice lessons and coaching as well as travel expenses.  Click here for more information on Julia Bullock.
McKenzie Chinn, actor
McKenzie Chinn, an actor, writer and filmmaker in Chicago, used her Fellowship to write, co-produce, and star in an original, ultra-low budget feature-length movie called Olympia.  Chinn noted that directors Ava DuVernay and Lena Dunham each made their first feature film for $50,000. Her film is currently in post-production, and once her film is complete, she will distribute it to film festivals.  The multi-talented Chinn, nominated by The Theatre School of DePaul University, has acted in productions at Chicago’s Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens. “Luminous and captivating,” is how Steppenwolf’s artistic director, Martha Lavey, describes her. “In every step of the acting process,” wrote John Culbert, dean of DePaul’s Theatre School, “she demonstrates talent, organization, focus, detail, rich listening, diligence and grace.”
Sean Chen, pianist
As the third-prize winner at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, Sean Chen became the first American to reach the finals since 1997.  He also won the 2013 American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship.  A graduate of The Juilliard School with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he earned the Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music.  Chen has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, performed in recitals, and released CDs under the Parma, Harmonia Mundi, and Steinway labels. Sean used his fellowship for a down payment on a concert-quality piano, travel expenses related to his recitals, and a two-week trip to Germany for professional introductions and study.  Click here for more information on Sean Chen.


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