September 23, 2022

Leslie Smith III, UW-Madison, is a professor in the Faculty of Arts in the School of Education and a recipient of the 2022 Joan Mitchell Fellowship from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Leslie Smith III
Leslie Smith III

Each year, the Fellowship distributes $60,000 each in unlimited funds over five years to 15 artists working in the evolving fields of painting and sculpture. In addition to financial awards, fellows are invited to participate in one-on-one professional practice consultations. A conference that fosters a peer learning community. Programs focused on personal finance, estate planning, and thought leadership, among other opportunities.

Christa Blatchford, executive director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, said: “This Fellowship is a foundational and meaningful undertaking that multi-year financial support can be transformative for artists, and increased access to individuals, resources and practical tools will enrich their practice over time. I stand by my deepest convictions.”

Smith describes himself as an “African-American abstractionist”. In a statement about his work, he said: I am interested in the conscious efforts to change an individual’s perceptions and change the way they perceive things that are foreign or different. My paintings explore themes of compatibility, transparency, resentment and opacity as traits that influence how we relate to each other. ”

For more information, see this fellowship winner’s announcement and Smith’s profile.

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