Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort webpage graphic apply by may 31 2022

The American Craft Council’s Emerging Artists Cohort is a three-month intensive program, followed by continued monthly support, that cultivates the next step for independent craft artists to advance their professional careers. This year's program is supporting 10 innovative artists new to their careers who are expanding craft boundaries and challenging us to new perspectives.

Through facilitated workshops, presentations, and conversations, participating artists will gain a deeper understanding of the professional skills and opportunities that will help them diversify income streams and thrive in their chosen careers. Participants will connect with established industry leaders from a variety of craft sectors including gallerists, curators, marketplace artists, exhibiting artists, social practice artists, designers, and more. After the three-month program is complete, all participating artists will receive a $10,000 accelerator grant to help propel them to the next level of their profession. Once the 2022 intensive is complete, the 2022 cohort will join artists from the 2021 cohort for monthly check-in calls,quarterly workshops, and pathway calls.

Meet Our 2022 Emerging Artists Cohort

Portrait of Kadey Ambrose

Kadey Ambrose is a basketmaker on a quest to discover her ancestral heritage. Her work investigates the connections between ancient craft, ethnobotanical knowledge, and the ever-evolving innovations of living culture. She holds a BAS in Ethnobotany from The Evergreen State College and a MA in Studio Art from Eastern Illinois University. Kadey is from Fairbanks, Alaska—home to the greatest community in the world.

Portrait of Tabitha Arnold

Tabitha Arnold makes labor-intensive textile art. Her work is heavily inspired by her Bible belt upbringing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After earning a degree in painting at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, she began to create narrative tufted rugs inspired by iconography, propaganda, and social realism.
Arnold’s work explores the history of the labor movement, as well as her own direct experiences as a worker, organizer, and artist coming of age during a wave of class-consciousness in America. She recently completed residencies at Glen Foerd in Philadelphia and Còrtex Frontal in Portugal.
tabithaarnold.com | @tabithakarnold

Portrait of Brittney	Austin

Brittney Austin received her Bachelor's from Hampton University in Business Management and her Master's in Knitwear Design from Polimoda Fashion Institute in Italy. She combines her business acumen and technical knowledge of knitwear to design garments with 100 percent sustainable yarns. Brittney aspires to collaborate and develop garments with other knitwear artisans around the world. She believes everyone has a story to tell about knitwear and wants to continue this story-telling through textile design.

Portrait of Juan Barroso

Juan Barroso was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in San Miguel Octopan, Guanajuato, Mexico. He received his BFA in art at the University of Oklahoma and his MFA in ceramics from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He received the Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist Award in May 2020 and since then has appeared in several publications, including the July 2021 issue of Studio Potter and the November 2021 issue of Ceramics Monthly. His ceramic work is represented by Companion Gallery in Humboldt, Tennessee. Barroso is currently living and working in Jackson, Tennessee.
juanbarrosoart.com | @juan_barroso_art

Portrait of SULO BEE

SULO BEE (they/them) is an interdisciplinary maker and metalsmith. They earned their BFA from Texas State University in 2018 and MFA from SUNY New Paltz in 2022 with a focus in Metal and Jewelry. Their work has been exhibited internationally and across the United States. They were a part of One for the Future and Here We Are with NYC Jewelry Week, a 3-month resident at the Baltimore Jewelry Center, and a participant in the invitational residency Pentaculum at Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft. SULO is featured in the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Learning Lab, SNAG JAMS, and Accessory Vanity Fair Magazine.
sparklefilth.cloud | @sparkle_filth

Portrait of Vivian Chiu

Vivian Chiu was born in Los Angeles and emigrated to Hong Kong at the age of three. Her interests in creating objects and the visual arts led her to attend the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA '11 Furniture Design) and Columbia University (MFA '19 Sculpture). With an aptitude for problem solving, Vivian creates optical sculptures out of materials such as wood and photography that attempt to formalize coincidental happenings in repetitive labor intensive processes.
Vivian has attended residencies such as Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Sculpture Space, Haystack Mountain School, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Penland School of Crafts, and the Center for Art in Wood. Her work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Milan, New York, Houston, Colorado, and Philadelphia. She is currently teaching Woodworking at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Craft/Material Studies department.
vivianchiudesigns.com | @viv_chiu

Portrait of Michelle Im

Michelle Im is a Korean American artist working in Queens, New York. RATxCHICKS, pronounced as [ratchix], is a project name for her ceramics that is a play on the words rachet and rad chicks. Humor is what drives the ideas for her ceramic decorations as she often pairs motifs that are deliberately out of the ordinary. She graduated with a degree in Biology and Art from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was named one of Ceramic Monthly’s Emerging Artists of 2022.
ratxchicks.club | @ratxchicks

Portrait of Emily McBride

Emily McBride is an artist, craftsperson, and educator residing in Minneapolis. Trained as a glassblower and obsessed with malleability and touch, she uses glass as a sculptural and design medium to create objects of use and non-use. In 2016, she received her MFA in Craft & Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and in 2009 received her BFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. In 2022, McBride will be a craftsperson-in-residence at Pilchuck Glass School and attend a residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.
emilymcbride.com | @emilymarymcbride

Portrait of Deshun Peoples

Deshun Peoples is a ceramic artist and designer from Chicago. He primarily makes vessel-based forms that highlight utilitarian function. Though these forms have most often been wheel-thrown pots, through 3-D printing, slip-casting, and other industrial methods of production he is beginning to grapple with what it means to have one's metaphorical "hand" present in a body of work. This exploration has led to sculptural installations that challenge him to further ponder questions of societal value, access, agency, and empathy.
deshunpeoples.com | @deshunpl

Portrait of Deshun Peoples

​​Sarita Westrup is an artist and sculptural basket weaver originally from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 and served as the Textile Coordinator at the Penland School of Craft from 2018 to 2021. She is now living in Dallas and is the current artist in residence at Arts Fort Worth.

saritawestrup.art | @saritawestrup

2022 Program Facilitators

Portrait of Ktie Johnson

Katie Johnson, associate director of Creative Business Accelerator, has more than 15 years of experience in diverse creative business and nonprofit leadership roles. She comes to her current role as associate director of Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator from Braddock Tiles, where she was the director of a no-profit workforce development project that produced small-batch architectural tiles with youth to teach job readiness skills. Katie also worked as the curator of public art at Robert Morris University, has managed community ceramics studios, and ran her own pottery business for five years while living in Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina and is set to graduate from the University of Kentucky’s online Master of Arts Administration program in fall 2022. With her extensive experience in the arts and nonprofit sector, Katie works to support artists, makers, and designers to sustain creative fulfillment while growing resilient businesses.
About Creative Business Accelerator
In 2016, Bridgeway capital, a CDFI located in Pittsburgh, PA launched the Creative Businesses Accelerator (CBA) to channel its 30 years of business building and community development capability into the creative economy. The CBA empowers creative businesses to contribute more actively to equitable economic growth. Strong and successful creative businesses emerge as effective allies in Bridgeway’s efforts to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all. They create jobs, reactivate post-industrial spaces, and bring business activity to disinvested communities in need of new and innovative economic activity.

Portrait of Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith is ACC’s director of community and creative work and specializes in craft entrepreneurship and creative economies. She has worked with both rural and urban communities, teaching her professional development and creative entrepreneurship workshops across the country over the last 20 years. Gwynne believes in helping artists and small business owners expand their markets and create sustainable businesses, and in the power of a strong craft ecology. Portrait by Nicole McConville Photography.

Thank You to Our 2022 Cohort Application Jurors

Portrait of Osa Atoe

Osa Atoe is a studio potter living in Sarasota, Florida. She came to ceramics at the age of 34 through community classes and is mostly self-taught. Before clay, Atoe’s main creative outlets were music and self-publishing fanzines, which she still does on occasion. She completed a one year post-baccalaureate program for ceramics at Louisiana State University in 2018. Her work is guided by the influence of historical ceramics and the natural environment. Currently, Atoe spends most of her time in the studio creating monthly collections for her online audience and teaches weekly wheel throwing classes at Sarasota Clay Company.
potterybyosa.com | @potterybyosa

Portrait of Brian Fleetwood

Brian Fleetwood, an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, is an interdisciplinary and collaborative jewelry artist based in Northern New Mexico. Brian holds an MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently an assistant professor in Studio Art at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Fleetwood's work examines jewelry's ability to mediate between a body and the space it occupies. Informed by traditional stories and making practices, a background in biology and ecology, and lived experience on the autism spectrum, he uses experimentation with material and process to create work that aspires to behave in similar ways to living things. This work explores the connections between different ways of knowing, acts of making, and the unexpected and complex kinship between us and everything else.

Portrait of Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a Los Angeles-based independent curator and writer of contemporary art and craft. She most recently served as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York. Vizcarrondo-Laboy has also curated exhibitions at the Center for Craft, North Carolina; Collar Works, New York; Jane Hartsook Gallery, New York; Crocker Art Museum, California; Mindy Solomon Gallery, Florida; and Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey. She has written for publications such as the Journal of Modern Craft, American Craft magazine, Cultured magazine, and multiple exhibition catalogs. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Florida and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center, New York, in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.
angelikvizcarrondo.com | @angelik.wiki

Learn About Last Year's Cohort

View 2021 Emerging Artists Cohort.

Sign Up To Receive Details About Applying for Our Next Emerging Artists Cohort

Please provide your information below to be added to our mailing list for artist-specific opportunities and application information.

Fill out my online form.

Special Thanks To Our Program Sponsors

The Emerging Artists Cohort is possible thanks to the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

Windgate foundation logo

Help Us Continue Supporting Up-And-Coming Artists

ACC is thrilled to be providing direct support and career mentorship to artists on their path to professional practice through the Emerging Artists Cohort. As a national nonprofit, we rely on the contributions of our members and donors to provide impactful programs like this one. Please join or donate to help ensure the Emerging Artists Cohort can continue in the years to come.

Support Our Work