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2023 Emerging Artists Cohort

2023 Emerging Artists Cohort

ACC’s Emerging Artists Cohort program engages 11 innovative early career artists who are expanding the boundaries of craft in a three-month virtual intensive to advance their professional creative practice. Cohort participants will connect with established leaders from across the industry, including curators, designers, and gallerists, and learn from exhibiting, marketplace, and social practice artists to gain a deeper understanding of their field and cultivate opportunities to thrive in their careers. Projects designed and developed during the intensive will be supported by a business accelerator grant awarded upon completion of the program.


Headshot of artist Adam Atkinson

Adam Atkinson
Bakersville, NC

Adam Atkinson (he/they) is a metalsmith, curator, and educator. Atkinson received an MFA in Metal Design at East Carolina University in 2019, and a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Practices at Boise State University in 2013. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Boone Art and History Museum, Nagoya Zokei University, Nagoya, Japan, among others. They have been awarded numerous residencies including the Emerging Artist Residency at the Baltimore Jewelry Center and the three-year residency at Penland School of Craft.


Headshot of artist Daniel Brockett.

Daniel Brockett
Leechburg, PA

Dan Brockett creates handwoven baskets from willow grown on his 12-acre property, Foggy Blossom Farm, in Leechburg, Pennsylvania. As a grower turned self-taught artist, there is an element of companionship with, and reverence for, his material that permeates every project. From choosing the willow varieties he plants to eventually harvesting and selecting each rod for a specific basket, Dan’s desire to be in relationship with all aspects of his craft is the driving force behind his work.


Headshot of artist Renata Cassiano Alvarez.

Renata Cassiano Alvarez
Springdale, AR

Renata Cassiano Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist born in Mexico City and currently a VAP at the University of Arkansas School of Art. She works predominantly in the medium of clay, searching to develop an intimate collaborative relationship with material. Influenced by archeology and history, she is interested in the power of objects with a sense of permanence and timelessness and language as transformation. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in public and private collections. She works between her studio in Veracruz, Mexico and Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Headshot of artist Lexy Ho-Tai.

Lexy Ho-Tai
Brooklyn, NY

Lexy Ho-Tai is an artist, educator and goopy human. She recently built and burned a giant heartbreak monster, and is currently constructing tiny textile versions of her family for a stop motion animation. Her practice is expansive and ever-changing, but often rooted in exploration of human connection, otherness and world-building through craft, play, DIY and collaboration. She's bad at small talk, convinced that everything is made up, and uses art to explore alternative ways of being in this world.

Heashot of artist Cedric Mitchell.

Cedric Mitchell
El Segundo, CA

Los Angeles-based glass artist Cedric Major Mitchell is from Oklahoma and developed his skills while studying business at Tulsa Community College. Mitchell first learned about studio glass as an artform while he was an emerging Tulsa hip-hop artist recording in the music studio. He enrolled in a glassblowing course as an elective, and beginning as a student he quickly transitioned into an apprentice and instructor at The Tulsa Glassblowing School.

Inspired by an eccentric mix of Graffiti Art, Pop Culture, Mid-Century Modern and Memphis Design, Cedric creates work that ranges from functional to decorative art, combining simplicity in design with bold colors. During his Corning residency in 2022, Cedric dwelled upon colors and compositions reminiscent of Nickelodeon cartoons which in turn drew inspiration from postmodernism. The lineage of stacked geometric shapes is also found in Chinese 18th century glass. These engaging geometric forms are a vehicle for Mitchell’s love of color, and his exploration of the range of oxides used to color glass. Each piece is a unique study focused on the relationship of form and color, and the outcome reveals a dynamic and buoyant visual language.

Headshot of artist Kristy Moreno.

Kristy Moreno
Helena, MT

Kristy Moreno is a Mexican-American artist born in the city of Inglewood, California. Moving to Orange County inspired her to become involved in the art communities of Santa Ana, leading her to collaborate with group collectives including We Are Rodents and Konsept. She then attended Santa Ana College where she found an interest in ceramics that led her to transfer to California State University, Chico to pursue a BFA degree. Her work now spans across mediums to bring awareness and visibility to an abundant future. Kristy is currently an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation.

Headshot of artist Mika Obayashi.

Mika Obayashi
Philadelphia, PA

Mika Obayashi is a fiber and installation artist from Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College and has exhibited her work in the US and Japan. She is a recipient of the Amelia Peabody Award for Sculpture given by the St. Botolph Club Foundation in Boston (2020), the Mass Cultural Council Recovery Grant (2023), and was a resident at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Kingston, NY (2022). She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia.


Headshot of artist Erin Peña.

Erin Peña
Minneapolis, MN

Erin Peña is a queer, Jewish beader based out of Minneapolis. They have worked with beads since they were a child and these days they primarily create abstract geometric sculptures from beads and thread. They draw their inspiration both from mathematical forms and from the natural world, blending crystalline and organic structures in a way that is compelling and unique. Their work has been shown in several galleries and has been recognized with multiple awards.



Heashot of artist Tracy Wilkinson.

Tracy Wilkinson
Los Angeles, CA

Originally from Yorkshire, Tracy graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with an MA in Fashion and Textile Design. Upon graduating she accepted a job for a fashion company in New York and has since worked in the fashion industry in both New York and Los Angeles. After running her own fashion company for many years, she was ready to embark on a quieter and more independent form of creative expression and closed her company to pursue her interest in ceramics. Tracy learned most of her technique through online classes and local community colleges. After several years of learning to hand build ceramics, she embarked on a collection of work in clay and basketry. This work was featured in several publications, one piece being part of a Christie’s auction in 2018. For the past 10 years Tracy has developed her ceramic practice in between periods of working as a freelance designer in the fashion industry. She began to work in sculpture in 2019, developing a collection of work using clay and glass. This series, SPACEBLOOM is an exploration of connection and vulnerability. Her focus is on how our memories of the past and our anticipation of the future connect, and how the natural world, in suffering and breakage, can be repaired.

Headshot of artist Ọmọlará Williams McCallister.

Ọmọlará Williams McCallister
Baltimore, MD

Ọmọlará Williams McCallister ( pronouns: ọ, love, beloved) was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Ọ currently calls Baltimore, Maryland home. Ọ’s work is a call/response blend of sculpture, performance, installation, ritual, space holding, community building, surface design, adornment, word, sound, song, movement, moving images and photography. Ọmọlará uses a combination of traditional and nontraditional materials which include scraps, hand-me-downs, found and foraged materials from love’s studio, home and local landscapes. The resulting material language provides a cohesive portrait of the many worlds that Ọmọlará inhabits and moves through. Ọmọlará co-founded the Baltimore Community Weaving Studio along with Najee Haynes-Follins in May 2021.

Headshot or artist Ger Xiong.

Ger Xiong
Minneapolis, MN

Ger Xiong was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States as a Hmong refugee of the Vietnam War. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Metals and Jewelry at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Master of Fine Arts at New Mexico State University. His work has been exhibited nationally throughout the US and published internationally in Australia. He is a Fulbright Scholar who researched and collaborated with Hmong artisans in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Windgate logo.

The Emerging Artists Cohort is possible thanks to generous support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Maxwell / Hanrahan Foundation.


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.

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