Freedom of Expression

Meet the Cultural Council’s 2022 Artist Innovation Fellows

Last year, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County presented grants to six female creatives as part of its Artist Innovation Fellowship Program. Started in 2020 and now in its second iteration, the program aims to champion Palm Beach County–based artists by supporting their professional endeavors. On July 20, the fellows will share their projects in a performance showcase and group exhibition (on view through September 9) at the Cultural Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach. Here, they discuss what they’ve been working on and what the fellowship has meant to them.

Yvette Norwood-Tiger, Musician

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 12 ½ years

Her project: “My project is a recorded tribute to bebop music. Upon learning the history of this subgenre of jazz, I realized that many of the songs composed during that era had no lyrics. Although I enjoy listening to bebop, I felt it would be fitting, as a vocalist and songwriter, to create lyrics for the songs that I selected for the CD. The art of adding lyrics to jazz songs that were recorded and performed as instrumentals is known as vocalese.”

What the fellowship means to her: “This is the very first fellowship that I have received. It is quite an honor to have the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County present me with the freedom of expression that will expand my knowledge and creativity in music.”

Henriett Michel, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 22 years

Her project: “My project is focused on the transformative process inherent to mixed-media creations. I’ve always been interested in exploring different uses and combinations of traditional and nontraditional materials like resin, clay, cement, wood, wire, and glass. The fusion process itself—the way things give, take, and transform into something new altogether fascinates me. I’m also combining 2D wall art and 3D sculpture mediums through the female subject to explore how these mixed materials and mediums communicate with each other and can influence different meanings within the subject itself.”

What the fellowship means to her: “This fellowship has allowed me to focus on my growth as an artist by focusing on a single project without disruptions of other work due to the financial support awarded to me. I’ve also experienced the incredible gift of immense community growth in both size and support through this fellowship journey.”

Shanique Scott, Choreographer

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 40 years

Her project: “This piece is called Breathe. [It] comprises lyrical and modern choreography that is used interchangeably throughout the piece. Amid the pandemic and other challenges these past few years, this work has allowed me to ‘breathe’ again. Although [I was] a bit indecisive at times of what this piece of work would actually become in the end, all in all, it’s going well, and I am excited for the outcome.”

What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has allowed me to take time to explore the growth of my creativity. I can think, breathe, and create with ease during this process, in which normally I am accustomed to meeting deadlines. I am so grateful to receive such an honor.”

Elizabeth Dimon, Performer

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 33 years

Her project: “My project went through some changes, but I’m happy with where it is ending up. I chose four songs from four decades of the Great American Songbook and am interweaving the recordings I made of them with video from the time periods, world events from the ’20s through the ’50s.”

What the fellowship means to her: “When I first received the call that I got the fellowship, I was immediately thrust into imposter syndrome. Then that morphed into floundering as to how I could do what I wanted to do, and that segued into the epiphany that I am a collaborator at heart. Once I brought in other people to create with me, I knew where I was and got grounded again. This fellowship let me be a creator. It gave me the confidence to let my creative self take charge.”

Kianga Jinaki, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 37 years

Her project: “This project continues the theme of celebrating Black life and culture that has dominated my work. The art quilts, dolls, and mixed-media works that I’m creating reflect an expansion of my storytelling style. This work marries my signature style with new techniques and approaches that reflect my growth as an artist.”

What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has meant having the freedom, time, and opportunity to grow my art practice beyond what I had been able to do on my own. My ‘What if I…’ thought for my art practice has been given wings.”

Carin Wagner, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 29 years

Her project: “My journey to photograph and paint the endangered trees of the United States started about four years ago. Since then, I have had communication with scientists, botanists, ecologists, authors, science writers, arboretums, and so many wonderful people who care for and fight for the trees. It has been an enlightening experience. I have photographed 22 trees in wildly diverse locations, which will be represented in my ghost forest.”

What the fellowship means to her: “The Artist Innovation Fellowship provided the initial funds to bring the ghost forest to life on large silk banners. Most importantly, it has fostered the sense of support from my community that helps me to continue this very labor-intensive and hopeful process.”

Extra Q&A with Fellows

A&C asked one extra question of each of the six Fellows: “What’s your favorite place to unwind?”

Elizabeth Dimon: “What’s unwind? Ha! What I do for a living is fun (most of the time, even in a drama), so the idea of unwinding is not what it might be for others. I think my favorite thing is to host dinners in my home. I love having friends in, talking, laughing, eating, and spending time together. But I also love to sit by any body of water. It’s a great perspective maker.”

Kianga Jinaki: “For fun and frolic, the Norton Museum of Art (Art After Dark is just my favorite). For my morning walks, it’s Kelsey Park. Just to clear my head, the municipal beach on Singer Island.”

Henriett Michel: “Mounts Botanical Gardens is my No. 1 place to unwind and seek restoration in Palm Beach County. I find communing with plants in nature calms my mind and inspires my artistic creativity. Mounts hosts such a diverse variety of plant life, both native and exotic to Florida, that is tough to find anywhere else.”

Yvette Norwood-Tiger: “Lake Worth Beach.”

Shanique Scott: “My favorite place to unwind is The Square, following a superb show at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.”

Carin Wagner: “Riverbend Park is one of my favorite places to unwind locally. You can almost always see deer or squirrels on a walk, and the old live oaks are just beautiful.”