Artist Innovation Fellows
The Cultural Council created the Artist Innovation Fellowship Program for artists across all disciplines in order to honor and support the creative individuals who form the core of Palm Beach County’s cultural sector.
The Artist Innovation Fellowship is unique among professional development opportunities as it focuses on personal creative growth and the belief that an entire community will benefit through investments in creative individuals. The program is designed to address the pursuit of innovation in either existing avenues of creative expression or through the pursuit of new ideas and projects without the constraints of budgets or specific project outcomes.
West Palm Beach
Elizabeth who everyone knows as Beth has been living and working in Palm Beach County since 1990 when she first came to work for Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches. That theatre eventually became Florida Stage and in her time there, she had the opportunity to premiere 16 new plays and that cemented her dedication to the arts in Palm Beach County. Throughout Florida she has acted in numerous productions including Palm Beach Dramaworks, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Caldwell Theatre, Asolo, Riverside Theatre, Arts Garage, Theatre Lab, Mosaic, Actors’ Playhouse, City Theatre with Summer Shorts, Gablestage, Theatre Zone, Gulfshore Playhouse, American Stage, Theatre West, Royal Palm and Jupiter Dinner Theatres, Key West Theatre Festival, Women’s Theatre Project, and others. Beth has been nominated several times and received the Carbonell Award 4 times for her acting as well as the Frank Prize and a Silver Palm. For 30 years she called Lake Worth home and now resides in West Palm Beach. She thanks you, patrons of the arts, for giving her an artistic home and thanks the Cultural Council for making her next creative phase possible.
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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.”
“I am a self-taught artist born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s immersed in the cultural and civil rights movement of the time. My years of reading the works of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other cultural icons gave me an appreciation for my culture and desire to express it through my art. As a child I created collages and my greatest influence was Romare Bearden. When I began to create dolls in the early ’90s I saw them as another form of collage/assemblage. A few years after I began to create dolls I was exposed to the work of quilter Faith Ringgold. It was her work that enabled me to see quilting as a viable medium to tell the stories in my heart. Quilting is a medium that I am continuing to grow in both in my method of storytelling a techniques that I incorporate. I create art quilts, dolls, and mixed media works that tell the story of my heritage as an African-American. My work includes historic and cultural traditions from both America and Africa. Traditional and contemporary African textiles are used in my work. As well as textiles that I create by dyeing, sun printing and appliqué. I see my work as contemporary folk art.”
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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.”
Palm Beach Gardens
Driven by a passion to create art through a unique vision and set of skills collected over the past two decades, Henriett Michel created her own mural and fine arts company. As a child in Budapest, Hungary, Henriett spent most of her time sketching the world around and within her. Recently, Henriett has been switching back and forth between figurative and large expressionist abstract paintings, while simultaneously creating figurative clay sculptures on the side. Her paintings are inspired by nature’s free spirit which she expresses through wild brush strokes using organic gestures and rhythmic vivid colors. Her figurative sculptures on the other hand, are inspired by and based on sketches she drew back in her childhood going back over 30 years ago. Her sculptures represent difficult personal relationships both past and present; the contemporary figures systemically convey the difficult and intense emotions of fear, degradation, shame, loneliness, and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
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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.”
Yvette is a Detroit, Michigan native who hails from a family of musicians, including a father who played guitar and a mother who played drums. Her general repertoire includes jazz standards, bebop, and Latin jazz. She performs internationally and has sat in several times with jazz orchestra The Cotton Club All Stars at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. She has also sat in with Latin music artist, Tito Puente, Jr., the late saxophonist David Fathead Newman, family members of Celine Dion, and band members of Spyro Gyra—Jay Beckenstein and Tom Schuman. Yvette resides in South Florida where she performs extensively, including performances at the Kravis Center, Boca Black Box, and the Cultural Council.
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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.”
Shanique Scott creates choreography that infuses hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and lyrical movements to the latest contemporary gospel tunes. Her choreography is exhilarating and weaves together piercing, elliptical observations. A native of South Bay, Florida, Shanique has offered a program of master classes and workshops for young dancers that provide instruction and high-level performance. Scott also has brought her choreographic talents to a variety of prominent individuals and companies throughout the world. Scott conceptualized and administered a 7-week dance module for implementation in Palm Beach County public schools and community-based arts and general programs serving middle school aged youth, while facilitating workshops and seminars for local artists. She choreographs original works and trains dancers for performances at Prime Time, Inc.’s contracted sites in western Palm Beach County.
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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.”
Palm Beach Gardens
Carin Wagner graduated with a degree in Advertising Design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, winning their Angelo DiVincenzo Life Drawing award of a full term scholarship twice. Wagner works predominately in oil on canvas, with a message of environmental protection at its core. Currently she is photographing and painting the Vulnerable and Vanishing trees of the United States. This is a slow process as each painting takes many months, but the need to protect our trees is urgent. Carin has been an invited speaker at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Cornell Museum in Delray Beach, and the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County. Her work has been featured multiple times in American Art Collector magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, and Realism Today.
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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.”
Funded by the Leonard & Norma Klorfine Foundation
“My stereoscopic photographs allow my artwork to do things that they cannot do in real life, that they could only do in my imagination. My sculptures are conglomerations of my encounters with living things, filtered through my experiences and recreated as invented plants and animals and fungi. I want them to seem alive but clearly not be, presented in clean white spaces like artifacts.
I have simultaneously wanted to create backstories for each, to imagine them in equally invented habitats, environments made up of bits and pieces of disparate elements. Through digitally altered photographs, a suburban park turns into a wilderness; a Frisbee golf course trail becomes the deep woods. Because I’ve been sensitized by a once-in-a-century pandemic, they now suggest the mutability of life, of symbiosis and the inevitability of transmission.
The fellowship has made it possible for me to finally have the time and resources to make real an idea I have been wanting to work on for years, and the ability to work with others to make it possible. It lets the project become a priority at last.”
Anthony Burks, Sr.
West Palm Beach
“Natural Beauty/ONE LOVE are a duo series of works. Both series come from my personal connections to the individuals I come in contact from the communities I interact with…I have to feel that connection to be able to execute these portraits.
In my culture, the women are a representation of the queens in our world. I want to express that level of respect in this body of work. The ‘natural beauties’ are the queens and the ‘one loves’ are the kings. Almost every female expressed her favorite color to me so it can be incorporated into the work—I then researched a butterfly that possesses that color. The features of the women have been created in charcoal, expressing that each female figure is beautiful just the way they are.
The fellowship has allowed me to do some things that I’ve been talking about including framing my pictures. It has allowed me to take some risks, including opening up my own studio (in collaboration with Zero Empty Spaces). That was something I always dreamed about and wanted to do.”
Donna Goffredo Murray
“I first began making Landscape four years ago, after reading the collection of poems written by Lani Scozzari. I made Part I of the piece and then thought, if given the opportunity in the future, I would expand the work to include two more gender couplings. The full work was always meant to be Part I (female duet); Part II (male duet); and Part III (male/female duet) with music from The Chopin Project by Ólafur Arnalds and Alice Sara Ott accompanying the work. I am very pleased to collaborate with Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami and thank both artistic directors, Jennifer Kronenberg Guerra and Carlos Guerra, for joining me in the
This fellowship has remained a bright spot for me during the pandemic. I continue to be inspired to make this new work. [The fellowship] has also connected me with the Cultural Council and all of the wonderful arts leaders there, and introduced me to fellow grantees across disciplines.”
Lake Worth Beach
“My work and research have focused on the changing landscape, environmental awareness, and more recently, the effects of globalization and the human desire to control and transform our surroundings. I use a mix of abstraction and representation to symbolize mutations in the ever-shifting natural environment.
Within my desire to subvert automation and to create one-of-a-kind works, I inspect how my inkjet printer operates. Instead of pushing the ‘print’ button, I manipulate the printer’s controls in the act of printing to alter the result. The ‘misprints,’ though aesthetically beautiful, show the imperfections caused by a disruptive hand, creating a metaphor for humankind’s control of the environment.
Receiving this fellowship is very encouraging in many ways. It reinforces the direction of my artistic practice, validating my approaches and aesthetics. It has also encouraged me to try to realize my desire to be a full-time artist, which I believe can happen. I haven’t found a studio to rent yet…but that will be my next determination.”
West Palm Beach
“I honestly could not be more grateful for this fellowship. Not only has it kept my art alive through one of the most challenging years of my career, but it’s given me the opportunity to create and produce original projects that would’ve taken me years on my own.
I was able to film a professional video of “Dance for Love”, a song of mine with words by Civil War soldier William Straub. The video was filmed at a historic battle site in Riverbend Park (Jupiter) and was released on Veteran’s Day 2020 as a tribute to all who have served: past, present, and future. I never dreamed I’d be able to pour so much time and energy into my original content, but the fellowship has made all of this possible. Honestly, it’s an incredible feeling to give wings to the dreams I’ve had for so long, and finally get my art and message heard.”