CICF News / 2011 / December / News Post
December 1, 2011
Five Midwestern Artists Receive $20,000 Each From Efroymson Family Fund

INDIANAPOLIS (December 1, 2011) –The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship awarded five artists from Indiana and Illinois $20,000 grants to help them continue their artistic development. The Fellowship, which focuses on Midwest artists, is made possible by the Indianapolis-based Efroymson Family Fund and has distributed $700,000 to 35 contemporary visual artists in seven years.

The 2011 Efroymson Fellows include: Tiffany Carbonneau, 30 from New Albany, Indiana; Ben Johnson, 29 from Cicero, Indiana; Andrea Myers, 31 from Columbus, Ohio; David Rowe, 29, from Bloomington, Indiana; and Meredith Setser, 37, from Indianapolis, Indiana. The fellows will be honored at a private reception on December 1 at iMOCA in Indianapolis. The recipients were among 197 artists who submitted applications.

Created to recognize gifted contemporary artists, the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship originally focused on Central Indiana but has expanded include artists from across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. Fellows are selected for the quality, skill, creativity and uniqueness of their work, their commitment to developing their work, and the impact the award will have on the artist’s career.

The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship is unique among fellowships nationally, most notably because it has very few restrictions. Eligible artists must live in select counties in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky; be age 25 or older; and work in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramics, new media or installation art. However, those applying for the award aren’t required to have a degree or a minimum amount of experience.

In addition, Efroymson Fellows can use the grant money any way they choose to further their artistic careers – for living expenses, equipment and supplies, studio rental, travel essential to artistic research or to complete work. The idea behind the Fellowship is simply to encourage emerging and established contemporary artists to continue their artistic professional development.

“Midwestern artists are doing amazing work, pushing boundaries and their creativity to achieve more for themselves, and also to promote the value of contemporary art,” said Jeremy Efroymson, vice chair and one of three Efroymson family members who advise the Efroymson Family Fund on its gifts to the community. “This annual Fellowship continues to grow, and we continue to be impressed with the high-quality work being created in the Midwest.”

“Jeremy Efroymson’s incredible passion for the contemporary arts is reflected in his personal commitment and support of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship program, which continues to do vital work by nurturing creativity and artistic expression throughout the Midwest. It is also a reflection of the Efroymson family’s values and commitment to building communities in many meaningful ways. CICF is proud to work with Jeremy and the Efroymson family and to support their charitable giving," said Brian Payne, president of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

A five-member selection committee consisting of national and regional representatives chose the five recipients in a blind selection process. The selection committee members included:
• Jeremy Efroymson, Vice Chair of the Efroymson Family Fund
• John Spiak, Director/Chief Curator, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, California
• Allison Peters Quinn, Director of Exhibitions, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
• Nancy Solomon, Founder, Owner, Director, Solomon Gallery, Atlanta
• Stephen Wicks, Barbara W. & Bernard E. Bernstein Curator, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville.

In addition to showing works in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, past fellowship artists have made an impact on Indianapolis and beyond by creating public works for the Indianapolis International Airport, 46 for XLVI mural project in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Central Library, Purdue University and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. (Previous Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows are listed below).

The Efroymson family has supported the art community in Indianapolis for decades, believing that art is a vehicle for exploring new ideas and stimulating community dialogue. To further plan and maximize their philanthropy, in 1998 Dan and Lori Efroymson established the Efroymson Family Fund with Central Indiana Community Foundation. The Efroymson Advisors have awarded more than $65 million in grants to local, regional and national not-for-profit organizations. In addition to their arts support, in Indiana, the focus of the family’s community contributions are to improve the viability of Indianapolis by providing funds for the welfare of the disadvantaged; the natural environment; historic preservation; and the well-being of the Jewish people.

The 2011 Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows are:

Tiffany Carbonneau: 30, New Albany, IN; new media/installation. Tiffany uses video and projection to create large-scale installations that re-contextualizes information conveyed through mass media. Tiffany’s work is a venue for her anthropological interest in contemporary culture, how it functions, and how people exist in communities on local and global scales. With this fellowship, Tiffany plans to travel to China, Thailand and Vietnam for artistic research to explore the impact of globalization on these cultures and gain a better understanding of the cultures that surround the production of goods that are consumed in North America. In addition, Tiffany plans on purchasing professional equipment for her work including projectors, a camcorder, and related new media equipment.

Ben Johnson: 29, Cicero, IN; sculpture. Ben uses glass to create crafted contemporary glass sculpture. Ben pushes the boundaries of the material and challenges the preconceived notions of glass, which is what sets him apart from that of a traditional glassblower and into the realm of a sculptor. The fellowship will enable Ben to evolve his craft and experiment with new techniques. Ben will use the award to rent glass studio space and also purchase materials, supplies, equipment and machinery that he would not otherwise have access to which would enable him to experiment with new glass shapes and textures. Support will also allow Ben to expand the number of exhibitions he can participate in because of the ability to now ship his glass sculptures throughout the United States.

Andrea Myers: 31, Columbus, OH; sculpture/installation. Andrea uses her artistic practice to explore the space between two-dimensional and three dimensional by hybridizing painting, printmaking and sculpture. Her current practice involves a reliance on collage and the accumulation of layers using materials such as paper, fabric and wood. With the fellowship, Andrea intends to rent studio space and pay for living expenses so she can focus on the creation of new works. Andrea also intends to use the fellowship for travel for professional development including trips to Los Angeles and Europe with stops in Italy, England, Belgium and Germany to attend the Documenta 13 contemporary art fair.

David Rowe: 29, Bloomington, IN; sculpture/installation. David works with primarily with the Midwestern American landscape and his pieces viewed at a distance represent the landscape they reference. David uses construction lumber, glue and nails to build large-scale sculptures built organically one piece at a time. With the fellowship, David will cover living expenses so he can devote more time on the creative process, update his studio with new technology, equipment and tools and to hire outside fabrication companies to help with the creation of new works.

Meredith Setser: 37, Indianapolis, IN; sculpture/installation. Meredith uses handmade felt and etchings to create large scale installations that transform gallery spaces and she intends to use the award to push her work in new directions, possibly with the integration of technology and new media. With the fellowship, Meredith intends to rent a larger studio space to enable her to continue to create large scale installations and do travel for artistic research. Meredith plans to travel to Argentina to visit print shops and residency programs, most notably the Proyecto ACE residency program in printmaking and new media. Additional use of the fellowship will be used for printmaking materials, art supplies and equipment to document her work.

For more information about the Efroymson Family Fund and the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, visit or call 317.634.2423.

View the work of current and past Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows (4.4MB PDF file).