Individual Artist Awards

Listed below are the most recent awarded grants from each program.  For past program recipients, please contact the office by emailing


Technology/Equipment Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Technology/Equipment funding to the following individual artists on April 20, 2017:

Corrie Steckelberg, Hovland, Cook, $2,000:
Support to purchase a laptop and software for image processing and editing, research, and website building.

Josh Gorham, Duluth, St. Louis, $1,660:
Support to purchase new lenses for photography and a new computer and software to be used to edit photos.

Daniel Oyinloye, Duluth, St. Louis, $2,000:
Support to obtain updated audio and visual equipment for recording and producing higher quality projects.

Chris LeBlanc, Duluth, St. Louis, $1,530:    
Support for the purchase of studio monitors, a keyboard controller, and a microphone to produce and record higher quality audio pieces.

Craig Blacklock, Moose Lake, Carlton, $2,000:
Support to obtain a high definition monitor to replace older technology that will allow for more precise photo editing.

Allen Killian-Moore, Duluth, St. Louis, $630:
Support to replace aging and broken filmmaking materials including a new 8mm camera, tripod, and light meter.

Kristen Biles, Duluth, St. Louis, $2,000:
Support to help purchase a Janome Horizons Memory Craft 8200QC sewing machine to be used in custom creation for theatrical productions.

Ingrid Lyons, Duluth, St. Louis, $1,970:
Support to purchase higher quality lighting and interview materials to produce higher quality documentaries.

John Gregor, Two Harbors, Lake, $2,000:
Support for the purchase of a new mobile docking station and laptop computer for photo editing while traveling to onsite locations.

Briand Morrison, Grand Portage, Cook, $1,870:
Support to purchase speakers which are compatible with currently owned materials to complete a PA system capable of handling larger venues and events.

Michael Jasper, Grand Rapids, Itasca, $1,920:
Funding will be used for the completion and launching of a professional website and for the purchase of a spray booth to assist in ceramics glazing.

Nate Johnson, Dora Lake, Itasca, $1,110:
Support to assist in the purchase of a blacksmithing forge, anvil, and tools to allow for the continuation of metalworking projects.

Jason Page, Duluth, St. Louis, $2,000:
Support to purchase a steady-cam rig, a 25mm micro 4/3 lens, and additional accessories to assist in high quality film making.

Daniel Jandl, Duluth, St. Louis, $1,310:
Support to assist in the purchase of large aperture camera lenses to take high-quality, low-noise, low-light landscape photographs not possible with current lenses.


Community Arts Learning Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Arts Learning funding to the following individuals on March 16, 2017:

Daniel Oyinloye, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support to help create the Mix Tape Project, a 12-session programs that aims to engage Woodland Hills youth in storytelling, reading, literacy discussions, music and music production. Fund will be used to hire a project coordinator and buy necessary supplies.

Barbara Leuelling, Angora, St. Louis, $5,630:
Support to provide community weaving experiences at a Weaving Center at Old School Lives (OSL) in Cotton, MN. A “Community Meeting” will bring interested weavers together to work on needs for Weaving at OSL on old historic looms. Classes will teach weaving with a focus on Rosepath, a large set of patterns used by Scandinavian immigrants that settled in Cotton and nearby communities.

Cecilia Ramon, Duluth, St. Louis, $4,550:
Support to offer a two-day symposium at the Duluth Art Institute called Terrain: the Art of Localizing, addressing the intersections between ecology, art, and design based on systems thinking opening new ways to co-exist with the living world.


Career Development Grant Recipients

ARAC granted $49,050 in Career Development funding to the following individual artists on June 15, 2017:

Joan Farnam, Grand Marais, Cook County, $2,930:
Support to help create four storytelling videos with local video artist, Patrick Knight. The videos will also be shared with the public at a launch event at the Grand Marais Art Colony in October, where the videos will be screened, and the audience will be invited to share their responses to them and relate how, if at all, the videos resonate with experiences in their own lives.

Corrie Steckelberg, Hovland, Cook County, $2,980:
Support to create a new body of work and participation in a sculpting course at the Grand Marais Art Colony, July 17-21, 2017, with Helen Otterson who has had her work exhibited nationally and internationally.

Vernal Bogren Swift, Bovey, Itasca County, $3,000:
Support to create sixteen large batiks on the subject of Deep Time in the region of what is now Northern Minnesota and North Dakota to be shown at the North Dakota Museum of Art.

Justin Dallas, Knife River, Lake County, $3,000:
Support to be used to purchase tools and materials, and support the work time to, create three 4×8 foot wood panels featuring fish of the Knife River.

Shawna Gilmore, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to help in the creation of new body of work for a solo exhibition in November/December 2017 at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis, MN. It will consist of 24 quality paintings in a variety of sizes as well as an assortment of 50 small, handmade objects to accompany the exhibit.

Sarah Krueger, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to launch a new project with fellow musician Ben Larson with writing new songs, purchase needed equipment for demo recordings, and for professional press photography to use for booking and promotion with the aim of capturing a listening audience.

Robert Pokorney, Duluth, St. Louis County, $1,500:
Support to purchase oil paints, brushes, panels, and framing supplies for a fall 2018 solo exhibition at Prøve Gallery in Duluth.

Peter Witrak, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to professionally record and produce a second album for Tender Ness to be released in May 2018.

Paul LaJeunesse, Duluth, St. Louis County, $2,640:
Support to help in the creation of five new paintings that are allegories for stewardship of the Northlands natural environment to be shown at the Duluth Art Institute in an exhibition with the Woodturners Guild, in the Morrison Gallery. Members of the Woodturners Guild will submit works to be juried into the exhibition by the staff of the Duluth Art Institute. Sound and multi-media artists will create sound based works that respond to the paintings and will be played directly over each painting by parametric speakers.

Mary Plaster, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to construct a giant skeleton puppet body at Chris Lutter’s Puppet Farm studio in Minneapolis. Rehearsals with a team of puppeteers will start in fall with Barebones Puppets preparations and performance for their annual Halloween Extravaganza at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul and in late October, the new puppet and its team of manipulators will travel to Duluth, celebrating the 10th annual All Souls Night at the Depot.

Maichong Lor, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to help in the creation of “Connecting Two Worlds Through Cross Stitching” a documentary book, narrating the Lor’s parents’ historical journey through textile print designs. Included will be an audio DVD showing interviews with the artist’s parents used in the creation of the book.

Leah Yellowbird, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to help the creation of a seven foot tall Ojibwe bear sculpture which will be covered in traditional Ojibwe floral patterns using the unexpected medium of tiny craft pompoms in varying sizes 10mm-25mm, which will then be mounted on a life size taxidermy bear form.

Kirsten Aune, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to create large-scale textiles, projections and animation of designs for an exhibition “Luova Taide Yhdessa: Creative Art Together” at the Nordic Center in Duluth in October 2017.

Chani Ninneman, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to create a high quality, original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, “Treasure Island”. This adaptation will receive a fully staged production in March 2018 by Wise Fool Shakespeare. The production will take place in Lincoln Park Middle School’s auditorium.

Catherine Meier, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to aid the participation in an artist residency at Cedar Point Biological Station, a research arm of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in western Nebraska, and summer research in the Wind River Range Paradise basin in Wyoming. Funds will support the time and travel to take advantage of these opportunities to research and develop a new body of artwork.

Ann Klefstad, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to create a new body of work of small grisaille paintings and wood and steel sculpture, which will be toured regionally and nationally in 2018.

Yvonne Rutford, Duluth, St. Louis County, $3,000:
Support to attend workshop offered by the Madeline Island School of the Arts, instructor Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, entitled “Alone Together: Living Revision,” Oct. 2-6, 2017, and provide time to complete essays before attending the workshop.


Quick Start Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Quick Start funding to the following individual artists in FY17:

Niki Burger, Two Harbors, Lake, $800:
To purchase and move a treadle sewing machine.

Jefferson Campbell, Duluth, St. Louis, $890:
Support to attend the Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp at WildAcres Retreat in Little Switzerland, NC.

Shannon Cousino, Duluth, St. Louis, $850:
Support to attend the Frogman’s Print Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska, in order to develop Plate Lithography skills.

Bonnie DuFresne, Ely, St. Louis, $1000:
Framing support for February exhibit at the First Stage Gallery at the Lyric Center in Virginia.

Kelly Dupre, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support for framing and promotions for three local art shows in the summer and fall of 2016.

John Finkle, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to host a community/cooperative traditional Scandinavian wooden boat build in downtown Duluth.

Wendy Hansen, Grand Marais, Cook, $1000:
Support to begin a Writers’ Club for youth in Grand Marais.

Mila Horak, Grand Marais, Cook, $1000:
Support to produce a community mural during the Grand Marais Art Fair.

Nate Johnson, Dora Lake, Itasca, $1000:
Support to attend smelting and forging workshops at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

Tim Kaiser, Duluth, St. Louis, St. Louis, $1000:
To defray expenses to travel to San Diego to present and perform at the San Diego Art Institute.

Rachael Kilgour, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support for NYC performance and record release.

Rebecca Koepke, Eveleth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support for framing for upcoming local exhibitions.

Kerry Lambertson, Grand Marais, Cook, $1000:
Support to attend a guitar making workshop at North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

Kathy McTavish, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
To purchase two monitors to exhibit work at the Duluth Art Institute’s Arrowhead Biennial.

Linda Melcher, Two Harbors, Lake, $1000:
Support to present a workshop at Drum Circle Facilitators Gild annual conference in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Janelle Miller, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to attend the 5th Ladies of Letterpress Conference in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Adam Moe, Grand Marais, Cook, $1000:
Support for Pushing Chain to attend the 2017 Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City, MO.

David Moirera, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support for travel expenses for international group show.

Briand Morrison, Grand Portage, Cook, $1000:
To replace broken guitar amplifier.

Ariane Norrgard, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to complete final editing of a documentary film of Anishinaabe elder Jim Merhar with mentors, for premiere screening at Duluth Superior Film Festival.

Elizabeth Pawlik, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to attend 3 day intensive metalsmithing course at Quench Jewelry Arts in Minneapolis.

Micaella Penning, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to document and prepare work for upcoming exhibition at New Scenic Cafe.

Mary Plaster, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to take advantage of a puppet and mask-making opportunity with Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA.

Ellen Sandbeck, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to prepare a solo exhibition for the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center at AICHO in Duluth.

Olivia Skaja, Deer River, Itasca, $1000:
Support to take violin lessons with Nathan Cole, the associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, via Skype, in preparation for conservatory auditions.

Danielle Sosin, Duluth, St. Louis, $840:
Support to cover home costs while working as a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Adam Swanson, Cloquet, Carlton, $670:
To purchase an iPad, stand and mount adapter for displaying reference photos.


 Artist Fellowship Grant Recipients

 ARAC granted Artist Fellowship grants of $7,000 to the following individual artists on June 15, 2017:

Daniel Anderson, Grand Rapids, Itasca:
Support to aid participation in an artist residency through Kunstverein Letschebach, an artist group that organizes international arts residencies in Karlsruhe, Germany, and in the German Black Forrest region. The residency invites participation in GLOBAL FORREST, an art exhibition-taking place July 14-16, 2017, in the village of St. Georgen, Germany.

Aaron Squadroni, Coleraine, Itasca:
Support to help create a new body of work of metalpoint drawings based on the landscapes of the Mesabi Iron Range. These works will be shown at the Octagon Center for the Arts in October 2017.

Nathan Bray, Iron, St. Louis:
Support to develop new large scale indoor and outdoor sculptures including wheel thrown and assembled sculptural forms. Some of the new works will incorporate lighting. Funding will also be used to purchase a new pottery wheel capable of making larger pieces and a new larger, electric kiln to fire the new larger works.

Sarah Brokke Erickson, Duluth, St. Louis:
Support to complete the series ‘Reliquaries of the Sacred Feminine’, with four to five large-scale works, exhibit those works, and develop promotional and proposal material for future exhibitions. Works will be first shown at the Washington Galleries in Duluth in September 2017.

Eddy Gilmore, Duluth, St. Louis:
Support to have time to write and self-publish a new book that reflects upon what it means to live locally. The book will contain numerous examples that highlight the artist’s family’s exploration of consistently living locally in as many areas of life as possible.

Tim Kaiser, Duluth, St. Louis:
Support to return to the studio, to experiment with forms and methods, and research some new instrument concepts. At the end of the fellowship there will be two or three new prototype instruments/devices that will be used in the creation of a new work.

Adam McCauley, Duluth, St. Louis:
Support to help create new abstract works and provide exhibition funds to show works at the Art Center of St. Peter in St. Peter, MN; the Nemeth Center for the Arts in Park Rapids, MN; and Banfill-Locke in Fridley, MN.