Emerson College alumni Danielle Legros Georges ’86 and Jae Williams ’08 are among 10 local artists announced by The Boston Foundation to be in the fourth cohort of Brother Thomas Fellows.
Selected through a rigorous nomination and review process by a multidisciplinary panel of Boston-area nonprofit arts leaders and practitioners, each of the 10 fellows will receive $15,000 from the fund that honors the world-renowned ceramic artist and Benedictine monk Thomas Bezanson. The funds can be used at the artists’ discretion.
Prior to his death in 2007, Brother Thomas expressed a desire to establish a permanent means to help struggling artists, a mission carried on today through the Brother Thomas Fund.
The current “Poet Laureate” of Boston, Legros Georges was born in Haiti and grew up in Dorchester. She began her work by bringing the immigrant experience to life through her poetry. In the Boston Foundation announcement, she is quoted as saying: “Art and art production, for me, carry with them many of the positive principles of the lessons learned from family and members of the Haitian-American community in which I developed as a person and an artist.”
Filmmaker Jae Williams, who is also digital media producer in Emerson’s Web Services office, is dedicated to teaching inner-city children the fundamentals of filmmaking through the Forever Ink Project, a nonprofit he established, and through which he has reached 60 children in just two years. “To understand my vision and mission,” he says, “is to understand the path to my identity as an artist and how I see myself providing a space for those who have had limitations.”
Danielle Legros Georges at a reading on campus. Photo by Nick Eaton ’17
The fellowships are drawn biennially from the Brother Thomas Fund, which was established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas, who is credited with elevating the status of ceramics from craft to fine art in the United States. Today his work can be found in more than 80 national and international museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which owns 16 pieces of his ceramic art.
Additional 2015 Fellows include visual artist Napoleon Jones-Henderson, author Michelle Seaton, and sound artist and musician Halsey Burgund.
For more information and to read about all of the 2015 Fellows, visit The Boston Foundation.