The two founders of the Brandon Fellowship have a deeply felt motivation for initiating this opportunity for young artists. They consider themselves fortunate in being beneficiaries of The Rhodes Scholarship. The Donors explain, "The Scholarship provided us with a great education and welcomed us into a community that challenged us to explore and reach farther than we could have otherwise. We made new friends from all walks of life, friendships which continue to broaden our perspectives and enrich our lives over thirty years later.” This is exactly what they hope the Brandon Fellowships will do for young artists in our community, that they will reap the benefits and share them with those around them, and with those who will come after them.
2015 was the Brandon Fellowship program's inaugural year; the launch coincided with the opening of the Greenville Center for Creative Arts in Greenville, SC. The program supports the Center's mission to be inclusive and serve the whole community with exhibits from local and regional artists, high caliber art classes and workshops and onsite artists' studios.
The selection panel for the Brandon Fellowship will be composed of prominent artists and business leaders from the Greenville arts community, and advised by Dr. Leo Twiggs, Professor Emeritus at South Carolina State University and recipient of the Verner Award (Governor's Trophy) for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina.
The Brandon Fellowship will provide university-style studio space at GCCA for a period of six months, renewable for one additional six-month period, along with a stipend for supplies and access to a number of classes taught at GCCA. The three main goals of the Brandon Fellowship are:
- to support talented artists who may not otherwise have access to a formal art education;
- to foster a sense of community;
- to promote diversity at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts.
Criteria for eligibility
Criteria for eligibility may vary over time depending on the demographic make-up of the active artist community at GCCA. To fulfill the goal of promoting diversity, initially and for the foreseeable future, the basic criteria for selection are as follows:
- Successful candidates will be highly talented, self-motivated artists with the discipline to work on their own. They will also be community-minded and eager to participate in group activities with other Brandon Fellows, such as museum and studio visits, lectures, and occasional volunteering activities in the schools and at GCCA.
- Three fellowships will be offered to artists from targeted communities in Greenville County: one artist from the African American Community, one artist from the Hispanic Community, and one Community-at-large artist.
- Applicants must be resident of Greenville County.
- At the time of application an applicant must be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least 5 years, and between 21 and 30 years of age.
- Prior professional art training or post-secondary education is not required.
- Selection will be made without regard to marital status, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
Benefits of the Brandon Fellowship
- A dedicated university style studio space at GCCA. Brandon Fellows must spend a minimum of 25 hours per week in the studio. (Studio access is available from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm, seven days a week.)
- A $250 stipend for art supplies per six-month period;
- Dedicated tutors, assigned based on stated interest and preferred medium, who will guide Brandon Fellows during their residency;
- Access to 1 GCCA class per session plus access to any class that is not filled;
- Support and mentorship from GCCA studio artists and exhibiting artists;
- Participation in group exhibitions and community events;
- Participation in alumni events.