What is the Brandon Fellowship?
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 founders 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 is composed of prominent artists and business leaders from the Greenville arts community. The panel is 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, and Sandra Rupp, owner of Hampton III Gallery, the oldest continuing art gallery in South Carolina. Dr. Catherine Paul, Professor Emerita of English at Clemson University and studio artist at Greenville Center for Creative Arts, serves as academic adviser to the Fellowship.
Ceramic artist Diana Farfan Valente served as the Chairperson for the 2017-18 selection panel. Yvonne Julian-Hargrove will serve as the Chairperson for the 2018-19 Brandon Fellowship Selection Committee. For Greenville resident Yvonne Julian, support for the varied exhibitions, programs and classes sponsored by the Greenville Center for Creative Arts is based on a lifelong love of the visual arts and admiration for the creative artists who produce them. Her formal education includes a BA in chemistry and an MBA in operations management. In addition to supporting the Art Center and being a steadfast student in the watercolor classes, Yvonne volunteers her time locally as a member of Greenville Women Giving and nationally as Board Chair of the African American Success Foundation (AASF), a think tank that provides funding for research on the study of African American achievement in the United States.
The Brandon Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the age of 21-30 by providing a supportive environment, mentorship, and art education. The three main goals of the Brandon Fellowship are:
- to help young artists launch their art career in our community or prepare for formal arts studies
- to foster a sense of community
- to promote diversity at the Art Center
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:
- Applicants must be resident of Greenville County.
- Applicant must be between 21 and 30 years of age.
- Prior professional art training or post-secondary education is not required.
- 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 the Art Center.
- 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 from the community-at-large.
- 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
- Selection will be made without regard to marital status, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
Benefits of the Brandon Fellowship
- Each Fellow has an university style studio space at the Art Center. Brandon Fellows must spend a minimum of 25 hours per week in the studio.
- A $250 stipend for art supplies per six-month period.
- Dedicated tutors, assigned based on interest and medium, who will guide Brandon Fellows during their residency.
- Access to one 6-week class per Art School session.
- Support and mentorship from neighboring studio artists at the Art Center.
- Participation in group exhibitions and community events.
- Participation in alumni events.
ARTalk featuring the current class of Brandon Fellows
Brandon Fellowship Alumni Social
August - September
Brandon Fellowship Exhibition featuring the graduating class
- First Friday in June: Application opens
- Second Friday in July: Application closes
- First Friday in August: New Brandon Fellows introduced
- First week of September: New Fellows move into studios