A diverse group of 188 artists, scholars, and cultural creators were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships this year from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Among the winners are 50 artists including Jessica Blinkhorn, Nicholas Galanin, Lorraine O’Grady, Arvie Smith, and Ada Trillo. 

The Guggenheim Fellowships is among world’s most prestigious awards, and this year alone had over 3,000 applicants. It total, 52 scholarly disciplines and artistic practices are represented in four broadly considered categories: the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and creative arts.

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According to a press release, many of the projects that are to be funded by the fellowship will “directly respond to timely issues such as democracy and politics, identity, disability activism, machine learning, incarceration, climate change, and community.”

That is strongly reflected by the artists who were awarded this year’s fellowship. Blinkhorn is an interdisciplinary artist and advocate for the disabled, aging, and LGBTQ+ communities, whose next project reevaluates “pre-conceived notions of disability and sexuality” though art. Galanin is a multi-disciplinary Tlingít and Unangax artist developing workshops and new artistic works to create a greater discourse on Indigenous art, and Ada Trillo uses photography to document the stories of LGBTQ+ migrants who come the Unites States.

Like last year, actor Robert De Nero has underwritten a Fellowship in Fine Arts in honor of his father, Robert De Niro Sr., who in  1968 was a Guggenheim Fellow. That artist, Arvie Smith, explores racial and political identity though richly colored paintings and in-depth historical references. 

“Humanity faces some profound existential challenges,” Edward Hirsch, award-winning poet and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, said in a press release. “The Guggenheim Fellowship is a life-changing recognition. It’s a celebrated investment into the lives and careers of distinguished artists, scholars, scientists, writers and other cultural visionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on and generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture as they do so.”

Since its founding in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has awarded over $400 million in fellowships to more than 19,000 fellows. According to the foundation’s website the amount of the grant attached to the fellowship varies “and the Foundation does not guarantee it will fully fund any project.” However, in previous years the fellows were awarded between $30,000 – $45,000.

A full list of recipients can be found on the foundations website.