Hamiltonian Artists Announces New Fellows
Newsletter :: November 2
Hamiltonian Artists is excited to announce the new cohort of Hamiltonian Fellows for 2023–2025: Ali Kaeini, Neha Misra, Hien Kat Nguyen, and Kat Thompson. Each artist will receive a $2,000 annual honorarium, access to studio space, individualized mentorship, connection to an expansive network of alumni and professional contacts, group exhibition participation, and a final solo exhibition at Hamiltonian Artists in 2025. The first exhibition of new fellows’ work will be in new.now., on view at Hamiltonian Artists February 10–March 16, 2024.
The cohort was selected for their commitment to artistic excellence, growth potential, and alignment with Hamiltonian Artists’ value of community, by a panel of independent jurors: Amir Byron Browder, curator and founder of HOMME, Washington D.C.; Michele Carlson, artist, writer, and professor at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design; Safiyah Cheatam, artist and cultural worker; Cynthia Hodge-Thorne, art historian and recent Curatorial Fellow at Baltimore Museum of Art; and Helina Metaferia, interdisciplinary artist, Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Brown University’s Department of Visual Art and Hamiltonian Artists fellowship alumna. For full juror bios, please visit www.hamiltonianartists.org/apply.
The returning 2022–2024 fellows are Misha Ilin, Madyha J. Leghari, Edgar Reyes, Abed Elmajid Shalabi, and Isabella Whitfield.
Hamiltonian Artists Fellows work to develop a single major project over the two-year program with guidance provided by mentors, Hamiltonian staff, peers, and other professional guests. Hamiltonian Artists provides expertise and resources to frame development from project idea to exhibition. Together, we help define the future of the field while providing the skills, knowledge, and resources to ensure the sustainability of independent artists as art professionals in their communities.
Ali Kaeini (he/him) is an Iranian artist and earned his Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York, NY, in 2019. whose paintings reflect a religious society in turmoil, and the ancient civilization that has shaped his upbringing. Rooted in Persian epics and childhood stories, Kaeini blends ancient Iranian tales with religious motifs. His work fuses contemporary experimentation with forms reminiscent of Persian and Islamic architecture. By blending homemade natural dyes, fabric collages, sewing, and printmaking, he reconstructs decorative elements, delving into his identity and cultural displacement. The visual tension and displacement of ancient relics and designs within his art convey his own immigration story—a fusion of belonging and non-belonging. His art has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, including being a finalist for the Trawick Contemporary Art Award in Bethesda in 2022 and at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA.
Neha Misra नेहा मिश्रा (she/her) is a contemporary eco-folk artist, poet, and an award winning climate justice advocate. Misra’s feminist-Earth-wisdom-centered interdisciplinary studio embodies the transformative power of art to build bridges between private, collective, planetary healing and liberation. Misra’s creative practice centers her Global Majority lineage as a first-generation, multi-lingual immigrant woman from New Delhi, India, who calls a solar-powered community in the Washington metro region her adopted home. She has been honored as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and as a Regenerative Artivist by the Design Science Studio—a partnership of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and habRitual for leading planet conscious artists. Misra is a 2022 fellow of the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis, an initiative of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the OpEd Project, and Ann MacDougal, to change who writes history. She serves as the inaugural Global Ambassador for the nonprofit Remote Energy, which is dedicated to making the solar photovoltaic field more inclusive for BIPOC communities, especially women of color.
Hien Kat Nguyen (they/them) was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, and is currently living in Richmond, Virginia. They earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022. Nguyen communicates their experience as a queer 1.5-generation Vietnamese immigrant through sculpture. Using Vietnamese folklore and their multicultural history, they nurture the concepts that have anchored them. Through woodworking and 3D fabrication techniques, Nguyen creates installations and game-like sculptures that facilitate interaction and use humor to approach taboo subjects surrounding assimilation experiences. They earned over seven VCUarts scholarships and grants between 2020 and 2022. They have attended residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO; Peters Valley School of Craft, Sandyston, NJ; and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA. They were the recipient of the Windgate–Lamar Fellowship from the Center for Craft, Asheville, NC, and the Undergraduate Fellowship in Sculpture from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA. Nguyen has shown work at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and the Anderson; Richmond, VA.
Kat Thompson (she/her) is a multidisciplinary Afro-Jamaican American artist based in Virginia, who works in photography, textile, sculptural collage, and installation. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from George Mason University and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work combines these mediums to explore notions of Black selfhood within the African Diaspora. Being of Jamaican heritage, Thompson confronts her dual identity through recent projects that depict traces of her family’s journey through personal and found materials. Her focus is to uncover stories that mirror parts of ourselves back to us, including our histories, current realities, and future possibilities. Her work has been exhibited at the Fenwick Gallery and the Gillespie Gallery of Art at George Mason University, and the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, Reston, VA. She was the 2021–2022 recipient of the Young Alumni Commissioning Award from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.