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CECA announces 2022-23 Tennessee Artist Fellow: Yancy Villa

Yancy Villa-Calvo

(Posted on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022)

Yancy Villa-Calvo

The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) is pleased to announce the 2022-23 recipient of the Tennessee Artist Fellowship, artist Yancy Villa of Memphis, Tennessee.

The CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship celebrates contemporary art to support the continued creative work of exceptional Tennessee artists. Unlike other fellowships, nominations and applications from artists are not solicited. A committee of APSU faculty compiles a list of outstanding artists from across the state and selects the fellowship recipient. Through the generous support of CECA, the selected artist receives $5,000 to aid in the creation of new artwork and additional funding for an artist lecture.

“Since APSU is the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts for the entire state of Tennessee, we wanted to find a way to support artists statewide,” said Barry Jones, who was chair of the Department of Art and Design at the time the fellowship was established. “There is an incredible number of amazing artists here, but unfortunately there isn’t much financial support for them. We hope that this fellowship helps a Tennessee artist maintain their practice and know that we support what they are doing.”

A committee statement reads: “We’re excited to award the 2022-23 CECA TN Artist Fellowship to Yancy Villa of Memphis. We are impressed with Yancy’s work within her Memphis community. Her work appears in diverse forms ranging from visual art to activism to performing art to curation to urban planning, and she is an excellent example of someone who is expanding the perception of the role that artists play within a community. Her work seeks to create awareness, engage in conversation, and encourage action on issues of social justice, equality, and community prosperity. Her art and artivism provide ‘a platform to see that within our complex humanity, there exists common ground and encourages civic engagement for the betterment of our shared space.’”

Yancy Villa-Calvo

Villa will receive additional funding to present an artist lecture next spring at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville.

Past recipients of the CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship include Maysey Craddock of Memphis, Alicia Henry of Nashville, Andrew Scott Ross from Johnson City, Bryce McCloud from Nashville, Carl E. Moore from Memphis, Benjy Russell from Dowelltown, Karen Seapker from Nashville and Ashton Ludden from Knoxville.

To learn more about Villa, visit her website or follow her on Instagram @yancyart.

For more information on the CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship, please contact Dr. Andrea Spofford, interim director of CECA, at spofforda@apsu.edu.

To stay informed of upcoming CECA events, including Villa’s upcoming artist talk, please visit www.apsu.edu/ceca or follow CECA on social media.

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