Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists 2024 Guidelines

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists program is funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and Joy Engine and administered by the Lynden. The purpose of the Nohl Fellowships is to recognize visual artists who are making, or will make, significant contributions to their fields and to our community, and who promote the arts in the region through continued excellence.

Since its inception the Nohl Fellowship has intentionally taken into account race, ethnicity, gender, age, geographical location--as well as curatorial interests and the likelihood that the home institution would show a Milwaukee artist—when recruiting jurors.

The Nohl Fellowship program, like its peer artist fellowship programs around the country, has become more overt and transparent about its efforts to amplify underrepresented voices in the profession. Black, Indigenous, and other artists of color, and those representing diverse cultural perspectives, are strongly urged to apply. We also align with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s generational commitment to equity and inclusion and Joy Engine’s commitment to equitable access and inclusion.

The Nohl Fellowships are intended to encourage artists to stay in Greater Milwaukee, to evolve as artistic practitioners, and to contribute to our community through the creation of art. The Fellowship also promotes the work of local artists through the use of diverse jurors from outside the four-county area and the publication of an exhibition catalogue.

The Fellowship provides unrestricted funds for artists working in a broad range of visual arts fields (including installation, film, video, social practice, public art, and new media) to create new work or complete work in progress.

A total of five fellowships will be awarded in 2024: two for Established Artists ($35,000 each) and three for Emerging Artists ($15,000 each). Each artist will also receive a $5,000 professional development/production budget. The fellowship period will begin in January 2024 when the new fellows are announced and will conclude in June 2025 with an exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University. The eighteen-month fellowship period will include professional development opportunities such as studio visits from curators and artists outside the area and occasional public programs. The exhibition, and the Fellowship program, will be documented in a catalogue that includes a critical essay on each artist’s work. The catalogue will be distributed locally, regionally, and nationally.

Each year, the Nohl Fellows are selected by an independent panel of three recognized visual arts professionals working outside the four-county area. The panel of jurors is chosen for their broad knowledge of contemporary art practices.

Jurors recommend awards based on many factors, including the quality of work submitted; demonstrated commitment to one’s practice as evidenced by ongoing production/activity; artistic exploration and risk-taking in the art form; dedication to expanding the social and practical boundaries of the discipline through civic problem-solving or engagement with new audiences. Jurors also take into consideration: the Artist Statement; the record of professional accomplishments and contributions to the field as recorded in the Artist Biography (résumé)--which can include work in the local arts community, as well as on the regional, national, or international level; and the appropriateness of the Fellowship category (Emerging or Established) to the artist’s career stage. The jurors may consider additional issues in making recommendations, including whether the applicant is a previous Nohl Fellowship recipient in the Established category.

Applicants with computer access are required to apply online. We use the online platform Submittable to manage the application process. If you do not have computer access or are unable to use the electronic platform, please contact Polly Morris at (414) 446-8794. You will receive a paper copy of the application and instructions (which differ from the application instructions for online applications).

Interested artists are strongly urged to attend or view the informational workshop to find out more about the fellowship program and the application process. You may also submit questions during the virtual Q&A sessions closer to the deadline.



Applications must be submitted online no later than Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 5 pm. Late applications will not be considered. All decisions are final.


There will be a free, virtual workshop for prospective applicants and three virtual Q&A sessions—see Time Table, below, for details. This is the best way to get your questions answered. You may also consult our Frequently Asked Questions. Although we cannot provide individualized technical assistance in preparing your application, we will explain and clarify guidelines and eligibility requirements, review criteria, and definitions. If you have additional questions, please contact Polly Morris at (414) 446-8794 or (email preferred). If leaving a voice message, be sure to leave a time and phone number at which you may be reached. If using email, please put “Nohl Fellowship” in the subject line.


• Must be a professionally active visual artist.
• Must be an originating artist (no actors, musicians, dancers).
• Must currently reside in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee or Washington counties and for a minimum of one year prior to application.
• Artists may submit only one Nohl Fellowship application per year.
• Must not be a full-time or part-time student pursuing a degree in the visual arts, film, or an art-related field at the time of application. Participation of full- or part-time students in a collaborative group will disqualify the group from consideration.
• Fellowship recipients are expected to remain in the four-county area and to refrain from enrolling in a degree program in a related field during the fellowship year.

Please note that artists who receive a 2024 Fellowship in the Emerging category may not reapply until the 2029 cycle. Artists who receive a 2024 Fellowship in the Established category may not reapply until the 2031 cycle.


Visual Artist: The panel will consider visual artists working in a wide variety of media including the traditional fine arts, film/video, installation, social practice, public art, and new media. The fellowship is not intended for commercial artists, musicians, theatre artists, or others whose work is generally not presented in an exhibition/screening/public art context. When it comes to film/videomakers, we also distinguish between artists and journalists (see FAQS). Artists working across disciplines must justify their eligibility by listing relevant activities in their Artist Biographies (e.g., exhibitions, programs posted online, installations in public venues, reviews, or prior grants awarded for visual artists). A professionally active artist is not required to support themselves through their artmaking, but should be able to demonstrate a commitment to their practice through ongoing production/activity, artistic exploration, and participation, as appropriate, in the discipline and the local arts community.

Established Artist: An artist who has developed a mature artistic voice and has created a recognized body of original work over a sustained period of time (minimum of five-year public exhibition history required, excluding time in graduate or undergraduate programs). Recognition of artistic merit could include some combination of: exhibitions; art in public spaces; reviews; commissions; grant/fellowship awards; residencies; screenings; publications; gallery representation; and active collection of the artist’s work by individuals or institutions.

Emerging Artist: This term refers to the state of an artist’s development, professional accomplishment, and recognition rather than to their chronological age. An artist who is in the early stages of their creative development and demonstrates significant potential but has not yet received the forms of acknowledgment listed under “Established Artist” should apply as an “Emerging Artist.”

Partnerships/Collaborative Groups (2 or more artists who consistently work together): Artists working in partnerships or collaborative groups are eligible to apply in either the Emerging or Established category. The application must come from an individual acting as the lead applicant: that person must satisfy the residency requirement and will receive the fellowship monies and will be responsible for fiscal and narrative reporting. The majority of the artists in the collaborative must fall into the category chosen. At least half of the participating artists must also meet the residency requirement as described above and on the application form. If a partnership/collaborative is selected as a finalist, it must submit a letter outlining the nature of the working relationships, with a commitment to work together through the fellowship period (January 2024-June 2025), signed by all members of the group, prior to the studio visit.


Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Mary L. Nohl Fellowship application and guidelines available at 11 am.

Thursday, September 7, 2023, 6-7:30 pm
Virtual workshop for prospective applicants. Fellow in attendance: Janelle VanderKelen. Click here to watch a recording of the workshop.

Friday, September 15, 2023, 12 noon-1 pm
Virtual Q&A for prospective applicants. Click here to watch a recording of the Q&A.

Saturday, September 23, 2023, 10-11 am
Virtual Q&A for prospective applicants. Click here to watch a recording of the Q&A.

Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:30-7:30 pm
Virtual Q&A for prospective applicants. Click here to watch a recording of the Q&A.
September 2023
Applicants compile their application materials, including an Artist Biography, work samples, and an Artist Statement.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Applications are due. Please note that online submissions are due at 5 pm. Paper applications must be postmarked no later than October 4. Late applications will not be accepted.

October 2023
Staff reviews applications for completeness and eligibility.

First Round of Jurying
Each juror reviews all submissions (electronic images, videos) on their personal computer monitors. They score each applicant 1 to 5, and Lynden staff tabulates results to identify the top 20-25 applicants in each pool (established and emerging). These semifinalists move to the second round.

November 3-November 8, 2023
Second Round of Jurying
The jurors have several days to review the two semifinalist pools, paying closer attention to the Artist Statement and Artist Biography this time. At the end of this period, two conference calls are held during which all semifinalists in each pool are discussed. Six finalists will be selected in the established pool, and six finalists will be selected in the emerging pool.

Friday, November 10, 2023
All applicants who were not chosen as finalists will be notified via email. Applicants will be encouraged to contact Lynden staff after the entire jurying process is complete to schedule a time to discuss jurors’ comments. Finalists in both pools will be contacted separately, also via email. The finalists will receive instructions on how to prepare for their in-person studio visits.

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Jurors give presentations about their home institutions at the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, December 1, 2023
The 6 finalists in the established pool will receive an in-person studio visit, providing jurors with a broader context for their work. Anyone applying in the Established Artist category MUST submit a contact phone number and MUST be available for a studio visit on Friday, December 1, 2023. If you know at the time of application that you will not be available that day, please contact the fellowship administrator immediately at

Saturday, December 2, 2023
The 6 finalists in the emerging pool will receive an in-person studio visit, providing jurors with a broader context for their work. Anyone applying in the Emerging Artist category MUST submit a contact phone number and MUST be available for a studio visit on Saturday, December 2, 2023. If you know at the time of application that you will not be available that day, please contact the fellowship administrator immediately at

Sunday, December 3, 2023
Upon completion of the studio visits (and no later than midday, Sunday, December 3, 2023), the administrator will call the two established fellows and three emerging fellows, and will email the other finalists in each category to share the results.

January 2024
Fellowship winners are announced publicly.

A grant agreement will be executed between each recipient and Lynden Inc. Fellowship Awards are disbursed. The Internal Revenue Code states that the full amount of a Fellowship is taxable income. Recipients should consult the IRS or their tax advisors for more information.

January 2024-June 2025
Fellows meet periodically with curators to monitor progress, plan exhibition, and produce catalogue materials (artist statement, biography and checklist, commissioned essay, images). Public programs and external studio visits scheduled.

June 2025
Exhibition opens; catalogue published.

Final Reports are submitted, including documentation of works completed during the award period. The report will detail activities undertaken during the Fellowship period and the impact of the Fellowship on the recipient. Final report forms will be available in May 2025.

To access the application instructions, click here.

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