Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists 2017 Guidelines

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists recognize visual artists who are making, or will make, significant contributions to their fields and who promote the arts in the region through continued excellence. The 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 program also promotes the work of local artists through the use of jurors from outside the four-county area and the publication of an exhibition catalogue.

The Fellowship program provides unrestricted funds for artists working in a broad range of visual arts fields (including installation, film, video, and new media) to create new work or complete work in progress. Applications from artists representing diverse cultural perspectives are welcomed. A total of five fellowships will be awarded in 2017: two awards for Established Artists ($20,000 each) and three awards for Emerging Artists ($10,000 each). Over the twelve-month fellowship year, artists receiving awards in either category will receive studio visits from curators and artists outside the area; an exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art opening in June 2018; and an opportunity to present a public program. The exhibition, and the Fellowship program, will be documented in a catalogue that includes a critical essay on each artist’s work. The catalogue is distributed locally, regionally, and nationally.

Panelists recommend awards based on aesthetic quality of work submitted; demonstrated commitment to artistic exploration in the art form, including a commitment to expanding the social boundaries or audience for the discipline; the record of professional accomplishments/contributions to the field; and the appropriateness of the Fellowship category (Emerging or Established) to the artist’s career stage. Jurors will take into consideration: the quality of the works submitted; the Artist Statement; and the relevance of the artist’s past activities as recorded in their Artist Biography. The panel may consider additional issues in making recommendations.

The staff of the Bradley Family Foundation/Lynden Sculpture Garden, which administers the Nohl Fellowship program, does not participate in any part of the selection process.

Applicants are required to apply online. If you do not have computer access or are unable to use the electronic form, please contact Polly Morris at (414) 446-8794. You will receive a paper copy of the guidelines, which differ from these guidelines, and the application via snail mail.



Applications must be submitted online no later than Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 5 pm.

Late applications will not be considered. All decisions are final.


We will be offering three free, public workshops for prospective applicants—see Time Table, below, for details. If you are unable to attend a workshop, you may watch a video recording of the September 6 workshop here: This is the best way to get your questions answered. Although we cannot provide 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, put “Nohl Fellowship” in the subject line.


• Only professionally active visual artists are eligible to apply.
• Only originating artists are eligible to apply (no actors, musicians, dancers).
• Mary L. Nohl Fellowships are available to artists currently residing in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee or Washington counties and for a minimum of one year prior to application.
• Artists are eligible to submit only one Artist Fellowship application per year.
• Artists who receive a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship in 2017 in the Emerging category will not be eligible to apply again until 2022. Artists receiving an Established Fellowship will not be eligible until 2024. If you are a prior recipient, that fact will be taken into consideration when your application is reviewed.
• Artists are not eligible if they are full-time or part-time students pursuing a degree in the visual arts, film, or a 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 an art-related field during the fellowship year.


Visual Artist: The panel will consider artists working in a wide variety of media including the traditional fine arts, film/video, installation, and new media. The fellowship is not intended for commercial artists, musicians, theatre artists or others whose work is generally not presented in a visual art gallery/screening context. 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).

Established Artist: An artist who has created a recognized body of original work over a sustained period of time (minimum of five year exhibition history required, excluding time in undergraduate or graduate programs). Recognition of artistic merit could include some combination of: exhibitions; reviews; commissions; grant/fellowship awards; residencies; screenings; publications; 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 a career 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 working together): Artists working in partnerships or collaborative groups are eligible to apply in either the Emerging or Established category. 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. A letter outlining the nature of the working relationships, with a commitment to work together through the fellowship period (November 2017-November 2018), signed by all members of the group, MUST be included in the application packet. (For those applying online, the letter may be emailed to at the time of submission.) 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.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Mary L. Nohl Fellowship application and guidelines available at 11 am.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 6-7:30 pm
Workshop for prospective applicants at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 839 S. 5th St. This session is co-sponsored by WPCA. Fellows in attendance: Rose Curley, Jesse McLean.

Sunday, September 10, 2017, 10:30 am-12 noon
Workshop for prospective applicants at Jazz Gallery, a Riverwest Community Art Center, 926 E. Center St. This session is co-sponsored by Riverwest Artist Association. Fellows in attendance: Joseph Mougel, Brooke Thiele.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 6-7:30 pm
Workshop for prospective applicants at Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery, The Shops at the Grand Avenue Mall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., 2nd floor (enter at 3rd Street & Wisconsin Avenue). This session is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Visual Artists. Fellow in attendance: Robin Jebavy.

September 2017
Applicants compile their application materials, including an Artist Biography, work samples, and an Artist Statement.

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Applications are due. Late applications will not be accepted. Please note that online submissions are now due at 5 pm.

October 2017
Staff reviews applications for completeness and eligibility.

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Jurors give slide talks on their home institutions at the Haggerty Museum of Art, 13th & Clybourn streets, 6-8 pm. Free and open to the public. More information on jurors here.

Friday, November 10, 2017
Work samples and applications are presented to an independent panel of three recognized arts professionals working outside the four-county area: Michelle Jacques, Allison Peters Quinn, Gabriel Ritter. Up to seven finalists in the Established Artist category will be chosen to receive a studio visit. These finalists will receive a phone call by 5:00 pm to arrange the visit. Anyone applying in the Established Artist category MUST submit a contact phone number and MUST be available for a studio visit on Saturday, November 11, 2017. If you know at the time of application that you will not be available, please submit a letter documenting your absence to, and we will determine if there is an alternative to the in-person studio visit.

Saturday, November 11, 2017
Established Artist finalist studio visits; final decisions made in both categories.

Monday, November 13, 2017
Notification letters are sent to all applicants.

November 2017
Fellowship winners are announced publicly.

A grant agreement will be executed between each recipient and the Bradley Family Foundation.

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.

December 2017-May 2018
Fellows meet periodically with curators to monitor progress, plan exhibition, and produce catalogue materials (artist statement, biography and checklist, commissioned essay, images).

June 2018
Exhibition opens; catalogue published.

June-December 2018
Ancillary activities and studio visits continue.

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 November 2018.

To access the application instructions, click here.

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