Five Midwestern Artists Each Receive $25,000 from the Efroymson Family Fund

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Fund’s Contemporary Arts Fellowships help artists continue their development.

The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship awarded five artists from Illinois and Wisconsin $25,000 grants to help them continue their artistic development. The Fellowship, made possible by the Indianapolis-based Efroymson Family Fund, a donor-advised fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation, has distributed $825,000 to 40 contemporary visual artists in eight years.

The 2013 Efroymson Fellows are:

  •     Scott Carter: 28, Chicago, Illinois; Installation.
  •     Sarah FitzSimons: 35, Madison, Wisconsin; Sculpture.
  •     Jason Lazarus: 37, Chicago, Illinois; Sculpture/Installation.
  •     Harold Mendez: 35, Chicago, Illinois; Installation.
  •     Roy Staab: 71, West Allis, Wisconsin; Sculpture.

The fellows were honored at a private reception on June 13 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The recipients were among 265 artists who submitted applications.

The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship’s were created to encourage emerging and established contemporary artists to continue their artistic professional development. The Fellowship’s relative lack of restrictions makes it unique among national fellowships. While eligible artists must live in select counties in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin; be age 25 or older; and work in sculpture, new media or installation art, those applying for the award aren’t required to have a degree or a minimum amount of experience. In addition, Efroymson Fellows can use the grant money any way they choose to further their artistic careers – for living expenses, equipment and supplies, studio rental, travel essential to artistic research or to complete work.

About the 2013 Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellows:

  •     Scott Carter: 28, Chicago, Illinois; Installation. Scott summarizes his practice as a physical and conceptual investigation into the possibilities of objects, materials and spaces. He finds satisfaction in the acts of re-use, re-contextualization and function in relation to contemporary art. Scott intends to use a majority of the fellowship to support his first international solo exhibition with Beers.Lambert Contemporary Art in London in Spring, 2014. The remainder of the fellowship will be used for studio rental, living expenses, and related equipment and supplies for his 2013-2014 exhibitions.
  •     Sarah FitzSimons: 35, Madison, Wisconsin; Sculpture. Sarah is a project-based sculpture artist whose work, installed indoors or outdoors, interacts with and derives meaning from its surroundings. Much of her work seeks to connect our constructed culture and daily lives with the wider patterns of nature. With this fellowship, Sarah would focus on completing two projects currently in development (House Frames and Ocean Objects). Support will specifically be used for living expenses, travel for artistic research and to install new works, studio assistants and equipment and supplies.
  •     Jason Lazarus: 37, Chicago, Illinois; Sculpture/Installation. Jason's work focuses on mining private, marginalized, and public histories to recast the relationships among the historical and the contemporary. Often employing found objects, creating wall installations, and curating archives, his practice embraces the interplay of construction and appropriation, private and public, and the pathos of both the mundane and a marked event. Jason will use the fellowship award to invest in a new studio space, research, proto-type and fabricate new works (Dash and Tornado Sculptures), living expenses, studio assistants and a summer residency.
  •     Harold Mendez: 35, Chicago, Illinois Installation. Harold uses his work to explore how identity and place is constructed, dismantled and then stitched together. His work attempts to reconsider the relationship between visibility and memory. He is motivated by the political implications created by slippages between memory, fact, and fiction. Using a diverse array of materials he draws upon concrete ideas of absence, displacement, and erasure to reference reconstructions of place and identity. Harold will use the fellowship for travel for artistic research to Colombia, South America, studio rental, living expenses and travel and supplies to create new works for upcoming exhibitions in Sausalito, California and St. Paul, Minnesota
  •     Roy Staab: 71, West Allis, Wisconsin; Sculpture. Roy's work involves creating large installations using natural materials from a specific site. He uses nature as a contributor to his work in the form of light, wind, and sometimes, fair weather for a clear reflection. The shape and figure of his work relates directly to the site and situation. Roy will use the fellowship to create five new art-in-nature installations, pay for living expenses and purchase equipment to photograph and document his work.
  •     To download images of the artists’ work before 6/13/13, go here:

  •     To download images of the artists' work on or after 6/13/13, go here:

A five-member selection committee consisting of national and regional representatives chose the five recipients in a blind selection process. The selection committee members included:

  •     Jeremy Efroymson, Vice Chair of the Efroymson Family Fund
  •     Nandini Makrandi, Curator of Contemporary Art, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  •     Heather Sealy Lineberry, Senior Curator and Associate Director, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona
  •     Alexandra Sachs, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, Georgia
  •     Jen Mergel, Robert L. Beal, Enid L. Beal and Bruce A. Beal Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Fellows are selected for the quality, skill, creativity and uniqueness of their work, their commitment to developing their work, and the impact the award will have on the artist’s career.

"The Efroymsons have a tradition of being entrepreneurial, and the Contemporary Arts Fellowship program is a great example of that,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation. “CICF is proud to help make Jeremy’s philanthropic passion a reality and honored to have played a role in this Fellowship, which has now invested $825,000 in the best contemporary visual artists in the Midwest.”

The Efroymson family is a longtime supporter of the arts community in Indianapolis, believing that art is a vehicle for exploring new ideas and stimulating community dialogue. In 1998 Dan and Lori Efroymson established the Efroymson Family Fund with Central Indiana Community Foundation. The Fund’s Advisors have awarded more than $75 million in grants to local, regional and national not-for-profit organizations in central Indiana and beyond.

For more information about the Efroymson Family Fund and the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, visit or call 317.634.2423

Media contact: Mike Knight, (317) 634-2423 or mikek(at)cicf(dot)org

To download images of the artists’ work before 6/13/13, go here:

To download images of the artists' work on or after 6/13/13, go here:

Media note: For a list of all Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows by Year please see attached formatted release

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is a $608 million public foundation transforming the lives of central Indiana residents in three ways: consulting donors, family foundations and their professional advisors on charitable giving; awarding grants to effective not-for-profit organizations; and providing leadership to address community needs and seize opportunities. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Legacy Fund, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF, visit, or contact Mike Knight at mikek(at)cicf(dot)org.

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