Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists 2019 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 administered by the Bradley Family Foundation (Lynden Sculpture Garden). 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.

Our goal is to align with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s commitment to racial equity and inclusion, and with the emerging efforts of peer artist fellowship programs around the country to amplify underrepresented voices in the profession. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has made a generational commitment to equity and inclusion.

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 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, and new media) to create new work or complete work in progress. Artists of color and those representing diverse cultural perspectives are strongly urged to apply.

A total of five fellowships will be awarded in 2019: 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 at Marquette University opening in June 2020; 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.

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 aesthetic 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, and dedication to expanding the social boundaries or audience for the discipline; and the record of professional accomplishments and contributions to the field (as emerging or established artists), which can include the local arts community, or on the regional, national, or international level. Jurors also take into consideration: the Artist Statement; the relevance of the artist’s past activities as recorded in their Artist Biography (résumé); 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 Fellow.

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). Paper copies will also be distributed at the application workshops.

Interested artists are strongly urged to attend the informational workshops to find out more about the fellowship program and the application process.



Applications must be submitted online no later than Thursday, October 3, 2019 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. 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 Artist 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 2019 Fellowship in the Emerging category may not reapply until 2024. Artists who receive a 2019 Fellowship in the Established category may not reapply until 2026.


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, 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). 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 exhibition history required, excluding time in graduate or undergraduate 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 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 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 2019-November 2020), signed by all members of the group, MUST be uploaded to your online application. 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 3, 2019
Mary L. Nohl Fellowship application and guidelines available at 11 am.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 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. Fellow in attendance: Keith Nelson.

Sunday, September 8, 2019, 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. Fellow in attendance: Makeal Flammini.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6-7:30 pm
Workshop for prospective applicants at Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery, The Shops at the Grand Avenue Mall, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Lower Level, Suite #300 (directly below TJ Maxx). This session is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Visual Artists. Fellow in attendance: Rosemary Ollison.

September 2019
Applicants compile their application materials, including an Artist Biography, work samples, and an Artist Statement.

Thursday, October 3, 2019
Applications are due. Please note that online submissions are now due at 5 pm. Paper applications must be postmarked no later than October 3. Late applications will not be accepted.

October 2019
Staff reviews applications for completeness and eligibility.

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Jurors give presentations about their home institutions at the Haggerty Museum of Art, 1234 W. Tory Hill St. on the Marquette University campus, 6-8 pm. Free and open to the public.

Friday, November 8, 2019
Work samples and applications are presented to an independent panel of three recognized arts professionals working outside the four-county area.

Up to seven finalists in the Established Artist category will be chosen to receive a studio visit, providing jurors with a broader context for the artists’ work. 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 9, 2019. 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 9, 2019
Established Artist finalist studio visits; final decisions made in both categories. Upon completion of the studio visits (and no later than midday, Sunday, November 10, 2019), the administrator will call the five fellows and email the other finalists to share the results.

Monday, November 11, 2019
Notification letters are sent to all applicants.

November 2019
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 2019-May 2020
Fellows meet periodically with curators to monitor progress, plan exhibition, and produce catalogue materials (artist statement, biography and checklist, commissioned essay, images).

June 2020
Exhibition opens; catalogue published.

June-December 2020
Ancillary activities and external studios visits.

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 2020.

To access the application instructions, click here.

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