The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts’ (TFA) Emerging Artist Fellows are thriving early-career creatives who demonstrate not only a superior level of mastery in their craft, but also the aptitude to become successful professionals capable of leading well-managed creative enterprises. Fellows represent the potential for outcomes beyond the scope of their individual bodies of work and are viewed as future contributors to growing local economies and businesses that make communities more desirable places for all.

General Grant Information

Each year, the Tamarack Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship program awards up to five fellowships to qualified and talented artists working in the fields of traditional and fine craft or visual arts.

The program consists of two distinct components: a monetary award in the amount of $2,500, will be awarded for supplies, instruction, workshops, studio or studio space, or other uses specifically related to the growth and development of the artist’s artistic work. In addition to the grant, the fellows will receive professional development and growth opportunities through the TAF.

The Emerging Artist Fellowship program seeks to introduce and provide experiences, connections, and relationships with West Virginia professional artists and arts institutions.  

Definition of an Emerging Artist

Who is an emerging artist? For the purposes of this fellowship program, we define an emerging artist as “an artist who shows exceptional promise, who has mastered the basic techniques in their art form, and who is attempting to launch a professional career in the arts.” Quite simply, it is an artist who is professionally unrecognized but stylistically evolved. Additional considerations of an emerging artist: 1) Eligible artists will have been working in their field for at least one year, but no more than three years. Preference will be given to artists who have been out of school for at least one year. 2) Age of the artist is not a consideration. Individuals who are mid-career and have chosen to switch to an artistic pursuit in a professional capacity are eligible. 3) An artist who may have a “day job” at the time of application but can demonstrate that he/she is pursuing their art form as a full-time career.


  • Applications open December
  • Deadline for application February 26
  • Selections announced March 12 
Nomination Process

Applicants may be nominated by 1) a professor, mentor, or colleague 2) or self-nominate. Fellows will be evaluated based upon the level of mastery achieved in their creative practice as well as their aptitude and/or desire to achieve professional success. The final selections will be made by the Foundation’s independent Selection Committee, comprised of master-level artists and arts leaders from across the Mountain State.


The fellowship is open to any West Virginia artists who meet the following qualifications:

  • A West Virginia resident who is 18 years or older.
  • Has worked in their field for three years or less and is prepared to commit time to technical training and education.
  • Prepared to create and present artwork for an exhibition at an arts institution based in West Virginia.

Amount of Fellowship Awards

$2,500 will be awarded each year. Payments will be made in two installments: $1,500 and $1,000. The first fellowship payment ($1,500) will be made upon receipt of a signed fellowship agreement and all required forms. The final payment ($1,000) will be made approximately 2 months before the final exhibition. Each fellowship recipient will be required to submit an IRS W-9 form so that an IRS 1099 income statement can be issued by Tamarack Foundation for the fellow’s tax records. All taxes and reporting of taxes will be the responsibility of the fellowship recipient.

Deadline for Applications

The final day to submit this application is Friday, February 26th by 4:30 pm. Incomplete applications and/or applications not submitted according to the instructions will be considered ineligible.

  • December 1: Application released
  • February 26th, 4:30 pm: Deadline for online submission of applications

Fellowship Timeframe: March-December

  • March 4th: Adjudication and determination of fellowships
  • March 12th: Notification of fellowship awards
  • Marshall University School of Art and Design Exhibition:
  • August 11th, 2021 Work delivered to MU School of Art and Design
  • August 16th – August 20 Install
  • August 23rd – September 17 Exhibition
  • September 20th –24th De-install/work pick-up

 Late March: First payment awarded. Final payment will be made late June.

Evaluation Process & Selection Criteria

Fellowships will be awarded to applicants who are actively pursuing professional careers in the arts. A committee of West Virginia arts professionals will adjudicate applications. The recommendations from the committee go to the TAF Board of Directors for final approval.

Panelists make their decisions based on the application materials, work samples, attachments, and documentation. Applicants will be evaluated according to the following:

  • Overall excellence of the applicant’s work and the demonstration of exceptional talent
  • Commitment to professional growth and the applicant’s art form
  • Finalists may be interviewed by the selection committee prior to final selection in order to tailor a professional development/mentoring experience.

Fellowship Agreement

Fellows must enter into a written agreement with the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, which, when executed, has the legal effect of obligating the fellowship award, and which states the rights and obligations of the parties. No fellowship funds will be awarded in the absence of a signed fellowship agreement. The first fellowship payment ($1,500) will be made upon receipt of a signed fellowship agreement and all required forms. The final payment ($1,000) will be made by June 30th.

Publicity Materials

Fellows must agree to provide a headshot or other appropriate photograph of themselves as well as images, video samples of work completed during the fellowship experience, and any other documentation of their fellowship activities for publicity purposes, use on the TFA website and artist database. TFA reserves the right to use selected images or products generated from fellowship activities for use in documentation for the Emerging Artist Fellowship Program.


  • Training and mentorship to prepare for the successful development and launch of their creative business on topics such as integrating into local and regional markets, business model and branding, and industry-specific consultations.
  • An exhibition at a West Virginia-based arts institution.
  • Promotion and visibility through the foundation, including public relations and marketing campaigns devoted to the fellows, promotion, and visibility through the foundation website via the WV Creative Network, the TFA newsletter and on the Emerging Artist Fellows web page.
  • Access to the network of Emerging Artist Fellow peers.
  • Certification of the Emerging Artist Fellowship program.

Nominators receive:

  • Name recognition as part of the concerted public relations and marketing campaigns to promote the fellows
  • Name recognition on site during the selected fellow’s creative residency and exhibition
  • Name recognition on the foundation Emerging Artist Fellows website page for the duration of the partnership and name recognition + link on the website blog

Fellows will be responsible for making all arrangements and/or purchases for fellowship activities. Fellowship funds may not be used for tuition at degree-granting institutions.

Successful applicants should link their fellowship activities to their future career goals or underlying creative interests in the narrative.


Please direct questions to the foundation’s program officer at [email protected]

Apply for the 2021 Emerging Artist FellowshiP

2021 Emerging Artist Application Form

Emerging Artist Applicant Information

Gallery of Work: provide between 4 and 10 examples of your work.
Maximum upload size: 5MB
Please be sure to upload all of the following documentation: Professional Resume/CV: no longer than 3 pages detailing your professional experience • Professional Documentation (2): two pieces that may include articles, letters of support, programs, reviews, or anything concerning the applicant’s professional experience.
Maximum upload size: 5MB

Nominating Party Information (if different than above).