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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Conservatory

The Morgan Conservatory to Receive $20,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $20,000. This grant will support a residency program for

established artists and apprentices in the collaborative arts of hand papermaking, bookmaking, and letterpress printing. The NEA will award 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards, totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants. Thirty-five Ohio arts organizations received funding.

“Projects like the Morgan’s Collaborative Residency for Artists and Apprentices exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

“I am particularly excited to bring these three outstanding artists to work with The Morgan Conservatory here in Cleveland,” commented Executive Director Nicole Donnelly. “Each of these artists exemplifies extraordinary vision and a willingness to push their materials in this quest. As each artist expands the medium of paper, we are anticipating unique and ambitious works to emerge and to build stronger connections among Cleveland’s various arts communities and the visiting artists.”

The goal of the Collaborative Residency for Artists and Apprentices is to introduce leading

contemporary artists to the transformative medium of hand papermaking and to create a learning environment that establishes a new cohort of master papermakers from among the apprentice-artists who learn and work alongside the contemporary artists. For this first cohort, the Morgan has identified three remarkable artists whose work represents intersections of culture and identity: Diedrick Brackens, Zoë Charlton, and Miguel Aragón. In collaborating with an artist to make paper, the Morgan Conservatory is not only making a custom substrate, but visually activating that substrate so it is uniquely contributing to the overall aesthetic and conceptual qualities of the artist’s work.

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit

Meet the Artists

Miguel A. Aragón (b. Juárez, México) lives and works in New York City (USA) and Berlin (Germany); he is an Associate Professor in Printmaking at CUNY College of Staten Island. Aragón has exhibited internationally at venues including the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY; Uferhallen, Berlin, Germany and the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists, Canada. His awards and residences include NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship; KALA Art Institute, Berkeley, CA; Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH; and Till Richter Museum, Buggenhagen, Germany. Aragón’s work has been published in A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking (Greenville, NC: Wellington B. Gray Gallery, 2012), Peenemünde Project: Geschichte wird Kunst / Imprinting History (Berlin: Edition Braus, 2017) and ¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum; Princeton: in association with Princeton University Press, 2020). His work is held in collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; and Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Diedrick Brackens (b. 1989 in Mexia, Texas) explores the intersections of identity and sociopolitical issues by creating handwoven tapestries that reexamine allegory and narrative through material, autobiography, and the broader themes of African American and queer identity, American history and memory. Brackens’ recent solo shows include his first European show at Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, as well as shows at the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, Oakville Galleries, Ontario, Canada, and the New Museum, New York, NY. He is the recipient of the US Artist Fellowship, 2021, Louis Tiffany Comfort Grant, 2019, Marciano Artadia Award, 2019, and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, 2018.

Zoë Charlton (Baltimore, MD) creates figure drawings, collages, installations, and animations that depict her subject’s relationship to culturally loaded objects and landscapes. Charlton received her MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and participated in residencies, including Artpace Residency (TX), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC), Ucross Foundation (WY), the Skowhegan School of Painting (ME), and the Patterson Residency at the Creative Alliance (MD). Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including The Delaware Contemporary (DE), the Harvey B. Gantt Center (NC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Studio Museum of Harlem (NY), Contemporary Art Museum (TX), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), and Haas & Fischer Gallery (Switzerland). She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and a Rubys grant (2014). Museum collections include The Phillips Collection (DC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), and Studio Museum in Harlem (NY). Charlton is a Professor of Art at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA and is a board member at the Washington Project for the Arts (DC) and Threewalls (Chicago, IL).

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