Among seventeen Delaware artists to receive fellowship grants by the Delaware Division of the Arts for 2013, three Milford artists stood out as leaders in their medium of choice as they were awarded Individual Artist Fellowship (IAF) grants. Anne Jenkins of Anne Jenkins Art Gallery, writer Teresa Clifton and Michele Xiques of First State Academy of Dance were recognized for the high quality of their artwork in the visual arts, literature and choreography, respectively.
Last year, some 85 applicants submitted their work to the Delaware Division of the Arts (DDA) to be judged by arts professionals from around the country. Through the IAF grants, DDA affirms the achievements and success of each awarded artist and aims to provide the recognition and exposure that artists need to successfully promote their work. The grants were created to allow artists to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials or fulfill other needs that allow them to advance their careers.
Anne Jenkins was awarded an Established Professional grant with a $6,000 award to help her continue promoting visual art. Jenkins is a British citizen and was born and raised in South Africa. She has lived in six European countries and traveled the world extensively before settling in the United States. Anne is a self-taught artist and her acrylics and watercolors can be found in many private collections throughout Europe, Japan, South Africa, Canada, and the United States.
“It was a huge honor for me and I am so excited,” explained Anne as she talked about receiving the grant. “It brings with it a huge amount of recognition and prestige and raises the profile of the artists it is awarded to.”
Moving to the Milford community with husband Lee Nelson in 2011, Anne has become very active in promoting the arts in downtown Milford and around Kent and Sussex Counties. She opened Anne Jenkins Art Gallery in that same year and has held several galleries showcasing multiple local artists in Milford. Jenkins plans to use the grant to develop a new gallery that will feature one of her favorite themes, women helping women. She is currently researching Milford’s ties to the Underground Railroad in the nineteenth century.
Author Teresa Clifton was awarded the Emerging Professional grant with a $3,000 award. Terri Clifton, a writer since she was a teenager, is a Delaware native who lives near Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge. Her most known novel, A Random Soldier, was written by Terri after her son was killed by a mortar attack in Iraq while he was serving as a United States Marine. The Individual Artist Fellowship grant was awarded to Terri for her adult fiction novel Red Balloon.
“The grant is such a joy,” exclaimed Terri. “It is an artistic validation. For artists, the road from conception to completion can be a rough one. Having such encouragement is a huge mental boost.”
Terri is currently developing her public performance associated with the award and hopes to incorporate live music with a live reading. She will also continue her work with young writers and hopes to complete two more novels by summer.
Cheographer Michele Xiques was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Individual Artist Fellowship grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts. Owner of the First State Academy of Arts in Milford, Michele Xiques took over the existing business ten years ago from Maria Fry. The Academy welcomes roughly 130 adult and children dancers each year and has started to host its second dance company this year.
“I felt so honored to be mentioned and recognized as leader in the Delaware dance community,” commented Michele. “I hope to continue what I am doing and be recognized as an Emerging Professional in the future.”
Ms. Xiques, who was a professional ballerina herself, majored in dance at Point Park College, became an equity actor, and performed with Atlanta Ballet and Empire Ballet in New York. This experience led her to develop her first dance company known as the Delaware Dance Alliance. With help from her assistant Michelle Parisi, Ms. Xiques has brought dancers in from all over Delaware including Seaford, Rehoboth Beach, Wilmington, Newark and Harlty to be a part of the new dance company. The new group is comprised of almost 50 performers, men and women from age 8 to 40. Michele is currently preparing for Delaware Dance Alliance’s performance of Alice in Wonderland that will be held at the Schwartz Center in Dover on Saturday, April 27th.
The public will have an opportunity to see works from all three artists as as they are required to have a public exhibit or performance showcasing their work in the upcoming year. Information on all seventeen artists that were awarded the Individual Artist Fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts can be found at http://www.artsdel.org.