Newsletter Issue:

2016 David Driskell Fellow Announcement

We are proud to announce the
2016 David Driskell Fellow, Eric Bess

Eric Bess is an artist from Ohio. He received his BFA from Wittenberg University in Ohio and his MFA from the Academy of Art University in California. His latest body of work conveyed his understanding of the eastern philosophy of Falun Dafa using the religious imagery of the triptych altarpiece traditionally used in the west. His current body of work explores African American martyrs of the slave era canonized as saints in an attempt to create a visual imagery within black culture that is a response to the religious paintings traditional of the Catholic Church.

Eric Bess at Spannocchia, 2016
Eric Bess at Spannocchia, 2016

"I was so surprised to be named the David Driskell Fellow. I knew that a fellowship was available, but I didn't think myself a viable candidate. The more I learned of him, his art, and his intentions, the more honored I became to be attached to his legacy. I can promise myself, my community, and IDSVA that I will do my best with what I have to continue to understand my own character standard in relation to what it means to be a David Driskell Fellow."

IDSVA awards one to two David Driskell Fellowships with each incoming cohort. Driskell Fellows are students of color who show promise in carrying forward David Driskell's mission to encourage worldwide community and equality through art, Driskell Fellowships include a $45,000 tuition scholarship, disbursed in $15,000 increments over the three-year course of study.

David Driskell was elected to the National Academy in 2000 and honored at the University of Maryland by the establishment of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora in 2001.

A member of the IDSVA Visiting Faculty since 2007, Dr. Driskell was awarded an IDSVA Honorary Doctorate in 2009 in recognition of his lifelong career as an artist, scholar, and world leading spiritual philanthropist.

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