IDSVA News

2019 David Driskell Fellowship Awarded

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Kimberly J. Wade is a photographer and former US Army Broadcast Journalist. She received her BA from CUNY Brooklyn College, her MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from Bard College at the International Center of Photography and has studied at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. Her earlier work explored the domestic spaces in which she shared with her son and other family members. Many of her photos observed the quiet, everyday moments and gather evidence of the living and the effects of time. More recently, Kimberly's lens has moved to capturing Black women whom she feels reflect the qualities with which she identifies and aspire to. Inspired by Zora Neale Hurston's quote, "I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...and Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive", Kimberly's goal is to create images that offer additional narratives of what a Black woman looks like as well as the spaces in which she exists.


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Selassie Nsilo Alleyne (Ras Selassie Nsilo) has a BA from Boston College and a MFA in Filmmaking and Digital Technology from Chatham University. As an interdisciplinary artist, Selassie has found inspiration from merging his love of drums and healing through music, fine arts, and technology. In his practice, he draws from ancient traditions, infusing tropical Caribbean music and Rastafari arts & crafts with digital media. Selassie is the founder of "Drum Drum," a grassroots organization of arts, wellness, and community, where he teaches children and adults the meditative powers of healing through word, sound, and power in a roots reggae style. Additionally, Selassie has lectured, demonstrated and shared the transformative power of Rastafari drumming at various schools, colleges, and organizations.


IDSVA awards one or 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 and ideas.

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. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

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.

"The possibility of attending IDSVA and becoming an artist-philosopher is a road less traveled and only strong imagination from visionaries such as Dr. Driskell could yield such a pathway. I am honored to be a Driskell Fellow and recipient of Dr. Driskell's philanthropy in his unwavering commitment to arts and scholarship."

- Selassie Nsilo Alleyne


IDSVA has one open seat for September 2019 enrollment. Please contact Molly Davis at 207-771-8887 or mdavis@idsva.edu for more information.