Tuesday January 23, 2024 | by Andrew Page

Helen Lee named 2024 United States Artist Fellow, recieves a $50k unrestricted award

Helen Lee, an artist, designer, and educator who heads the glass program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has just been announced as a 2024 United States Artist Fellow. Lee will join 50 other artists, who range from architects to choreographers, and who hail from 22 American states as well as Puerto Rico, as one of those "selected for their artistic vision, contributions to the field, and potential impact of the award on their practice," according to the USArtists press release announcing the 2024 United States Artist fellows.

Lee, whose work was featured on the cover of the Fall 2022 edition of Glass (#168), is known for her wide-ranging art practice grounded in her explorations of "language and diasporic identity through the materiality of glass," according to her artist website.

Asked what impact the award might have on her practice, Lee told the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet, "This fellowship will grant me access to the most precious mid-life commodity of time." 

The artist, who is currently exhibiting her work at the Arts + LIterature Laboratory in Madison, added what being a United States Artists fellow means to her. "It's also quite a gorgeous affirmation of my intention for my labor as an artist (amongst my many other identities) to be one of my lasting contributions to the creative field."

USA Fellowships provide an unrestricted $50,000 award, as well as access to financial planning, career consulting, legal advice, and other professional services as requested, according to the organization's website. Founded by a consortium of major philanthropic foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson, and Prudential) in 2006, USA Fellowships have awarded over $41 million to more than 850 artists in the nearly 18 years of its existence. Artists are nominated by a rotating group of arts professionals, and then apply for the Fellowship. Past fellows working in glass include: Amber Cowan, the de la Torre brothers, Beth Lipman, Sibylle Peretti, Judith Schaechter, Therman Statom, April Surgent, and Leo Tecosky.

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.