Africans Amongst Awardees of the Studios at MASS MoCA’s 2024 Residency Fellowships

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O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, Janice Lardey, and Uche Okonkwo have earned their places amongst  awardees for the General Fellowship category of the Studios at MASS MoCA 2024’s Second Batch of Residency Fellowships.

O-Jeremiah is the author of The Sign of the Ram (Akashic, 2023), selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New Generation African Poets Chapbook Box set. His poems are featured/forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, EPOCH, Guernica, Kenyon Review, POETRY, Poetry Society of America, TRANSITION, & elsewhere. He has received scholarships and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Tin House, Key West Literary Seminar; placed second for Grist Journal Contest, finalist of Black Warrior Review contest and Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He’s a doctoral student of Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.

Janice Lardey is an experimental artist from Ghana and a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), USA, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Sculpture from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Lardey’s profound interest in surfaces, colour, patterns, and textures has been pivotal in shaping her artistic practice and her research into textiles and print cultures. Her works explore various media, including printmaking, painting, drawing, applique, dyeing, sewing, and papermaking. Her work examines themes such as societal gender roles, patriarchy, the everyday, sustainability, domesticity, loss, the transient nature of life, and material effects.

Uche Okonkwo’s stories have been published in Zyzzyva, A Public Space, One Story, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, and Lagos Noir, among others. A former Bernard O’Keefe Scholar at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and resident at Art Omi, she is a recipient of the George Bennett Fellowship at Phillips Exeter Academy, a Steinbeck Fellowship, and an Elizabeth George Foundation grantee. Okonkwo grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and is currently pursuing a creative writing PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Studios is MASS MoCA’s artist and writers residency program situated within the museum’s factory campus and surrounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Operated by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists department, the residency runs year-round and hosts up to 10 artists at a time. Artists of any nationality can apply for stays of 2 or 4 weeks.

Each of these artists will receive a free residency at the Studios, thanks to the many generous partners and funders. 

Congratulations to O-Jeremiah, Janice, and Uche on the remarkable achievement!

Read more on the prestigious fellowship here.

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe Maphosa is a budding author with a passion for storytelling. With her thought-provoking narratives, she takes her readers on a literary adventure. Bongiwe's works on the human condition from a fresh perspective have earned her recognition and publications in the Avbob Poetry Anthology of 2019, The Writer's Club of South Africa 2021, and JAY Lit in 2021. She hopes to cement her place in the literary community.