Delaware Division of the Arts Announces 2020 Individual Artist Fellowship Awardees

Nineteen Delaware artists and two Honorable Mentions
to receive recognition

Wilmington, Del. (January 14, 2020) – Nineteen Delaware artists are being recognized by the Division for the high quality of their artwork. Work samples from 139 Delaware choreographers, composers, musicians, writers, folk and visual artists were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals, considering demonstrated creativity and skill in their art form. The 20 selected fellows reside throughout Delaware including Dover, Lewes, Milford, Milton, Newark, New Castle, Rehoboth Beach and Wilmington.

Awards are given in three categories – $10,000 for the Masters Award, $6,000 for the Established Professional Award, and $3,000 for the Emerging Professional Award – and Fellows are required to offer at least one exhibit or performance during the upcoming year, providing an opportunity for the public to experience their work.

“Individual Artist Fellowship grants provide the recognition and exposure that artists need to successfully promote their work,” said Paul Weagraff, director of Delaware Division of the Arts. “The financial award allows them to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs to advance their careers.”

The work of the Fellows will be featured in a group exhibition, Award Winners XX at the Biggs Museum from June 5 to July 23, 2020 with an award ceremony and reception on Wednesday, June 10 at 5 p.m. Selections from Award Winners will travel to CAMP Rehoboth for the entire month of August and then Cab Calloway School of the Arts from September 4 to October 25. Opening receptions will be held June 5, August 1, and October 2 and are free and open to the public (Dates are subject to change).

The Masters Fellowship is open to differing artistic disciplines each year. In Fiscal Year 2020, Masters Fellowship applications were accepted in Visual and Folk Arts from artists who had previously received an Established Professional Fellowship. In addition to exemplifying high artistic quality, Masters Fellowship applicants must demonstrate their involvement and commitment to the arts in Delaware and beyond. Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2020 Individual Artist Fellows and two Honorable Mentions.

Mark Unruh has been awarded this year’s Master’s Fellowship in Folk Arts: Music. Unruh, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and instructor, teaches at The Music School of Delaware, Accent Music Store, Wilmington and Pro Musica Studios in Kennett Square, Pa. He covers a variety of musical styles including bluegrass, classical, jazz, blues, rock and ragtime and averages around 2,000 lessons annually. In addition to his teaching, Unruh is an established performer who has shared the stage with legends such as David Bromberg, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Tammy Wynette, Bob and Ted Lundy, Jr., Wayne Henderson, David Grier, and Muriel Anderson, to name a few. Unruh’s passion for folk music leaves him “thankful to be able to give of (himself), serve the song, and bond with students, players and listeners.”

2020 Individual Artist Fellows

Masters Award ($10,000)

Name Community Artistic Discipline
Mark Unruh Wilmington Folk Art: Music

Established Professional Award ($6,000)

Name Community Artistic Discipline
Taylor Reid Adams Wilmington Literature: Fiction
Anne Colwell Milton Literature: Creative Nonfiction
Merideth Hite Estevez Wilmington Music: Solo Recital
Shelley Koon Dover Visual Arts: Photography
Ralph Gresham Lam Wilmington Folk Art: Music
Aaron Paskins Dover Visual Arts: Sculpture
Nicholas Serratore Lewes Visual Arts: Works on Paper
Constance M. Simon Wilmington Visual Arts: Painting
Caroline N. Simpson Wilmington Literature: Poetry
Robert Bruce Weston Milton Visual Arts: Crafts
Jonathan W. Whitney Wilmington Jazz: Composition
Michele Xiques Milford Dance: Choreography

Emerging Artist Award ($3,000)

Name Community Artistic Discipline
Sarah Barnett Rehoboth Beach Literature: Creative Nonfiction
Kim DeCicco Lewes Literature: Fiction
Kari Ann Ebert Dover Literature: Poetry
Michael Fleishman Milford Visual Arts: Works on Paper
Chloe McEldowney Wilmington Visual Arts: Painting
Guy Miller New Castle Visual Arts: Sculpture

Honorable Mention

Name Community Artistic Discipline
Crystal Heidel Milton Literature: Fiction
Colleen Zufelt Wilmington Visual Arts: Sculpture

To contact an individual artist, please email or call: Roxanne Stanulis, Program Officer, Artist Programs and Services, or 302-577-8283.

The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowship applications will be Monday, August 3, 2020 by 4:30 p.m.

Learn more

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit or call 302-577-8278. Image: 2019 Award Winners exhibition at the Biggs Museum. Paintings by Geraldo Gonzalez, 2019 Established Professional, Folks Arts: painting


Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing