FRONT Announces Inaugural Recipients of the FRONT Art Futures Fellowship, Supporting Emerging BIPOC Artists From the Northern Ohio Region

Jul. 14, 2022

FRONT Announces Inaugural Recipients of the FRONT Art Futures Fellowship, Supporting Emerging BIPOC Artists From the Northern Ohio Region

(Cleveland, OH — July 14, 2022) — FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the inaugural class of its Art Futures Fellowship, a three-year program supporting emerging Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander visual artists based in Northern Ohio. The four recipients will receive an unrestricted award of $25,000 as well as opportunities for career development and sponsored research and travel.

Launched earlier this year, the fellowship aims to provide transformational professional development at the local level and help make the arts ecosystem more reflective of the region’s diversity.

  • Amanda D. King is a conceptual artist and creative entrepreneur whose socially engaged practice embraces transcendent narratives that recontextualize experiences of the Black Diaspora.

  • Antwoine Washington paints narratives of the African American experience, experimenting with various formalist approaches to examine historical influences upon the present.

  • Charmaine Spencer creates adaptive sculptures and installations that acculturate new environments, in an investigation of how African American culture has reformed and evolved through time and place.

  • Erykah Townsend takes pop culture as a medium unto itself, using consumer, art historical, and personal referents as manifold avatars for allegory and criticism.

As the organizer of a major international contemporary art exhibition and a convener of visual arts institutions in the region, FRONT is an important platform for regional artists to gain recognition and build careers. In this role, FRONT recognizes its responsibility to help turn the tables on systemic inequity in the visual arts by increasing access to opportunities and resources for local artists of color.

The fellowship will ultimately allow recipients to shape the artistic future of the triennial, concluding the three-year term with an invitation to develop projects for FRONT 2025 as well as serve as members of the 2025 edition’s Artistic Team.

The FRONT Art Futures Fellowship is made possible with a generous grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

For more information visit,

About the Fellows

Amanda D. King is a creative strategist and entrepreneur pursuing justice and equity in the arts and society. A conceptual artist, social justice advocate, and educator, Amanda uses arts and culture to envision possibilities for transforming individuals, communities, and society. Amanda's expertise in jurisprudence, art history, culture, and fashion inform her socially engaged practice, which utilizes visual communication & design, creative consulting, and arts education to mobilize her community and reciprocate grace. Amanda is co-founder of Shooting Without Bullets (SWOB) – a nonprofit social enterprise operating as a creative agency and production company. Through methods of cultural production, artist education & development, and advocacy, SWOB's artistic activism model facilitates creative problem-solving in response to challenges in the arts and society. As Creative Director, Amanda designs, develops, and materializes the creative vision of the enterprise to fulfill the agency's mission. Amanda earned a JD at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a BA in art history at Bryn Mawr College. Photo by Robert Banks, courtesy of Amanda D. King.

Antwoine Washington received his BA in Studio Art from Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA. As a kid he fell in love with drawing Saturday morning cartoons like Tiny Toons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Animaniacs, to name a few. While at Southern, Washington learned more about black history and art in America, further inspiring him to continue the legacy of Harlem Renaissance artists like Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Jacob Lawrence. Washington decided to continue to tell stories of the black experience in America through his art. After college he moved to Cleveland, OH with his wife, and began working for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier. While working as a mail carrier he began to get the burning desire to make art again, realizing his dream was to create art full-time. He eventually quit this job and began his journey pursuing a career in art. While taking this leap of faith to follow his dreams, Washington suffered a stroke in November of 2018. During his recovery, he used his art to help get through panic attacks and the numbness that he was experiencing on the right side of his body. Since surviving the stroke he continues to take advantage of all opportunities that are presented to him, having shown his work at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Akron Art Museum, and The Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He also was commissioned to do a mural in Cleveland Public Square by Land Studios. Antwoine also started a non-profit organization called the Museum of Creative Human Art. He uses this vehicle to teach art through his graphic design courses. He currently works and lives in Cleveland, OH. Photo courtesy of Antwoine Washington.

While attending the Cleveland Institute of Art Charmaine Spencer was recipient of the William McVey Award for Excellence in Sculpture and curated her first professional solo exhibition, Rising/Bound, at Groop Gallery. Other awards include the 2020 Ohio Arts Council ADAP Grant, the 2010 Ingenuity Project Award, a program of Ingenuity Fest, of Arts

and Technology, Inc and the 2009 Creative Workforce Fellowship, a program of Community Partnership for Arts And Culture.

Her early work has been exhibited at Cleveland State University Gallery, Groop Gallery and Spaces, among others. In addition, in 2016, she created Harmonic, a 18’ x 18’ site-specific public commission installed at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland. In 2018, she was included in the CAN Triennial exhibition, and in 2019 participated in the Artist Archives of the Western Reserve’s seenUNseen exhibition. The year of augmented reality was 2021, in which she created a physical work that was viewed at Woodland Cemetery through augmented reality. The physical work was also viewed at The Sculpture Center's CrossRoads exhibition along with interactive augmented reality. At the beginning of this year, she again showed her newest work at The Sculpture Center for her solo exhibition From:Seed To:Root.

Today she is an artist and owner and curator of her studio/gallery Studio 302 of the 78th Street Studios. Photo courtesy of Charmaine Spencer.

Erykah Townsend is a conceptual artist born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1997. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2020. Her paintings and objects are heavily influenced by pop culture. She quotes, “I use pop culture as a medium itself - exploring the spaces it fills in our lives and the inquiry of how real are the imaginary." Her reflective and humorous narratives are interpretations of personal experiences, society, capitalism and art history. Characters, icons, and objects depicted in her work play as avatars of her allegories and criticism, while they retain aspects of their original source. Photo courtesy of Erykah Townsend.

About FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art

Launched in 2018, FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is a free, public, contemporary art exhibition comprising artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs. The inaugural edition brought over 90,000 visitors from more than 25 countries and generated $31 million in economic impact in the region. Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the second iteration of FRONT International will run from July 16 through October 2, 2022. Building on the success of the first edition, FRONT 2022 furthers the Triennial’s commitment to the belief that by supporting creative communities and stimulating new cultural encounters in the region, contemporary art can be an important catalyst for positive social change.

Press Contacts:

Hunter Braithwaite
Director, Cultural Counsel

Emma Frohardt
Senior Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

Devon Ma
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel