PLAYGROUND DETROIT is pleased to announce the selection of 10 Artist Fellows chosen for the inaugural 2021-22 Emerging Artists Fellowship, a multi-year juried program. Launched in 2020, twenty emerging Detroit artists will receive $2,000 awards each to develop their individual practices.

As a result, new bodies of artwork will be created and accompanied by mentorship-based programming and each artist will have a corresponding exhibition, performance installation or site-specific installation. 

Selected ten artists include:  Lo Braden, Cyrah Dardas, Olivia Guterson, Keto Green, Zoe Beaudry, Julian J. Jones, Anthony Brazeau, Imani Ma’at AnkhmenRa Amen Taylor, Ivan Montoya and Meredith Morrison.

Selection Committee member, Grace Serra remarks that “It has been such an honor to be part of this amazing team who has been so thoughtful in the selection of the 2022 Emerging Artist Fellows. Playground Detroit is playing such an important role in shaping the future of Detroit’s cultural community. The ten fellows selected are an exciting and interesting group of artists whose work expands a wide range of media and reflects diversity in every sense of the word.”

The Emerging Artist Fellowship recognizes ambitious artists who are early in their careers and demonstrate artistic potential through creative risk-taking. Selection Committee member, Nate Wallace, Director, Knight Foundation, recognizes that “Detroit’s artists have always had a unique point of view that is both relevant and inspiring. This is a group of artists that represent that tradition.”

The Selection Committee reviewed an overwhelming response of artist submissions. The finalists represent a range of disciplines including painting, photography, illustration, installation, sculpture, dance and performance, mixed media and sustainable practices. This year, the fellowship focused on applications from BIPOC artists, as well themes of social justice and sustainable practices.

The 2021-22 Selection Committee includes Michael-Stone Richards, PhD and professor, Grace Serra, Art Curator, Wayne State University and Nate Wallace, Director, Knight Foundation, in addition to co-founders Paulina Petkoski and Samantha B Schefman.

The artists will receive professional mentorship, develop their individual practices and gain support during a critical point in their careers. The goal of the fellowship is to identify, celebrate and elevate emerging Detroit artistic excellence by providing much-needed resources. 


Lo Braden (Image courtesy of artist).


Lo Braden, also known as Lo Cayne, is a black queer portrait and fashion photographer from Detroit, Michigan. In the future they believe that we’ll be able to take whatever we see and project it onto a screen to be able to show our perspective, our point of view, straight from our brains. That technology doesn’t yet exist, so the closest thing they have to that concept is their camera. One of the main reasons why they love photography, it enables them to take a vision they have in the form of a dream or sudden burst of inspiration and capture it, then share it with others. 

Their work aims to show the beauty and glamour of black people, through careful consideration of color theory, composition and concepts. Their hope is that they can plant seeds with what they capture and it will grow as inspiration for others to do the same.

Cyrah Dardas (Image courtesy of artist).


Cyrah Dardas (b.1990) is a Queer, ecosexual artist and care worker living in Detroit /Waawiyaatanong MI. Dardas uses her art practice as a tool in remembering the forgotten networks between humans and the earth for the purpose of regulation and healing across species to restore a collective ecological body and heal. She is informed by her work in childcare, her stewardship of land and as a grower of food, as a collaborator with youth, as a member of an artist cooperative, as a ceremonialist, as a space maker, and through her work with natural fibers, pigments and paint.

She is the Co-founder of Paper Street Press, a press and distribution network producing collaborative 2D zines that highlight the artistic practices of QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Disabled BIPOC artists, and the lead teaching artist at People in Education.

Keto Green (Image courtesy of artist).


Keto Green is a contemporary artist from Detroit, Michigan that creates artwork from found objects. Green has painted doors that relate to evictions and oppressive poverty conditions. The doors were painted bright and rich colors, some featured Pac man images, figurative and scenic images from a tragic childhood where his brother was lost to a suicide following an eviction.

He has participated in programs at the Detroit Institute of the Arts and Inside Out and has received recognition from Brad Pitt’s “Make it Right Foundation.”  One is reminded of artists like Basquiat, and according to Keto himself, he is “Living in a city full of drive and change; overcoming poverty, while trying to make a difference.” He attended Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, Michigan.

Ivan Montoya (Image courtesy of artist).


Ivan Montoya (b. Chihuahua, Mexico, 1995) is a Detroit-based painter and muralist. As a first-generation immigrant, he draws inspiration from Mexican folk art, Mesoamerican mythology and the natural world to create paintings representing the Mexican Diaspora. His flavorful use of color pulls the vibrancy and passion of Mexican culture, which Montoya re-arranges in his own recipe.

Ivan earned his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in 2017 and received the Imre J. Molnar Artistic Achievement Award, appointing him as merit-based valedictorian. Following graduation, he attended the Illustration Academy in Kansas City, MO. He works as a freelance illustrator, artist and muralist, partnering with clients including The Platform and 1XRun, as a part of the Murals in the Market Festival. Montoya has been featured by Spectrum, 3×3 Mag and The Society of Illustrators, and has work in the Guillermo Del Toro Bleak House Collection.

Zoe Beaudry (Image courtesy of artist).


Zoe Beaudry (b. 1991) is a contemporary figurative painter living and working in Detroit. Her practice examines existential questions related to selfhood, individuation, and divinity in the twenty-first century, and is informed by intersectional feminism, contemporary mysticism and philosophy of mind, and spiritual practice. Zoe completed her BA at Kalamazoo College in 2014 and obtained her MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2018. Her work has been included in exhibitions throughout the Midwest and internationally in the UK, Israel, and Australia.

She has held art workshops for youth in Tulkarem, Palestine, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has undertaken residencies at Kriti Gallery in Varanasi, India and The Forge in Detroit, Michigan. Most recently Zoe showcased her work at ArtPrize 2021 in Grand Rapids. In 2020, Zoe was shortlisted for the Sunny Art Prize and longlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize. In 2019, she was featured on the reality show Sky Portrait Artist of the Year and awarded the Northwood University Artist Award by the Midland Center for the Arts. She was awarded first place in Exhibit Fine Art Center and Gallery’s National Juried Competition in 2018 and a Beeler International Project Grant for her work in Haiti in 2014.

Olivia Guterson (Image credit, Sal Rodriguez).


Olivia Guterson is a Detroit-based multi-disciplinary artist and mother. Primarily through black ink, her works are a healing and truth-seeking investigation. In conversation with the materials she marks, she layers ink as a means of mapping the present conditions and environment through the lens of her lived experience.

Guterson’s interest in pattern as language stems from her multiracial heritage, which inspires how the patterns relate to one another and stand alone. Her linework is embedded in meticulous, instinctive wisdom. In 2020, she curated her first exhibition, The Space Between, at the Ann Arbor Art Center. She is an alumni resident at Sibyls Shrine, and a founding member of Art Mamas Alliance. Her work has been shown at the Arab American National Museum, Art Week Miami, JADA Art Fair, Shinola Hotel, Norwest Gallery, Detroit Artist Market, ROI Jerusalem, Ann Arbor Art Center, Scarab Club and more.

Anthony Brazeau (image courtesy of artist)


Anthony Brazeau (b.1993) is a multimedia artist harvesting sculptures made from discarded objects found throughout Detroit. His work focuses on the combination of found and fabricated objects. The works, be they sculptural or 2D, are culminations of physical acts and temporal limitations.

The labor involved in their creation can be equated to the labor of a minimum wage job, one must work a certain amount of hours to obtain a monetary sum that is deemed equitable. Accordingly, he places the restrictions of time (8 total hours) and materiality (scavenged) upon himself and the resulting works created are the manifestations of this rigid practice.

Imani Ma’at AnkhmenRa Amen (Image courtesy of artist).


Imani Ma’at AnkhmenRa Amen is a healer, visionary, artist, drummer of the African Diaspora, dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, photographer, dance educator living in Detroit, MI. She has trained in multiple dance styles including improvisation, experimental, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, and traditional West African dance practices. Her primary focus in dance is West African dance and its various musical patterns and traditions.

Through these dance practices, she produces many works with the intention of developing safe spaces while unifying the community and helping others develop higher consciousness through the performing and visual arts. Healing, the understanding of vibration through rhythm, social justice, and honoring ancestry is deeply embedded in her framework, curriculum, and community structure. Her goals are to bring forth spiritual healing and to simply encourage others through her work as a versatile visual creator and dance artist.  

Julian J. Jones (Image courtesy of artist).


Julian Jamaal Jones is an African American interdisciplinary artist and fashion photographer born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Jones earned his Bachelor’s degree in Photography in 2020 from the Herron School of Art + Design in Indianapolis, IN. Julian is soon to graduate with a Masters in Photography (2022) from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, under the tutelage of Chris Fraser.

Jones merges a range of mediums to express his perspectives around black identity. His works bridge drawing, sculpture, and textile to memorialize black culture. In addition, Julian communicates through the historical language of African American quilting by implementing abstract forms and vibrant colors in his works to bypass the viewer’s critical faculties and open a conversation around his Black experience.

Meredith Morrison (image courtesy of artist).


Meredith Morrison (b. 1989) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice seeks to negotiate and sustain memory-material relationships. Morrison’s work is process-based and experimental, embedding itself in traditional fiber and craft techniques. She often calls upon intuition, meditative labor, and repetition to collect and build beaded cloths and designed objects in a systematic composition.

Due to resulting delays from COVID, individual Fellow exhibitions schedules will be announced as available. Stay tuned for more updates!

This program is supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit 2019 winning project.