Congratulations to our 2020 Artists Fellows
The Regional Arts Commission’s Artist Fellowship serves to foster and invest in the careers of St. Louis artists of all disciplines by providing funds to allow for more time and space to study, reflect, experiment, explore, practice, and create. The goal is to advance the individual artist’s creative journey. This annual Artist Fellowship recognizes artistic excellence and honors the work of seasoned artists, advances the work of mid-career artists, and nurtures the work of developing artists.
Shualee Cook has been writing theatre in the Midwest for so long that she’s starting to forget how to speak Californian. She was an inaugural member of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Confluence Regional Writers’ Project, a winner of the 2020 Parity Commission, and has been a resident playwright at Tesseract Theatre in St. Louis and Stage Left Theatre in Chicago.
Productions, readings, and workshops include Cercle Hermaphroditos (Stage Left Theatre Summer Reading, Queer Village Reading Series), Earworm (Tesseract Theatre, Campfire Theatre Festival) An Invitation Out (Mustard Seed Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre, Benchmark Theatre Fever Dream Festival), Sunset Artists of the American West (2016 Chicago New Work Festival, About Face Theatre), Tempest In A Teapot (R-S Theatrics, 2016 Idle Muse Athena Festival), and The Geography of Nowhere (Mustard Seed Theatre).
She has been a finalist for the 2019 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2016 Jane Chambers Award, and the 2016 David Calicchio Award and a two-time finalist for the Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit.
Designer and Interdisciplinary Artist
Kevin McCoy is a designer and interdisciplinary artist living and working in St. Louis. He is also half of the collaborative duo, WORK/PLAY, which he started with his wife, Danielle.
Graphic design has always been entrenched in McCoy’s practice due to his undergraduate studies. In 2004, he received his BFA degree in communication design from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. In May of 2019, McCoy received an MFA degree in Visual Art from the Sam Fox School of Art and Design, Washington University in St. Louis. His practice spans across several media disciplines, such as printmaking, product development, publication design, and other design-related assets. McCoy was recently nominated and selected for 30 Days of Design, organized by the St. Louis chapter of AIGA.
McCoy’s work has been exhibited both locally and nationally, including in Small Talk at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Overview is a Place at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York, and On & On at the Beard and Weil Galleries at Wheaton College. He has also participated in a variety of art book fairs, including Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair in Los Angeles, Chicago Art Book Fair in Chicago, and Fully Booked Art Fair in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
McCoy shares his knowledge through a variety of workshops and artist talks. Most recently, he, alongside his wife, was invited to speak at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. McCoy has also worked with a broad spectrum of clients such as Solé Bicycles, Glacéau, Tower Classic Tattoo, and Knife & Flag. He continues to work with a host of local and national art practitioners and institutions such as the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, The Pulitzer Foundation, The Luminary, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Paul Tran is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from Poetry Magazine & the Poetry Foundation and the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, Good Morning America, NYLON, and elsewhere, including the Lionsgate movie Love Beats Rhymes (2017) with Azealia Banks, Common, and Jill Scott. They are the first Asian American since 1993 and the first transgender poet ever to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and top 2 at the National Poetry Slam.
For their writing and teaching, Paul has received scholarships, residencies, and fellowships from Kundiman, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, Poets House, Lambda Literary Foundation, Napa Valley Writers Conference, The Home School, Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation Literary Festival, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Miami Writers Institute, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the Eliza So Fellowship (from Submittable, Plympton, and the Writer’s Block), and Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
Tran earned a B.A. in 20th Century United States history from Brown University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they won the Howard Nemerov Prize, Dorothy Negri Prize, and Norma Lowry Memorial Award. They are the poetry editor at The Offing Magazine and senior poetry fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.
Novelist, Journalist, & Teaching Artist
Kea Wilson is a novelist, writer, and teaching artist. Her first book, We Eat Our Own, was published by Scribner in 2016 and received praise from the New York Times Book Review, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Publishers Weekly, The A.V. Club, and others.
Her short fiction, non-fiction, and artist profiles have appeared in Playboy, Lit Hub, ALIVE magazine, and elsewhere. She is also a senior editor and advocacy journalist at Streetsblog, a small-scale affordable housing developer, and a neighborhood activist. She lives in St. Louis.