Three Idaho artists have been awarded Fellowships in Visual Arts: Dr. Garth Claassen (Caldwell), Caroline Earley (Boise), and Stephen Fisher (Boise). The awards, given every two years by the Idaho Commission on the Arts, recognize outstanding artists, honoring work deemed to exhibit the highest artistic merit during peer review. Applicants were reviewed anonymously in a highly competitive process by panelists from out of state and were judged on the basis of existing work and professional history. Fellowship winners will each receive $5,000.

GARTH CLAASSEN was born and raised in South Africa, before emigrating to the United States and earning a Ph.D. in History of Art at Indiana University. He has taught art and art history at the College of Idaho since 1994. Claassen has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been reviewed in Art in America.

CAROLINE EARLEY is a Professor of Art at Boise State University. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In 2017, she was awarded the Jeffry Mitchell Award for Sculpture from the Museum of Northwest Art. She was the Premiere Award winner of the 2016 Portage Ceramic Awards and the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Idaho Triennial. Earley exhibits internationally and is represented by Milford Galleries, Dunedin and exhibits at Whitespace Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand.

STEPHEN FISHER is a Professor of Art at the College of Idaho, where he has taught since 1990. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Fisher reimagines historical and traditional ceramic forms like teapots, vases, cups, and bowls by working with the bold colors and geometric shapes of abstract painting and sculpture.

More information about this year’s Fellows and photos of their work can be found here. Details about Idaho Commission for the Arts grants is located here.