Concordia artist Aaron McIntosh wins 2020 USA Fellowship

One of the newest faculty members in the Department of Studio Arts receives pretigious award for 'sprawling and interdisciplinary' fibres pratice
February 14, 2020
By Mackenzie Lad

Associate professor Aaron McIntosh, Department of Studio Arts. Associate professor Aaron McIntosh, Department of Studio Arts.

New tenure-track hire Aaron McIntosh, an associate professor in the Department of Studio Arts, has been awarded one of the most prestigious contemporary art fellowships in the United States – the 2020 USA Fellowship, worth $50,000.

The fellowship is an unrestricted award, peer-reviewed by discipline, and given annually to the most compelling American artists and arts professionals working today. McIntosh received his distinction in the Craft category.

“The honour not only feels like recognition for contributions I’ve made though my work and my writing, and the way I’ve engaged with different queer communities, but also it is a reflection on how the field has grown to accomadate LGBTQ and queer makers,” he says.

'My ideas are sprawling and interdisciplinary'

The Bear & Weeds, 2013. The Bear & Weeds, 2013.

"This fellowship will substantially bolster my studio practice, enabling me to take bigger risks and move beyond limitations of funding, skill and expertise. My medium may be grounded in quilting, but my ideas are sprawling and interdisciplinary,” he says.

McIntosh is an interdisciplinary fibres artist whose work spans the subjects of identity politics, LGBTQ experience and family tradition. His work has responded poignantly to significant cultural moments, such as the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida. As a fourth generation quiltmaker, much of McIntosh’s practice is rooted in his own experiences in Appalachia and the Southern United States.

McIntosh says that receiving the fellowship is an exciting way to kickstart a new chapter of his career in Montreal, that began last September as a professor at Concordia. 

'It feels like the best place that I have landed by far'

Club Hippo Memorial, May 11-June 23, 2018 Club Hippo Memorial, May 11-June 23, 2018, Part of Invasive Queer Kudzu: Baltimore, School 33 Art Center

Having previously taught at James Madison University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, McIntosh says he was immediately drawn to the Fibres and Material Practices program here.

“The diversity of techniques covered in the Fibres program is matched only by the diversity of students and faculty that are in the program,” says McIntosh. “In many ways, it feels like the best place that I have landed by far.”

He also intends to use the funds as seed money for the early development of Hot House / Maison Chaud, a project he began after his move to Montreal. It looks at the history of the Victorian greenhouse through a fusion of figurative quiltmaking and research drawn from Canadian and International LGBTQ archives to create a series of speculative queer plants.

“I feel like moving to Montreal is another great big leap in my career. The fellowship makes it so that I’ll be able to move forward with the production of the Hot House / Maison Chaud, and I’m really excited to introduce that project and this work to Montreal, which has a really fabulous queer scene.”

Visit Aaron McIntosh's faculty profile

Visit Aaron McIntosh's artist's website





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