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The Alice C. Cole '42 Fellowship is awarded to an outstanding early-career painter or sculptor, providing a livable sum so as to support one year of unimpeded time and space to experiment, develop a body of work, and focus on future artistic goals. Applications are accepted by nomination only.

The fellowship is made possible by the generous bequest of Wellesley Alumna, Alice C. Cole ’42. Aware of the burdens that face recent graduates of art school, Ms. Cole had said that she wanted to provide “ a ‘breathing space’ early in an individual's career that will stimulate creativity and allow time to focus on career objectives, freeing the individual from concentrating on purely monetary achievements."


The Alice C. Cole '42 Fellows


Samuel Ekwurtzel was selected as the 2013-14 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Sam Ekwurtzel lives and works in New London, CT. His solo exhibition On the beach was presented by Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. Other recent exhibitions include Its when its gone that you really notice it, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY; Kinds of light, Second Guest Projects, New York, NY; The Passenger Position, Reference Gallery, Richmond, VA; Homo Duplex, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA; and A failed entertainment, Neiman Gallery, New York, NY. Mr. Ekwurtzel has supported himself by working on various Alaskan commercial fishing vessels as well as teaching sculpture at colleges and universities throughout New England. Ekwurtzel was the 2011 Fountainhead Fellow in the department of sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has studied at the Hartford Art School, Columbia University, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was recently awarded a grant from the New York Community Trust.

Dunnage was Ekwurtzel's Cole exhibition at Wellesley College.


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Alida Cervantes was selected as the 2014-15 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Alida Cervantes is a Mexican artist who lives and works in the Tijuana and San Diego border region. Born in San Diego, CA, she was raised in Tijuana, Mexico, and grew up on both sides of the border. Her paintings, drawings, and performance work draw inspiration from class, race, and gender relations in colonial and present-day Mexico. Cervantes earned a BA from the University of California, San Diego (1995), then studied at Scuola di Arte Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy, for two years. In 2013, she earned her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work is part of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Charles Saatchi, London collections.

Majas, cambujas y virreinacas was Cervantes' Cole exhibition at the Mills Gallery in Boston, MA.

Sophie Lee was chosen to be the 2014-15 Alice C. Cole Visiting Artist.


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Sarah Tortora was selected as the 2015-16 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Sarah Tortora currently lives and works in Vermont. Her large sculptural work draws from and modernizes the lexigraphical elements of historical sculpture, especially as used in public monuments. Rendered somewhat abstract by the processes she brings to bear on them, these forms still have a kind of familiarity about them, and even in their strangeness relate to the body in a way we are used to experiencing in the sculpture that we encounter in our built environment. Tortora has a BS in Studio Art from Southern Connecticut State University and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a resident at Ox-Bow, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and Skowhegan, among others, and her work has been shown in many solo and group shows around the country.

Fickle Ground was Tortora's Cole exhibition at Wellesley College.

Jessica Vaughn was chosen to be the 2015-16 Alice C. Cole Visiting Artist.




Ulrik López was selected as the 2016-17 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Ulrik López was born in Mexico City in 1989. He moved to Puerto Rico in 1997 with his family to settle in San Juan, returning to Mexico for visits throughout his childhood and adolescence. Ulrik began his university studies in 2009 at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (EAP) in Old San Juan, and in 2012 was accepted into the art program, Soma Summer, at SOMA in Mexico City. In 2013 he obtained a BFA in sculpture with a minor degree in industrial design as Magna Cum Laude from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. That same year he took part in WARP’s program in Genk, Belgium, and returned to Puerto Rico to start a year of independent studies at a program called La Práctica in Beta-Local, in Old San Juan. Ulrik López has exhibited in exhibitions of EAP, in the Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española, in the Museo Casa Blanca, in La Respuesta, at Área: Lugar de proyectos, at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, in Conarte La Fundidora and alternative spaces in Puerto Rico and Mexico. López was recently a  BBVA and MACG: Arte Actual grantee.

Xia Zhang was chosen to be the 2016-17 Alice C. Cole Visiting Artist.




Kahlil Irving was selected as the 2017-18 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Kahlil Irving is a St. Louis-based multimedia artist with a focus on sculpture and installation. His work challenges accepted ideas about colorism, community, and the urban environment. Objects and forms taken directly from the urban landscape are translated into the fine arts materials of porcelain and ceramics and are combined, warped, and recontextualized in his works. A graduate of the MFA program at Washington University, Irving has exhibited throughout the Midwest, and recently had a solo exhibition at Callicoon Fine Arts in New York City.




Toisha Tucker was selected as the 2018-19 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Toisha Tucker is a New York-based conceptual interdisciplinary artist. Their work responds to contemporary events and often addresses issues of race, gender, identity, technology, human empathy, and activism. Many of Tucker's pieces are process-based, and some are long-term, ongoing efforts. Content and subject matter drive their choice of media, which often differ from project to project. Tucker has a BA in Philosophy and History from Cornell University and an MFA from the UPenn Graduate School of Design. They have exhibited artwork throughout the US, in addition to publishing short stories and curating exhibitions.



Eleanor Conover was selected as the 2020-21 Alice C. Cole Fellow.

Eleanor Conover is an artist whose work engages with the physical and material conditions of painting as a metaphor for environmental time and space. Also employing elements of drawing, language, and history, the works imply spaces and states of excavation and accumulation. Born in Hartford, CT in 1988, she received her MFA at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and her BA from Harvard College. Most recently her work has been shown at Ortega Y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY) and C for Courtside (Knoxville, TN). Her work has been supported through artist residencies including Vermont Studio Center, Cow House Studios, and the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center. With an interest in land and environment, she has additionally been involved in the research of geologic histories in Philadelphia, PA, and visual work regarding ecological histories in places are remote as the Aleutian Islands, AK. She received a post-MFA teaching fellowship at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she continues to teach Painting and Drawing.


N.E. Brown, Megan Hinton, and Brooke Stewart are the 2020-21 Alice C. Cole '42 Merit Grant awardees.


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