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Jana M. Cardwell Awarded 2024 Aminah Robinson Fellowship

in Press Releases November 14, 2023 2 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC), in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), is pleased to announce that Jana M. Cardwell has been awarded the 2024 Aminah Robinson Fellowship.

Designed to celebrate the legacy of Columbus-based artist Aminah Robinson, the 90-day fellowship recognizes the exemplary work of an African American visual artist residing in Franklin County. The selected artist receives an unrestricted $15,000 award and daily access to Aminah Robinson’s home studio. The fellowship is intended to give the gift of time and monetary support to allow an artist to focus on art making.

Jana M. Cardwell is a visual fine artist boasting more than 40 years of experience in the art world. A resident of the Shepard neighborhood in Columbus, where Robinson’s house sits, Cardwell holds a BFA in illustration from Columbus College of Art & Design. She worked as assistant art director at Air Waves Inc. where she oversaw art production, in addition to serving as an instructor at the Short-Stop Art Production Program and as an elementary art teacher at the Shepard School and Harvest Preparatory School.

Cardwell has exhibited her work at 400 West Rich and was one of only three artists chosen to produce on-site paintings at the Columbus Museum of Art’s Art for Life event in 2022. She has also worked to introduce art to children during afterschool programs with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

“I am so thankful to be selected for the Aminah Robinson fellowship,” said Cardwell. “I want to expand my body of work, as I remember her saying, ‘Always work on your art.’ I now have the time to fully dedicate myself to my artwork. I am thrilled to be working in a great artist’s studio, where I can create and bring my visions to life.”

Jurors for the 2024 Aminah Robinson fellowship included:

  • Carole Genshaft, Ph.D., Aminah Robinson scholar
  • Toni Smith, Ph.D., Miami University visiting assisting professor, Aminah scholar and Shepard resident
  • Priscilla Tyson, former Columbus City Council member, arts advocate and former Shepard resident
  • Beverly Whiteside, artist and 2023 Aminah Robinson fellowship recipient

The fellowship will run from Jan. 3 to April 2, 2024.

Previous fellowships recipients include Don “DonCee” Coulter (2020), Wendy Kendrick (2021), Richard Duarte Brown (2022) and Beverly Whiteside (2023).

When Robinson passed away in 2015, she entrusted her estate to the Columbus Museum of Art. In 2020, CMA and GCAC formed a partnership to establish an annual fellowship and a residency to support African American artists and honor the legacy of the beloved Columbus artist. The residency offers African American artists nationwide the chance to reside and work in Aminah’s home studio, while the fellowship specifically supports African American artists from Franklin County.

For more information on community funding, including guidelines and upcoming deadlines, go to or contact the Grants & Community Engagement team at or (614) 224-2606.

Mission of the Columbus Museum of Art: To create great experiences with great art for everyone.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492