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clyfford still | museum
Clyfford Still Museum exterior from above
Clyfford Still Museum by Boulder Media House

Committee selects first round of fellows for new Clyfford Still Museum Institute Residential Fellowship Program

Denver, CO – April 29, 2024 – A committee chose five fellows from different study areas to participate in the Clyfford Still Museum’s (CSM) first Institute Residential Fellowship Program from July 21 to August 11 in Denver. The program focuses on three pillars of study: art, education, and social enterprise.

“Clyfford Still left his collection to an American city, and Patricia Still ultimately chose Denver as its home,” said Joyce Tsai, CSM director. “As CSM embarks on its second decade, we ask how we might draw strength from Still’s extraordinary gift. We have established the Institute Residential Fellowship program to bring artists and thought leaders to Denver to engage with the Museum and its collections.”

Earlier this year, the Museum opened applications for the first fellowship cohort. The first fellows selected to participate include Sarah Faux and Kevin Appel in studio art, Dr. Michael A. Barla and Dr. Heather Kaplan in early childhood education, and Emily Grace King in social enterprise.

“Each fellow belongs to a richly interdisciplinary community, and they share a desire to transform our present and future,” said Tsai. “By bringing the Institute fellows to Denver, we create new avenues for Still’s work to animate the pressing questions of our day.”

About the Fellows

Sarah Faux

Sarah Faux sitting on a platform in front of large paintings
Sarah Faux by JSP Art Photography

Sarah Faux makes paintings that embrace unabashed sensuality, autonomy and pleasure. Faux’s fluid compositions teeter on the edge of reality, revealing how much of our emotional and sensory lives take place beneath the surface. Faux’s solo exhibitions include Sweetbitter, Hales Gallery, New York, NY USA (2023); Whatever I see I swallow, M+B, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2021); Perfect for Her, Capsule Shanghai, China (2020); and Gemini, Stems Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2016), among others. She has been exhibited in many group shows, including Sim Smith, London, England (2023), Lyles & King, New York, NY, USA (2022); Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2020) and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2019). Faux has been the recipient of many residencies and grants, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2023), a Keyholder Fellowship at the Lower East Side Printshop, New York, NY, USA (2018-19), artist residencies at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA (2017, 2012) and the Yale School of Art’s Gloucester Painting Prize, Gloucester, MA, USA (2014). Faux’s paintings have been written about in Cultured Magazine, Surface Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, i-D Vice and Artsy, among others. Faux holds an MFA from Yale University and a joint BA/BFA from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Kevin Appel

Kevin Appel in his art studio with paint
Kevin Appel by Lou Mora

Kevin Appel has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA; ACME., Los Angeles, CA; The Suburban, Chicago, IL; Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Wilkinson Gallery, London, United Kingdom; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; Kunstmuseum Brandts, Odense, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, among others. Appel’s work is held in the public collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The New York Public Library, New York, NY; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Saatchi Collection, London, United Kingdom. Appel received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design in New York. He is a Professor of Art and currently serves as Art Department Chair at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine. Appel lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Michael A. Barla

Dr. Michael Barla
Dr. Michael Barla

Dr. Michael A. Barla is a Research Associate Professor in the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver. He previously worked as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the early childhood and early childhood special education licensure programs at the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to joining the faculty at CU-Denver, he was an Assistant Professor of early childhood education and special education at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Barla began his public-school career as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with children ages pre-k through high school in Illinois, Florida, and Missouri. He then moved into positions focusing on educational assessments and administration and spent the final five years of his public-school career as the Director of Early Childhood Education for the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, MO. As the Director of ECE, Dr. Barla was responsible for the collaborative leadership of four programs in the school district: tuition-based early childhood education, early childhood special education, Parents as Teachers and screening. Dr. Barla has worked on the following grant-funded projects: EPIC-ECE (Ensuring Preparation of Inclusive Early Childhood Education by Enhancing ECE Teacher Preparation in Colorado) – University of Colorado Denver; Placed-Based Bachelor of Arts in ECE – University of Colorado Denver; and Circle Grant focused on Community Inclusion – PELE Center at the University of Denver. He holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Heather Kaplan

Dr. Heather Kaplan
Dr. Heather Kaplan

Dr. Heather Kaplan is an artist, educator, and researcher who studies artmaking and early childhood art education. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of Texas El Paso where the context of the U.S.-Mexico border guides her practice and understanding. She is interested in notions of play and materiality, community, contemporary artmaking practices, and storytelling. Theoretical investigations of epistemology and ontology prevail as reiterative themes in her writing, research, and pedagogical and artistic practice. Dr. Kaplan’s written scholarship has appeared in national and international research journals and edited anthologies. Her creative work has been shown broadly.

Emily Grace King

Emily Grace King
Emily Grace King

Emily Grace King is an artist and museum professional living and working in the Denver Metro area. While King works in a variety of mediums, her current focus is on creating encaustic monotype assemblies using beeswax from her backyard hives. The pursuit of creating her own artistic medium inspired King to learn to keep bees and led her to transform her outdoor space into a haven for pollinators, planting and cultivating the raw material the bees need to create wax for her artwork. King is the Exhibition Manager and Associate Curator at the Arvada Center. In 2016, King founded the community project Art Drop Arvada. She served her city as Chair of the Arvada Arts and Culture Commission. King is a strong advocate in the community for public art and for civic investment in local artists at all stages of their careers.

The inaugural Institute Advisory Board includes a diverse group of experts in art, education, and enterprise. The members include:


  • Harry Cooper, Bunny Mellon Curator of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art
  • Bridget Cooks, Professor of African American Studies and Art History, UC Irvine
  • Odili Odita, Artist


  • Cristina Gillanders, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Sharon Shaffer, Founding Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Routledge series editor, Global Perspectives on Children in Museums


  • Aaron Duke, Product Leader
  • Claude Grunitzky, CEO and Managing Partner, Equity Alliance
  • Dan Wang, Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and Sociology at Columbia Business School and Co-Director of the Tamer Institute for Social Enterprise and Climate Change

The Institute Fellowship Program is supported by The Deborah Buck Foundation. For more information, visit clyffordstillmuseum.org/institute.

About the Clyfford Still Museum
Designed by Allied Works Architecture to display the art of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in November 2011 in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. Considered one of the most important and mysterious painters of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904-1980) was among the first generation of abstract expressionist artists who developed a new and powerful approach to painting in the years during and immediately after World War II. The Museum’s collection represents more than 93% of the artist’s lifetime output. As the steward of Still’s art and legacy, the Museum’s mission is to preserve, exhibit, study, and foster engagement with its unique collections; generate outstanding exhibitions, scholarly research, educational and other cross-disciplinary programs that broaden the definition of a “single-artist” museum; and be a gathering place for the exploration of innovation and individual artistic endeavor. Connect with the Clyfford Still Museum on FacebookTwitterInstagram, TikTokYouTube, or at clyffordstillmuseum.org.

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