Brother Thomas Fellowship Program

We all share a creative goal with art. The goal is difficult; it is an invitation to change the world.

Brother Thomas


Brother Thomas Bezanson photoThe Brother Thomas Fund was established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and world-renowned ceramic artist, who wanted the sale of his work to help other artists, as his friends had helped him.

The goal of the biennial Brother Thomas Fellowship program is to support and celebrate a diverse group of Greater Boston artists working at a high level of excellence in a range of disciplines—the visual, performing, literary, media and craft arts—and to enhance their ability to thrive and create new work. The Boston Foundation also hopes that fellowship winners will have greater access to a variety of markets, including galleries, residencies and commissions, and that the importance of artists to the vitality of Boston will be more broadly recognized.

Each Brother Thomas Fellow receives an unrestricted award of $15,000.  Fellowships— given without stipulation as to how the funds are spent—match the needs of artists as well as the wishes of the donor. 

2015 Brother Thomas Fellows

Napoleon Jones-Henderson photo
  Michelle Seaton photo   Jar Williams photo   Masako Kamiya photo
Napoleon Jones-Henderson
Visual Artist
  Michelle Seaton
  Jae Williams
  Masako Kamiya
Visual Artist
Halsey Burgund photo   Danielle Legros Georges photo   Raul Gonzalez III photo   Sandrine Schaefer photo
Halsey Burgund
Sound Artist and Musician
  Danielle Legros Georges
  Raúl Gonzalez III
Visual Artist
  Sandrine Schaefer
Performance Artist
  Balla Kouyatee photo   Nicole Aquillano photo    
    Balla Kouyaté
  Nicole Aquillano
Ceramic Artist

Click here to view a brochure that describes the ten 2015 Brother Thomas Fellows.

Slide Show from Brother Thomas Fellow Awards

2013 Brother Thomas Fellows

In September 2013, the third class of Brother Thomas Fellows was announced. These six artists excel in a broach range of disciplines, and were selected from among a very deep pool of candidates. More information on our fellows can be found in the below press release and brochure.

Ambreen Butt   Ekua Holmes   Lorraine Chapman
Ambreen Butt
Multimedia Artist
  Ekua Holmes
Visual Artist
  Lorraine Chapman
Matti Kovler   Megumi Naitoh   Sean Fielder
Matti Kovler
  Megumi Naitoh
Ceramic Artist
  Sean Fielder

2013 Brother Thomas Fellowship Press Release

2013 Brother Thomas Fellowship Brochure

Past Fellows

2011 and 2009 Brother Thomas Fellowship Brochure

Award Process

Brother Thomas Fellows are selected in alternate years based on an inclusive, two-step process of nomination and panel review.   A diverse group of nominators, selected from among Boston’s large pool of nonprofit arts leaders, academics, gallerists, collectors and for profit arts presenters, select the initial pool of artists.  The nominators are asked to focus their attention on mid-career artists to assure that the fellowships are awarded to individuals who have made a firm commitment to their art and are working at a high level of achievement.  Nominators also give extra consideration to artists that are at a catalytic moment in their life and career when a fellowship could have a transformative impact.  The Fellowship program acknowledges that even established artists often struggle for the resources they need to advance their art.

The nominated artists submit work samples, resumes and an artist statement for consideration by a multi-disciplinary panel convened at the Boston Foundation.  All panelists complete a Conflict of Interest disclosure form to inform a more just and equitable process. Should a conflict of interest arise, these individuals do not participate in this portion of the panel process.

Over time, as former Brother Thomas Fellows welcome the new award winners, the awards will create a community of artists recognized for their artistic excellence. If you are interested in helping us to grow the Brother Thomas Fellowship program you may contribute here.