Brother Thomas Fund + Fellowship Program

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

The 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.

Bernie Sue Pucker
Bernie and Sue Pucker
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Toward the end of his life, Brother Thomas joined forces with Sue and Bernie Pucker, owners of the Pucker Gallery on Boston’s Newbury Street, to continue his legacy. 

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—thus fulfilling the needs of artists and the wishes of the donor. 

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 from Boston’s large pool of nonprofit arts leaders, academics, gallerists, collectors and for-profit arts presenters select the initial pool of artists. The nominators focus 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 who 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 may struggle for the resources they need to advance their art.

The nominated artists submit work samples, a resumé and an artist statement for consideration by a multi-disciplinary panel convened at the Boston Foundation.  

	Laura McConaghy

Contact Director of Philanthropy Operations Laura McConaghy to learn more about the Brother Thomas Fund.

All panelists complete a conflict of interest disclosure form to ensure a fair and equitable process. Should a conflict of interest arise, these individuals do not participate in this portion of the panel process.

Support the Brother Thomas Fellowship

Over time, as former Brother Thomas Fellows welcome new award winners, a larger “fellowship” of encouragement and support will emerge in the community of artists recognized for their creative excellence.

If you are interested in helping us grow the Brother Thomas Fellowship program, you may contribute directly to the fund. If you are a donor or a collector who would like to learn more about Brother Thomas’s works of art as a way of supporting the fund, please contact us at 617-338-1700.

The Fellows

2017 Brother Thomas Fellows Brochure

2017 Brother Thomas Fellows Press Release

2015 Brother Thomas Fellows Brochure

2013 Brother Thomas Fellows Press Release

2013 Brother Thomas Fellows Brochure

2011 and 2009 Brother Thomas Fellows Brochure

The artists who have received fellowships to date are extraordinary. They, along with all future Fellows, will make tremendous contributions to the art world over the course of their lives, and will enrich our community in ways we can only imagine.

The 2017 Brother Thomas Fellows

Jean Appolon
Jean Appolon, Choreographer and Dance Educator
Sandeep Das
Sandeep Das, Musician
Maya Erdelyi
Maya Erdelyi, Animator and Director
Maria Finkelmeier
Maria Finkelmeier, Percussionist and Composer
Patrick Gabridge
Patrick Gabridge, Playwright and Author
Regie Gibson
Regie Gibson, Performer and Poet
Stephen Hamilton
Stephen Hamilton, Visual Artist and Arts Educator
Kathryn King
Kathryn King, Ceramic Artist and Teacher
Shaw Pong Liu
Shaw Pong Liu, Violinist and Composer
Marsha Parrilla
Marsha Parrilla, Choreographer
Evelyn Rydz
Evelyn Rydz, Visual Artist
Enzo Silon Surin
Enzo Silon Surin, Poet 
Hakim Raquib
Hakim Raquib, Photographer
Yu-Wen Wu
Yu-Wen Wu, Interdisciplinary Artist

Past Fellows

2015 Brother Thomas Fellows

Jones Henderson


Seaton          Williams   Kamiya

Napoleon Jones-
Visual Artist


Michelle Seaton


Jae Williams


Masako Kamiya
Visual Artist








Halsey Burgund
Sound Artist and Musician


Danielle Legros Georges


Raúl Gonzalez III
Visual Artist


Sandrine Schaefer
Performance Artist










Balla Kouyaté


Nicole Aquillano
Ceramic Artist




2013 Brother Thomas Fellows






Ambreen Butt
Multimedia Artist


Ekua Holmes
Visual Artist


Lorraine Chapman






Matti Kovler


Megumi Naitoh
Ceramic Artist


Sean Fielder

All Brother Thomas Fellows 2009–2017

  • John Oluwole ADEkoje, filmmaker and playwright—2009
  • Kati Agócs, composer—2009
  • Sachiko Akiyama, sculptor—2011
  • Jean Appolon, choreographer and dance educator—2017
  • Nicole Aquillano, ceramicist—2015
  • Halsey Burgund, musician—2015
  • Ambreen Butt, multimedia visual and installation artist—2013
  • Lorraine Chapman, contemporary dancer and choreographer—2013
  • Angela Cunningham, ceramic artist—2011
  • Sandeep Das, musician—2017
  • Maya Erdelyi, animator and director—2017
  • Sean Fielder, tap dancer—2013
  • Maria Finkelmeier, percussionist and composer—2017
  • Patrick Gabridge, playwright and author—2017
  • Danielle Legros Georges, poet—2015
  • Regie Gibson, performer and poet—2017
  • Raúl Gonzalex III, visual artist—2015
  • David Valdes Greenwood, playwright and author—2011
  • Stephen Hamilton, visual artist and arts educator—2017
  • Barbara Helfgott, poet—2009
  • Richard Hoffman, poet—2009
  • Ekua Holmes, collage artist—2013
  • Napoleon Jones-Henderson, visual artist—2015
  • Wendy Jehlen, dancer—2011
  • Masako Kamiya, painter—2015
  • Kathryn King, ceramic artist and teacher—2017
  • Balla Kouyaté, balafon player—2015
  • Brian Knep, video artist—2009
  • Alla Kovgan, dance-based filmmaker—2009
  • Matti Kovler, composer—2013
  • Shaw Pong Liu, violinist and composer—2017
  • Megumi Naitoh, ceramic artist—2013
  • Chandra Dieppa Ortiz, painter and sculptor—2011
  • Marsha Parrilla, choreographer—2017
  • Hakim Raquib, photographer—2017
  • Evelyn Rydz, visual artist—2017
  • Sandrine Scheafer, performance artist—2015
  • Michelle Seaton, filmmaker—2015
  • Tracy Heather Strain, documentary filmmaker—2009
  • Enzo Silon Surin, poet—2017
  • Robert Todd, documentary filmmaker—2011
  • Heather White, jeweler and designer—2009
  • Jae Williams, filmmaker—2015
  • Yu-Wen Wu, interdisciplinary artist—2017