Thursday, 20 June 2024 14:42

Five Leading Artists To Receive The 2024 Yaddo Artist Medal

SARATOGA SPRINGS —The Yaddo Artist Medal this year will be presented to four stellar contemporary artists, with a posthumous award to Yaddo alum Chester Himes. The other honorees are Lisa Cortés, Young Jean Lee, Tarik O’Regan, and Amy Sillman, Yaddo announced. 

“It’s a great pleasure for us to continue a tradition that began with the inaugural recipient, Philip Roth, and continues with Laurie Anderson, David del Tredici, Amy Hempel, Martin Puryear and Alfre Leslie,” Yaddo President Elaina Richardson said, in a statement.

The honorees reflect the five artistic disciplines represented at Yaddo and renew the line of Medalists which was interrupted by the pandemic.

Lisa Cortés is a Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning director and producer. She is known for generating bold, explosive art that shines light on important stories hidden from view.

Chester Himes (1909 – 1984) was an internationally acclaimed author, known for his Harlem detective novels, which explored the complexities of race, injustice, and urban life.

Young Jean Lee is a playwright, director, and filmmaker. She is the first AsianAmerican female playwright to have had a play produced on Broadway, and she has written and directed 10 shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company. 

Tarik O’Regan is a London-born composer based in San Francisco. In recent years, much of his work has investigated and been influenced by his dual Arab and Irish heritages. In 2023 he was commissioned by His Majesty King Charles III to compose the Agnus Dei for the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey.

Amy Sillman is an acclaimed visual artist, best known for her rigorous formal engagement with painting and iterative drawings, and an excavation of form lying between abstraction and figuration. Her current solo exhibition To Be Other Wise is currently on view at Gladstone Gallery in New York.

The medal recognizes individuals who exemplify a level of achievement and commitment to their art that reflects the tradition of excellence that has always been a hallmark of the Yaddo residency program, as well as celebrating those who have been supportive and understand the sense of community that it has long promoted among artists. 

“It’s long been our custom to award a medal for achievement and service to two graduating seniors at Saratoga High, and we’d wanted for some time to expand on that tradition in a way that reflected our core history, and century-long commitment, to encouraging, supporting, and inspiring the work of artists and writers,” Richardson said. “One of the many sadnesses of the shut down for us was the interruption in this story, and we were especially eager to play catch up, knowing the additional burdens our artists have faced in recent years. We wanted to celebrate each of the five individually and to raise a glass to all our artists more generally for what they give to our lives.” 

The medals, designed for Yaddo by James Siena, will be presented at an intimate dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Allan Cumming at Gotham restaurant in Manhattan on Nov. 21. 

Tables and individual tickets are available now and can be purchased at or by calling 518-584-0746.

Yaddo’s mission is to provide artists with time and space to explore and define ideas and create new work. Founded in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, this artists’ community is located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs. Yaddo hosts around 300 residents annually for two to eight weeks, at no cost to the artist. Over 6,500 individuals have created work at Yaddo—literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry), paintings, photography, sculpture, music, dance, film, and performance pieces—that have helped shape the contemporary cultural landscape and touched millions of lives.

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