Announcing the 2020 Indiana Heritage Fellowship Recipients
Indiana University’s Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) will recognize two master traditional artists as 2020 Indiana Heritage Fellows in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their artistic traditions and service to their Hoosier communities. Delores “Dee” Nierman, a fourth generation rag rug weaver and fiber artist from Brownstown, and Bob Taylor, an award-winning woodcarver from Columbus will be honored. This is the second year that TAI has presented this award, patterned after the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowships. The Indiana State Senate recognized the fellowship program in 2019 with a resolution that observed that the awards “honor and celebrate the state’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.” The 2020 Indiana Heritage Fellowship Ceremony is supported in part by the "Indiana Remixed" initiative of the IU Arts and Humanities Council.
“Dee Nierman is a prime example of what the Indiana Heritage Fellowships are about,” notes Jon Kay, Director of TAI. “She continues a family craft tradition that has been passed down in Indiana since before the Civil War.” Kay adds that while her art is “traditional” it also connects Dee to her community today, “She is known as the ‘Rag-Rug lady’ all across the region.” Similarly, master woodcarver Bob Taylor began whittling at eight-years-old and carved as a pattern-maker once grown. In retirement, he has impressed many with the photographic detail of his ‘memory carvings.’ Kay explains, “Both Dee and Bob are examples of artists who began their crafts in their youth, nurtured their skills throughout their lives, and have become recognized masters in their later years.”
In accordance with Indiana University’s ongoing response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, this event has been postponed. Traditional Arts Indiana is currently working to reschedule the Indiana Heritage Fellowships, and we hope to hold this event later in Fall 2020