News Release

Associate Professor Lamar Peterson awarded 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship

Portrait of Lamar Peterson
Associate Professor Lamar Peterson. Credit: Rik Sferra

Lamar Peterson, an associate professor of art in the College of Liberal Arts on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, has been awarded a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

Peterson’s selection comes after a rigorous application and peer review process, one in which just 188 individuals were selected from almost 3,000 applicants based on outstanding achievement and exceptional promise.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been named as a fellow,” said Peterson. “During my Guggenheim Fellowship, I will travel to rural Georgia to research and rediscover forgotten Black artists and their artworks. Through collecting oral histories and engaging with communities, my goal is to challenge conventional narratives, honor the resilience of these overlooked artists, and connect with my father's artistic legacy.”

Peterson was born in Florida and is based in Minnesota. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Inspired by elementary school bulletin boards, educational activity books, and crepe paper streamers, Peterson’s graphic portraits depict contemporary African American men and women in quasi-abstract and absurd settings. He evokes issues of race, community, and social and economic upheaval through a candy-coated filter with a darkly comedic effect. 

“Lamar Peterson’s art is deeply thought-provoking and impactful,” said U of M Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson. “This Fellowship is a recognition of outstanding accomplishments over a stunning 20-year career. We are honored to count him as part of the University of Minnesota community. ”

Peterson was previously awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. He has featured in previous solo exhibitions at The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; Rochester Arts Center, Minnesota; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; University Art Museum at SUNY, Albany; Deitch Projects, New York; and Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis.


About College of Liberal Arts
For more than 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) has played a central and enduring role in shaping lives, for the good of Minnesota and the world. CLA is the largest college in the University of Minnesota system with nearly 500 world-class faculty instructing more than 12,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students. CLA is home to 31 academic departments and 20+ interdisciplinary research centers in the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Learn more at

About the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted nearly $400 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are more than 125 Nobel laureates, members of all the national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, Turing Award, Bancroft Prize, National Book Award, and other internationally recognized honors. For more information on the 2024 Fellows and their projects, visit the Foundation’s website at

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