Rob Ickes Wins United States Artist Fellowship
50 Artists from Eight Disciplines Recognized as Among "America's Finest Artists"
December 7, 2010 - New York
United States Artists, an organization dedicated to supporting America's finest artists working across diverse disciplines, announced the selection of Rob Ickes as the 2010 United States Artists Cummings Fellow at a ceremony tonight at the Lincoln Center.
The USA Fellows program awards a $50,000 grant to fifty artists each year in the disciplines of music, theater arts, visual arts, dance, literature, media, crafts/traditional arts, and architecture/ design. United States Artists was formed by the Ford Foundation in 2005 with $22 million in seed funding from The Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations, with a mission "to invest in America's finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society." Previous USA fellows from the field of music have included Homespun's Michael Doucet, among other luminaries.
Ickes is the first artist with roots in bluegrass music to be named a USA Fellow. His work spans multiple genres, and Ickes plans to use his fellowship to continue to explore "the vast musical potential that the dobro has to offer," and to raise the visibility of the instrument.
An active session player and touring musician, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Merle Haggard, Earl Scruggs, Tony Rice, Charlie Haden, David Grisman, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, David Lee Roth, Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Peter Rowan, Claire Lynch, andMary Chapin Carpenter. Rob is also a gifted resonator guitar teacher; in 2007, he founded ResoSummit, a three-day annual instructional event in Nashville, featuring leading Dobro players and luthiers as faculty.