Announcing Recipients of 2024-25 QM-Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists

Image: (left to right) Abang-guard (Maureen Catbagan + Jevijoe Vitug), 2022, Photograph by Happy David. Portrait of Umber Majeed. Courtesy of pinkyellow studios, Brooklyn, NY.


The Queens Museum is thrilled to announce the artists selected for the 2024-25 QM-Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists: Abang-guard Abang-guard (Maureen Catbagan + Jevijoe Vitug) and Umber Majeed.

The QM-Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists in New York City grants two visual artists $20,000 each, individual studio space at the Queens Museum, professional development consultations, close mentorship from Queens Museum staff members, and a solo exhibition that will open in 2025.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, this year’s Open Call invited applications to respond to the complex history of the Queens Museum’s site and Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Applicants were encouraged to join the Museum in critically engaging with the present-day implications of the Fair, which idealized American democracy by promoting industrial, international, and domestic cooperation through technology and culture. At the Fair, the Queens Museum building served as “The New York City Building,” a pavilion dedicated to the country’s most populated metropolitan community. The New York City Building envisioned the future of American cities, hosted the awe-inspiring Panorama of the City of New York, and celebrated the rapid industrialization of New York City in the first half of the twentieth century.

Two Asian persons wearing dark blue museum guard uniforms stand in front of a bakery shop.
Image: Abang-guard, Little Manila Monuments: Purple Dough, 2023, C-print, 16 x 20 inches, Courtesy the artists

Abang-guard is a collaborative project between artists Maureen Catbagan (b. Quezon City, Philippines, 1975) and Jevijoe Vitug (b. Pampanga, Philippines, 1977). Catagan received their BFA from SUNY, Binghamton University and MFA from CUNY, The City College. Vitug received his BFA from St. Scholastica’s College, Philippines and MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. Abang-guard explores the intersections of immigration, labor, and visibility. Reflecting on the artistic strategies of the avant-garde, they infuse personal history and art practice with theoretical humor to convey the complexity and nuances between cultural production, institutional structures, and the role of labor. The project began in 2017 through their occupation as museum guards. Since then, Abang-guard has performed Abang-guard Street Museum at DUMBO Art -The Six Foot Platform, Brooklyn, NY (2023); Artists on Artworks: Abang-guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (2022); and Help Wanted! at Governors Island, NY (2022); and at venues including ARoS Public Atelier, Denmark (2022); Abrons Art Center, New York, NY (2021); as well as Flux Takeover! at Socrates Park and Flux Factory, Queens, NY (2019). Recent exhibitions include Invisible Hands at 601 Artspace, New York, NY (2023); in pieces… by Residency Unlimited (RU) at PS122 Gallery, New York, NY (2023); and Invisible Bodies at HUB-Robeson Galleries in Pennsylvania State University (2023).

A white sculpture of ceramic miniature galloping horses in a room with a black and white wall with vinyl designs.
Image: Umber Majeed, Made in Trans-Pakistan, 2022, installation shot- custom vinyl, paint, ceramics, IPAD, Augmented Reality Software, wood, 30 feet x 15 feet, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, Collaboration: Pariah Interactive Studios (Augmented Reality), Nicholas Oh (ceramics), Photo Courtesy: Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY

Umber Majeed (b. New York, 1989) is a multidisciplinary visual artist and educator. She received her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2016 and graduated from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. Her writing, performance, and animation work engage with familial archives to explore Pakistani state, urban, and digital infrastructure through a feminist lens. Majeed has shown in and worked with venues across Pakistan, North America, and Europe. Majeed has had three solo exhibitions; In the Name of Hypersurface of the Present, Rubber Factory, New York (2018); Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth), 1708 Gallery, Richmond, Virgina (2021); and Made in Trans-Pakistan, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY (2022). She is a recipient of numerous fellowships including the HWP Fellowship, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon (2017); Refiguring Feminist Futures Web Residency, Akademie Schloss Solitude & ZKM, Germany (2018); the Digital Earth Fellowship, Hivos, the Netherlands (2018-19); and the Technology Residency, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2020). She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Canada in April 2024. 

The QM-Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists in New York City is supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation.

Jerome Foundation logo

The Queens Museum is housed in the New York City Building, which is owned by the City of New York.

The Museum is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Mayor Eric Adams, the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne E. Adams.

Major funding is generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Jerome Foundation, MacMillan Family Foundation, Mellon Foundation, E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, New York Community Trust, Lambent Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.