Multimedia Artist Leo Castañeda, Classical Musician Peter Eom and Multidisciplinary Artist James Sprang have been named 2023-2024 YoungArts Artist Fellows

MIAMI, FL (September 7, 2023) – Leo Castañeda, a 2006 YoungArts award winner in Visual Arts; Peter Eom, a 2013 winner in Classical Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts; and James Sprang, a 2008 winner in Visual Arts have been named 2023-2024 YoungArts Artist Fellows, the organization announced today. YoungArts Artist Fellows are given funding, space and consultation to develop new work, significantly enhancing YoungArts’ goals of supporting award winners throughout their artistic careers. 

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for artists to continue their creative journey with YoungArts. This fellowship demonstrates YoungArts’ commitment to providing the resources artists need to pursue the production and distribution of their boldest ideas,” said Lauren Slone, senior director, artistic programs at YoungArts. “Leo, Peter, and James were selected not only for the high caliber of their work but also for the inventiveness and creativity of their vision. I cannot wait to see them bring their dreams to fruition and to experience their brilliant work alongside communities throughout the nation.” 

Leo Castañeda is a video game director and multimedia artist exploring posthuman interaction design and plans to use the fellowship to create a new transmedia, immersive installation series displaying videogame artworks, 3D animation videos, wearables, paintings, and augmented reality. His work will engage diverse audiences at Florida Supercon 2024 and other gaming conferences. The YoungArts Artist Technology Fellowship is supported by a multi-year grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to grow YoungArts’ support of artists in Knight cities as they embrace emerging technologies in their creative practices. 

Cellist Peter Eom aims to deepen the classical music experience through collaboration with fashion and dance. Releasing during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2025, he will collaborate with designer Rosemarie Umetsu to create brand-new fashion pieces that derive inspiration from a curated program of musical works, which Peter will present in concert with concert pianist and fellow YoungArts award winner Chaeyoung Park. He will also collaborate with dancers and choreographers to elevate the visual storytelling capacity of both the music and fashion. This fellowship, which is reserved for a New York- based artist, is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. 

YoungArts Artist Fellow James Sprang will use his fellowship to create “Rest Within the Wake,” an audiovisual installation consisting of a 45-minute orchestral composition played through the nation’s only 4DSound system, a large-scale weaving of cyanotypes on paper, and several smaller visual works. Audiences are invited to experience the world premiere of the original score, September 25-30 at Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

The YoungArts Artist Fellowship program supports mid-career artists and is awarded annually by a panel of artists and staff. Recent Fellows include Roderick George (2003 Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Molly Joyce (2010 Classical Music), Noah Putterman (2005 Theater & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and Nia Akilah Robinson (2014 Theater). 

About the artists

Leo Castañeda 

YoungArts Artist Technology Fellow supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 

2006 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts 

Leo Castañeda is a video game director and multimedia artist exploring posthuman interaction design. His artwork primarily takes form in episodic games and immersive installations that meld Latin-American Surrealist painting, virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables, video, and sculptural furniture. Castañeda is a 2023 Knight Arts + Technology Fellow, 2022 Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute Praxis Projects, and a 2022 Harpo Foundation grantee. He is a former resident of the Bronx Museum AIM Program, SOMA Mexico City, Oolite Arts, and Khoj International Artists Association in New Delhi India. He has exhibited at Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel; Espacio ArtNexus Bogotá; Children’s Museum of Manhattan; Digital Museum of Digital Art, Indiegrits; South Florida Cultural Consortium; Locust Projects, Miami; Frost Museum of Science; and Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Colombia. His work has been featured across Rhizome, ArtNexus, Killscreen, El Pais, El Nuevo Herald, Spike Art Magazine, and Vice. In 2022 Castañeda launched Miami’s first fine-art video game studio, Otro Inventario. 

Peter Eom

YoungArts Artist Fellow supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund

2013 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Armed with a versatility of creative interests ranging from literature to fashion, cellist Peter Eom has been hailed for his “flowing, lyrical quality of sound” and “agility, purity of intonation, and sureness of taste” (Harald Eggebrecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2022). Peter has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, MusicaNova Orchestra, Universal Music Group, YoungArts, and Americans for the Arts, among others. A devoted chamber musician, Peter is the cellist of the Rolston String Quartet, first prizewinner of the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition and heralded as “one of the very best in a quartet-rich age” and embracing an aesthetic that is “spotlessly clean, with never a routine phrase” (Kenneth DeLong, Calgary Herald, 2022). His recent chamber engagements include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the chamber music societies of Calgary, Munich, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tulsa, Vancouver, and others. His diverse chamber music career has led to collaborations with artists including Joshua Bell, Peter Frankl, Augustin Hadelich, Paul Neubauer, David Shifrin, and members of the Dover, Emerson, Miró, and Tokyo String Quartets. Peter has taught chamber music at Duke University, the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Texas at Austin, and Yale University and cello performance at Northwestern University and the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto. Outside of Classical music, Peter counts among his artistic collaborators distinguished directors, fashion designers, poets, dancers, and many others, including Bill T. Jones, Larry Weinstein, Rosemarie Umetsu, Jacomo Bairos, and Marjan Naderi. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, he strives to multiply the expressive potential of each art form and to tell stories that give voice to the voiceless. Peter holds degrees from Colburn Conservatory, Northwestern University, and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He is grateful to count such distinguished musicians as Clive Greensmith, Gary Hoffman, and Hans Jørgen Jensen to be among his mentors. 

James Sprang 

YoungArts Artist Fellow 

2008 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts 

James Sprang is an artist, technologist and researcher producing work that celebrates the sensory experience of Black life. Currently based in Philadelphia, he received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from Cooper Union. James has completed more than twenty residencies internationally and in 2022 was the recipient of the Pew Fellowship and the Knight Foundation Art + Tech Fellowship for his work with the only 4DSound system in the nation. James has exhibited at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Storm King Art Center, The Kitchen, Baryshnikov Arts, The Public Theater, TATE Modern (UK), and MONOM (Germany), among others. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, Art in America and Art Papers. 

About YoungArts

Established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison, YoungArts identifies exceptional young artists, amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom. YoungArts provides space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10– 12, in the United States that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. 

For more information, visit youngarts.orgInstagramYouTubeFacebook, or Twitter.

About Knight Foundation

We are social investors who support a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers.

About Rockefeller Brothers Fund

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is a philanthropic foundation with a mission to advance social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Through grantmaking, convening, and mission-aligned investing, the RBF supports the people and organizations building lasting solutions to challenges facing today’s increasingly interdependent world.  

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Leo Castañeda, Peter Eom, James Sprang. All photos courtesy of the artists.