The 2024 Recipients

June, 2024

Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant: Michelle Doll, 54, of Hoboken, NJ; Deborah Druick, 72, of Bronx County; Hongeli Li, 51, of Flushing, NY; Jeff Ostergren, 47, of New Haven, CT  and Robin Tewes, 73, of New York, NY. They will split a grant prize of $35,000 and participate in an exhibition here at PAAM next spring. 

The recipients, who are American painters over the age of 45, are chosen annually from more than 500 applicants, recognized for their talent, as well their ability to greatly benefit from this grant.

The late Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed were students of Hans Hofmann who studied with him in both New York and Provincetown. They were active at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) as artist members, instructors in the summer school, and they served on a variety of committees throughout their 50 years on Cape Cod. Lillian, in particular, was sensitive to the challenges artists face, especially those working against the mainstream or outside of popular schools of art. Her desire to provide financial support to mature artists through this generous endowment gift speaks to her passionate commitment to art created regardless of the demands and whims of the marketplace. 

Grants are offered to American painters aged 45 or older who demonstrate financial need. The primary emphasis is to promote public awareness and a commitment to American art, as well as encouraging interest in artists who lack adequate recognition.


Michelle Doll, 54, of Hoboken, NJ.

Michelle Doll was born in Canton, Ohio and received her BFA from Kent State University and her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2006. She currently lives and works in Hoboken, NJ and is an adjunct professor at the New Jersey City University while also teaching and mentoring artists both in person and online.

Doll writes, “I capture the sweet, physical and metaphysically fleeting moments that we all desperately try to hold on to. By rendering these moments, I explore how these sacred experience are transformed through time, bring to light how memory always changes just a little bit with every recollection. Through the gentle touch between a loving couple or the closeness between a mother and a child, these inspirational and transient moment hold meaning in the creases, crevices, overlaps and fold of connecting bodies. Above all, I want to fill my own life with the positive energy of love, and these painted meditations are a way to both be present with those sensations and set examples for others.”

Deborah Druick, 72, of Bronx County.

Druick writes “The female protagonists in my work present a femininity bound by conformity and the societal pressures restricting self-presentation and messaging. My paintings address issues of gender definition, self-identification, and female objectification. I emphasize and exaggerate stereotypical concepts of perfection, precision and beauty in femininity. In my work duality, stereotypes, ornamentation, patterning and exaggeration are all concepts that I investigate.” 

Honglei Li, 51, of Flushing, NY, by way of China.

As an Asian immigrant artist, I strive to make a strong voice for my community through painting. Since emigrating to the States in 2000, I have resided in Massachusetts and New York’s Chinatowns, where I witnessed endless stories of Asian immigrants – their tragedies, resilience, pain and joy. Yet, through the course studying Eastern contemporary art, I realize(d)(sic) there have been very few artworks addressing the experience of this group of people. To create visual metaphors unfolding the realities of Asian immigrants, I juxtaposed ancient characters and symbols in Asian mythologies with landscapes of Western metropolises.” 

In 2022, Li’s work was featured at Bowne Playground in Flushing, Queens, and Columbus Park in Manhattan. The pops of color invited residents in surrounding neighborhoods to engage with Chinese heritage, immigrant narratives, and the modern reinterpretation of folklore outdoors. The series, The Red String, was created by Li and Lily Yang, an artistic duo known as Lily & Honglei. The project was supported by More Arts, a nonprofit organization with the mission of producing socially engaged public art in New York City.

Jeff Ostergren, 47, of New Haven, CT.

I make art about the intertwined histories of pharmaceuticals and color. My pointillist, color-saturated paintings…infused with actual pharmaceutical and chemicals, utilize imagery from art history and advertising to explore the ecstasy and toxicity of our present moment. I work from images taken from pharmaceutical advertising that bear an uncanny reference to art historical works, particularly from the Impressionist period, which was contemporaneous with the rise of synthetic chemistry. These images of idealized leisure form potent means of understanding representations of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability. 

“The opportunity to have an exhibition alongside other established artists at PAAM would significantly boost my visibility and allow me to build community with fellow grant recipients, local artists, and curators.”

Robin Tewes, 73, of New York, NY.

Robin Tewes writes “I’m interested in how much a single narrative moment can tell us about ourselves and the culture we live in…I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Queens. Class issues are a repeated theme. I have been and still am interested in painting interiors, specifically images of rooms. A home can be a place where one goes to seek protection from the outside world. A room is a place in a home where one creates their own world, and a painting of a room is a safe place where anything can happen.”


The 2024 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant Jurors were Yaelle Amir, Jared Quinton, and Cara Smulevitz. 

Yaelle Amir is a curator and educator currently based in Portland, OR. Her writing and curatorial projects focus primarily on artists whose practices supplement the initiatives of existing social movements—rendering themes within those struggles in ways that both interrogate and promote these issues to a wider audience. She has independently curated exhibitions at Artists Space (NY), CUE Art Foundation (NY), Franklin Street Works (CT), ISE Cultural Foundation (NY), The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NY), Marginal Utility (PA), the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University (NY), and HOLDING Contemporary (OR), among other institutions. Her writing has appeared in numerous art publications including Art in America, ArtLies, ArtSlant, ArtUS, Beautiful/Decay, and Sculpture Magazine, as well as several exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. She has also worked at major art institutions, such as the International Center of Photography (NY), the Museum of Modern Art (NY), and NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Yaelle is the recipient of several curatorial fellowships and awards by regional and national organizations from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland to The Luminary in St. Louis and the Art & Law Program in New York. Her programs have taken place in art institutions throughout the U.S., including Portland’s Newspace Center for Photography, where she was Curator of Exhibitions & Public Programs from 2015 to 2017. She curated the 2019 Portland Biennial (along with Elisheba Johnson and Ashley Stull Meyers), and was recently the 2020-2021 Curator-in-Residence at University of Oregon’s Center for Art Research (CFAR). She is Commissioning Editor (2022-2024) for Critical Conversations, a publishing platform spearheaded by the Ford Family Foundation and University of Oregon. She presently teaches curatorial studies and professional practice at Lewis & Clark College.

Jared Quinton is a curator, writer, and currently the Emily Hall Tremaine Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT. He has organized exhibitions and programs at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Kitchen (New York), Terremoto La Postal (Mexico City), Gallery 44 (Toronto), Abrons Art Center (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Chicago Artists Coalition, the Institute of Fine Arts (New York), and Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago. He writes for Artforum, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, and art-agenda, and has contributed to exhibition catalogues for the Hammer Museum, Blanton Museum, MCA Chicago, and Prospect New Orleans. He has held the Marcia Reid Marsted and Jeffrey G. Marsted Curatorial Fellowship at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship at the MCA Chicago, and the Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study Program, has been a guest critic at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds art history degrees from Williams College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Cara Smulevitz completed a PhD in Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she specialized in Contemporary Art and Gender & Women’s Studies. Her research focusses on the intersections between Contemporary Art and popular culture. Since 2016, she has served as a Professor of Art History at San Diego Mesa College, where she teaches courses in Modern and Contemporary Art History.