Michaelis School of Fine Art to host Tierney Fellowship Workshops.

The Tierney Fellowship was created in 2003 by the Tierney Family Foundation to encourage promising artists in the arena of photography. The principal objective of the Fellowship is to find the future leaders in photography and to support them in conquering the challenges that an artist faces at the beginning of his or her career.

The aim of the fellowship is twofold: encouraging fellows to produce a new body of work and creating a global community of artists that functions as a crucial support network in an increasingly competitive field. The Fellowship supports the recipients both financially, by way of a grant, and technically and conceptually, with mentorship and guidance from experts in the field. 

Fellows remain an important part of the programme after the conclusion of their structured mentorship. Seminars and critiques are held throughout the year to facilitate interaction between all current and past recipients, encouraging discussion about their photography, work experience and lives as artists.

Initially, in 2003, Tierney fellows were selected from prestigious United States east coast art schools, such as Bard College, Yale University School of Arts, the International Centre of Photography, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Parsons the New School for Design and School of Visual Arts. This was then rolled out to include prominent art schools and universities in South Africa, Mexico, China and India. After ten years of global Tierney fellowships, from 2014 only the South African fellowships have continued to be funded by the Tierney foundation.

The Tierney Fellowship programme ran for the first time in South Africa in 2008. In South Africa, partner intuitions include WITS School of Arts, The Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and the Market Photo Workshop. This years recipients are Sitaara Stodel (Michaelis), Tsepo Gumbi (MPW) and Nocebo Bucibo (WITS). 

At the end of the fellowship their work is sent to New York where it has previously been shown on New York Photo Week or Photoville and also on Rencontes de Bamko, Mali. We also try to have a group show for the fellows in South Africa. Fellows have also been required to put together a catalogue, which documents their work and the fellowship process.

The Tierney fellows are mentored internally (from within the host institution) and mentors include Svea Josephy, Jean Brundrit, Jo Ractliffe, Rory Bester and John Fleetwood. Market Photo has also appointed mentors such as Pieter Hugo, Mikhael Subotzky and Nontobeko Ntombela. Fellows have also been mentored from outside the institution, by experts in the field. Since 2008 these have included Stephen Shore, David Goldbaltt, Roger Ballen, Mikhael Subotzky, Santu Mofekeng, Stephen Hobbs, Tracey Rose, Tembinkosi Goniwe, Dave Southwood, Pieter Hugo, Penny Siopis, Berni Searle, Jane Alexander, Paul Weinberg, Jeremy Wafer, Kathryn Smith, Patricia Hayes, Guy Tillim, Michael Godby, Stephen Inggs, Noeleen Murray, Hasan and Husein Essop, Riason Naidoo, Rael Salley, Mary Sibande, Dan Halter, Marilyn Martin, Ernestine White, Nomusa Makhubu, Adam Haupt and Hentie van der Merwe and others who have generously given of their time.