Chlese Jiles receives Hambidge Center Fellowship

Jiles’ book “Going” is about loss, love and hope.

Argent Financial Group announced today that Ruston artist Chlese Jiles is the recipient of this year’s Argent Fellowship for the Hambidge Center’s Creative Residency Program. Jiles will begin her two-week residency at the Hambidge Center this summer.

Author and illustrator of two books, “Going” and “Growing Together: Where Community Meets Gardening,” Jiles is skilled in figure drawing, painting and illustration. She has also participated in the painting of two murals in Ruston, as well as exhibited in several community art exhibitions.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this incredible program,” said Jiles. “I’m passionate about making art that serves others and am looking forward to spending time creating and telling new stories.”

A Louisiana-native, Jiles graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in fine arts and studio arts with a concentration in digital illustration. In the summer of 2021, she was selected as an artist-in-residence for the Ross Lynn Charitable Foundation & Campti Field of Dreams Art & Ag Fest. In her own work as a black woman, Chlese is particularly passionate about telling stories that depict herself and people like her in ways that she didn’t see much growing up.

“The entries for the Argent Financial Fellowship are always compelling, but we knew Chlese’s skill and creativity were particularly special,” said the Hambidge Center Executive Director Jamie Badoud. “We can’t wait to see what she creates while at the Hambidge Center.” 

“It is an honor to be a part of this experience and support the arts within our local community,” said Argent Financial Group CEO Kyle McDonald. “We are inspired by Chlese’s work and are pleased to have the opportunity to see what she experiences through this residency.” 

Residents of Ruston who work in writing, visual arts, dance, ceramics, culinary arts or music were eligible to apply for the Argent Financial Distinguished Fellowship. The program offers a $700 stipend along with a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia. All applicants were evaluated by the Hambidge Center’s panel review process.  

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