Breaking news: After this morning’s announcement, Idea Capital‘s previous grant cycles look downright timid compared to its latest, kick-the-door-in roster of visionaries receiving between $500 and $1,500. Not only has the number of grants increased to seven from the six awarded in 2009, the artistic proposals are more ambitious, more specific, and share several themes with each other. The Idea Capital selection committee obviously understands the symbolic value of giving: Collectively, these projects shout from the rooftops that this is an award for true Atlanta patriots.
From the press release:
“Chosen from 55 entries, the seven projects will be undertaken by artists in various genres, all of whom have a vested interest in sustaining a vibrant and engaging arts community in the Atlanta metropolitan area.”
The largest grant of $1,500 goes to Michi Meko, whose proposal for White Gold describes a refurbished arcade game that riffs on Southern history and turns “the gallery or museum patron into a leisurely cotton picker.” The smallest award goes to Gyun Hur, whose proposal was inspired by a blog post titled “Stay Here in Atlanta.” Her contribution could possibly qualify as a performance, but Idea Capital categorizes it as a “social project,” possibly to underscore the sincerity, simplicity, and urgency of her task: writing letters, visiting studios, and buying lunches for young artists to convince them make Atlanta their home. As I’ve stated elsewhere, combating brain drain is the number-one challenge facing the arts in our city.
To quote Heath Ledger’s haunting final performance in the The Dark Knight, “It’s not about the money. It’s about sending a message.”
Two other projects incorporate regional subject matter. George King‘s Lonnie Holley Project will become a film biography of an Alabama artist, while Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier‘s Unraveling Miss Kitty’s Cloak will materialize as a site-specific installation of photography and sculpture in Oxford, Georgia, memorializing a slave named Catherine Andrew Boyd.
However, simply claiming a regional identity isn’t enough: How do these artists set a fresh foot forward, and what do they have to say that’s relevant for the world today? Experimental music by Klimchak and a literary podcast by Amy McDaniel and Natalie Lyalin show that Atlantans aren’t afraid of taking risks, using new technologies, or even inventing creative tools that don’t yet exist. And, to take things further, not knowing what to expect is an integral part of Blake Butler‘s process: His literary project is to compose an entire novel in 50 days.
Visit the Idea Capital website to learn more.
Disclosure: Louise Shaw, co-founder of Idea Capital, is a member of this publication’s Board of Directors. BURNAWAY is committed to featuring work that we feel contributes to important discourse in Atlanta. In our commitment to transparency, our policy is to disclose instead of exclude.