Idea Capital Gives 2017 Grants to Atlanta Artists

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Bubble Girl, puppetry by Raymond Carr.
Bubble Girl, puppetry by Raymond Carr.

Idea Capital, the funding group that supports Atlanta artists’ projects, has announced the winners of its 2017 grants.

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The award amounts range from $500 to $1,500 and this year cover a number of projects focusing on themes in the South, including a fashion show of wearable sculptures addressing issues of nature, race, gender and religion; a comic book about narratives of hope and failure in sports films; and an installation behind Carson McCullers’s childhood home in Columbus, Georgia; and a photography project documenting immigrants living in FEMA camps in Georgia.

Since its establishment in 2008, when a single grant of $500 was awarded to Alison Rentz, Idea Capital has given over 70 grants totaling over $60,000 with funds raised from the advisory committee and private donations.

The artists and projects that receive funding this year are:

Sarah Hobbs (video)


In her first foray into video work after a long career as a photographer, Hobbs’ “Manifesto” will take her interest in representing extreme psychological states to the next level, with a performer acting out an intense psychological experience in a short film.

Joseph Bigley (performance)

Examining the use of fear in religion, politics and capitalism to influence and intimidate, Bigley will use woodworking techniques to create a musical instrument crafted from a wooden casket. The instrument in “Sphere of Influence” will play an array of hymns, anthems and commercial jingles to convey its themes.

Chris Chambers (multimedia)

Chambers will create a comic book “Super Duper Sportsball Follies of Man” based on the conventionalized narratives of aspiration, failure and celebration found in sports films.

Bella Dorado (performance/installation)

The multimedia show “de Aqui, de Allá: Stories in Spanglish” will examine the American Latino experience through performance, a salon, bookstore and gallery shows in a multimedia event to highlight the creativity and experience of Atlanta’s Hispanic (or “Latinx”) community.

Gnarled, by Charity Harris.
Gnarled wearable sculpture, by Charity Harris.

Charity Harris (fashion/visual arts)

Harris will create a conceptual fashion show/performance, “Southernoids II” using textiles and sewing to create “wearable sculptures” that will examine the South’s difficult history with nature, race, gender and religion.

Kirstie Tepper (curatorial)

The curatorial collective Selvage will create an installation, “The Mystery of Stark Alley” which uses the alley behind author Carson McCullers’ childhood home in Columbus, Georgia to convey the literal and figurative dividing lines of race, class and public and private in the South.

Steve Morrison, film still of Air.
Steve Morrison, film still of Air (Opera for Yeast in One Act).

Steve Morrison (animated film)

“Air (Opera for Yeast in One Act)” is an animated opera film in which rising bread dough will convey the rhythms of breath rushing in and out of the mouth.

Olga Sidilkovskaya (photography)

Photographer Sidilkovskaya will use black and white silver gelatin photographs to document the landscape and architecture of FEMA camps used to house immigrants and others in Georgia for her project “Just Camping.”

Photo by Olga Sidilkovskaya.
Photo from Olga Sidilkovskaya’s project Just Camping.

Adam Forrester (R&D)

Part media archive, part traveling exhibition, and part printed tabloid, “Devil Town” examines the sordid history of the artist’s hometown, Phenix City, Alabama, where local officials allowed a criminal network of drugs, gambling and prostitution to flourish, leading to the city’s nickname as the “Wickedest City in America.”

Raymond Carr (puppetry)

Puppeteers Raymond Carr and Raymond Wade Tilton will create a multimedia performance “Raymond Vs. Raymond: The Black and White Show” to address the multifaceted theme of black and white.

Melissa Word (dance)

Word’s duet for white female dancers featuring an original composition, “Country Club” is a meditation on race, power and privilege in the American South.

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