ATHENS, GA—Since 1962, Lou Stovall has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., but his artistic journey comes full circle this year, with a return to his birthplace of Athens, Georgia, to receive the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award from the Georgia Museum of Art. The museum presents this award annually to a living African American artist who has a strong connection to Georgia and has made significant but often lesser-known contributions to the visual arts tradition of the state. Stovall will receive the award at the museum in April.
Shawnya Harris, the museum’s Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, shares, “When I first came to Athens, I immediately thought of Lou Stovall since I recalled that this was his birthplace. To finally honor an artist whose work and collaborations with other artists has inspired communities for so many decades, is an important aspect of the Thompson Award. We look forward to welcoming him back to his native Athens.”
Harris is also organizing the exhibition “Lou Stovall: Of Land and Origins,” which will be on display at the museum from February 19 to May 29, 2022. It will include several silkscreens from Stovall’s 1974 series “Of the Land,” which form the basis of a book of art and poetry called “Of the Land: The Art and Poetry of Lou Stovall,” edited by Will Stovall and due to be published by the Georgetown University Press in 2022.
ATLANTA—Eighteen cultural leaders of color from across South Arts’ nine-state region have been selected to participate in professional development and networking opportunities. These leaders will participate in a free multi-day professional development program specifically for arts administrators of color. This second Southern cohort will build on the success of South Arts’ first cohort and Western States Arts Federation’s ELC program, which has been attracting, training, networking and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010.
This partnership program between South Arts and colleagues at WESTAF provides tools, continued learning opportunities, and a network to administrators of color who seek to move into leadership positions in the arts and culture sector.
The 2022 Emerging Leaders of Color cohort includes:
Karla Aguayo (Arts4All Florida, Tampa), Trey Carlisle (Music in Common, Atlanta), Elizabeth Colón Nelson (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Jerald Crook (Higher Ground Society, Auburn), Ferin Ellesse Jones (West Baton Rouge Museum, Port Allen), Kimberlyn Elliott (Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, St. Augustine), Frank Estrada (University of Mississippi Department of Art & Art History, Oxford), Patrice Johnson (Arts Huntsville), Vaughn Newman (Vaughn Newman Dance, Greenville), Leigha Porter (PARC Village, Lafayette), Jacquelyn Pritz (DanceATL Incorporated, Atlanta), Victoria Rae Moore (TINYisPOWERFUL, North Charleston), Brandon Reid (National Museum of African American Music, Nashville), Antonio Renteria (Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, Fayetteville), Shannon Stokes (Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County), Bernice Sykes (Quitman County Arts & Cultural Center, Marks), Gavin Wigginson (PRIZM Ensemble, Memphis), Nieta Wigginton (Whistle Work, Lexington).
MCCOMB, MS—The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the recipients of its Fall 2021 grants. Among those awarded program support over two years is McComb-based Pike School of Art – Mississippi, which was awarded $60,000. The Fall 2021 list, which includes twenty first-time grantees, features organizations notable for their innovative and enduring support for artists through exhibitions, residencies, commissions, publications, and a wide range of public programs that engage critically with artists’ ideas.
The Pike School of Art’s community engagements in 2022 include a collaboration with Charles Edward Williams, a resident artist at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Center for Art and Public Exchange; a commissioned site-specific installation by the Sea Level Rise Architectural Intervention Institute (S.L.R.A.I.I.); and plans for Feminist Summer Camp at the Pike School, a unique, ten-day residency program for adults of all genders which focuses on exploring, educating, and redefining contemporary feminism through creative exploration.
NEW ORLEANS—The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), supported by the Wagner Foundation, announced the 2021–2022 Creative Assembly Cohort, a multidisciplinary group of New Orleans-based creators selected to engage with the institution in a year-long exchange of ideas and inspiration. The Creative Assembly Cohort is a group of creative minds who will immerse themselves within the museum’s collection and use the institution as a catalyst for their own work and creativity.
“The Creative Assembly Cohort model is revolutionary within the museum field,” said Nic Brierre Aziz, Community Engagement Curator at NOMA. “Through this program, NOMA is supporting exceptionally talented and creative individuals, giving them the freedom to ‘choose their own adventure’ within a field and institution that has been historically distant from them.”
Members of the 2021–2022 Creative Assembly Cohort include: hospitality activist, sommelier, and bartender Ashtin Berry; performance artist and dancer Frankie Canga; artist, teacher, community food justice organizer, and mental health advocate Courtney Clark; perfumer, herbalist, breathwork teacher, and craniosacral therapist Kathleen Currie; singer, violinist, percussionist, member of Les Cenelles ensemble, and professional bookbinder Joseph Darensbourg; trumpeter, musician, and artist Steve Lands; poet, writer, and educator Tiana Nobile; pop and electro musicians People Museum (Jeremy Phipps and Claire Givens); and dancer, choreographer, and educator Edward Spots.
NEW YORK—Creative Capital announced fifty new Creative Capital Awards for 2022 totaling $2.5 million in artist support. The grants will fund the creation of innovative new artists’ projects by fifty-nine individual artists working in the performing arts, visual arts, film, technology, literature, and socially engaged and multidisciplinary practices. Each project will receive varying amounts up to $50,000 in direct funding, supplemented by career development and networking services to foster thriving artistic careers.
Recipients include Virginia Beach-based “blk disabled animal, stutterer, and artist” JJJJJerome Ellis, Miami-based choreographer Pioneer Winter, and Houston-based interdisciplinary artist Jasmine Hearn. The fifty projects in the visual arts, performing arts, film, literature, socially engaged and multidisciplinary practices were selected from more than 4,000 applications.
ALABAMA—The Verdant Fund is a collaborative effort of Alabama Contemporary Art Center (Mobile), Coleman Center for the Arts (York), and Space One Eleven (Birmingham), established as a partner in the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program in 2019. The Verdant Fund is proud to announce the results of its inaugural re-granting cycle for projects born of and within Alabama. In 2021, Verdant Fund awarded over $60,000 in grants to Alabama artists creating and presenting outward-facing, community-based projects.
From a highly competitive group of applicants, projects were reviewed by a panel of professionals that ultimately selected the following nine artists to receive up to $7,000 in funding each, for a grant total of $60,125.
The 2021 recipients of the Verdant Fund include: Alex Alvarez, Douglas Baulos, Tony Bingham, Jasmine Cannon, Wendy DesChene, Carey Fountain, Karen Brummund, Allison Grant, Holland Hopson, Tyler Jones, and Chintia Kirana.
NORTHPORT, AL—Kentuck Art Center has been approved for a $10,000 Challenge America award to support Kentuck’s Boxes of Joy. This project will provide monthly art kits to children living in three public housing communities of Northport, Alabama. Kentuck Art Center’s project is among 168 projects across America totaling $1,680,000 that were selected to receive fiscal year 2022 funding in the Challenge America grant category.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Kentuck Art Center that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Kentuck Art Center in Northport, Alabama is among the organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”
With funding from the Challenge America grant, Kentuck is able to expand the program from serving forty children to now providing monthly craft kits to one hundred children. In addition to the expanded distribution of monthly craft kits, Kentuck Art Center is also able to offer in-person activities at the West Circle Community with professional artists, a special day of family activities on Kentuck’s campus called, “Day of Joy,” and a mentorship program to five rising high school seniors from the Northport Housing Authority.
DURHAM—Three years in the making, a monumental bronze sculpture by Wangechi Mutu has arrived inside the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University—its first sculptural commission. Fifteen feet long and with a wingspan of twelve feet, MamaRay is part human, part manta ray and part supernatural creature.“
“MamaRay is a triumphant goddess figure, a protective guardian who will further connect our building to the surrounding green landscape and the sky above our glass-and-steel roof,” said Trevor Schoonmaker, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. “Wangechi’s work is an expression of Black feminine power, but it is also a response to the natural world around us and an embodiment of our interconnectedness. It’s an iconic work that will no doubt become part of the museum’s identity.”
According to the artist, MamaRay envelops and emerges from the space around her, demonstrating a harmony of balance and strength, as well as a tenderness encapsulated by the sheer force of nature. “My work is to understand how we can all co-exist on this planet,” Mutu said. “So when I’m creating I find tranquility with my surroundings and within myself. It’s all about putting into the work all of the best of what I’ve inherited and learned, so that I can understand how to exist with others as well as reveal how the misery, the crisis and the chaos we created are the oldest way we unfortunately learn what peace and equality really are.”
DOTHAN—The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) received two grant awards from the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) for the museum’s 2022 biennial exhibition and upcoming website redevelopment. Each award is in the amount of $7,800.
B22: Wiregrass Biennial is an exhibition showcasing recent work by contemporary artists across the Southeast, illustrating the South’s rich cultural heritage, and building on a reputation of excellence and high artist engagement from past WMA biennials. Grant support from ASCA supports the exhibition’s promotion and installation, cash prizes for artist awards, and related public programming. This grant award also ensures that WMA can continue in its work to create greater cultural equity for artists, by eliminating submission fees.
The second grant from ASCA supports the upcoming redevelopment of WMA’s website, which will allow the museum to better connect with its broad, diverse audiences. Website redevelopment will focus on ease of use, access to learning resources, and will increase accessibility for digital users with visual impairments through strategies like keyboard navigability and alt text.
“Both awards from ASCA directly support WMA’s efforts to remove barriers to our programs and resources, and to further build equity for the artists we work with as well as the general public. We look forward to meeting the growing demand from the public for greater access to art, art education, and the museum,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, the museum’s executive director and curator.