This is the latest edition of BA’s biweekly digest of Southern contemporary art news-in-brief. Submissions for items to be included in future editions may be sent to the editor.
ATLANTA—The Forward Arts Foundation (FAF) has announced that the award previously known as the FAF Emerging Artist Award has been renamed the Edge Award in honor of Bob and Betty Edge, longtime supporters of the arts in Atlanta. The renamed award, along with new criteria for receiving it, will be presented in April. For the past 20 years, the Forward Arts Foundation has presented the Emerging Artist Award to an Atlanta-based artist annually; recent winners of the award include Curtis Ames, Andrew Boatright, Kelly Romany, and Kelly Kristen Jones.
“Twenty years is a milestone that deserves reflection and review,” said Leslie Morgan, chair of the Edge Award selection committee. “Our hope is to propel the career of local visual artists in an impactful and long-lasting way.”
The changes to the award and its new title reflect, in part, a desire to support what the FAF describes as “early- to mid-career visual artists of merit.” (However, artists with gallery representation or who have had a major solo exhibition are ineligible for the award.) In addition to a $10,000 grant and a solo exhibition at Swan Coach House Gallery, the recipient of the Edge Award will also receive a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center.
Disclaimer: BA Editor Logan Lockner is a member of the Edge Award selection committee.
NEW YORK—Creative Capital has announced the recipients of its latest round of awards, including 58 artists working on 50 different projects. Each project will receive up to $50,000 in funding and another $50,000 to support artists’ career development, totaling more than $5 million in funds awarded this year. Recipients of the award include New York-based artist Allison Janae Hamilton, who will create a large outdoor sculpture installation and cultural research hub in her native North Florida, and Brooklyn-based artist Ja’Tovia Gary, whose forthcoming experimental film The Evidence of Things Not Seen will blend interviews, animation, and archival footage to investigate intergenerational trauma and African American heritage. New Orleans-based artist Garrett Bradley will use the funds awarded to create a project supporting those dealing with the incarceration of a family member or loved one. Find a complete list of this year’s awardees here.
HAPEVILLE, GA—Artists Whitney and Micah Stansell, both frequent creative collaborators and a married couple, have won a $45,000 commission and national artist call to “transform a pedestrian bridge in Hapeville into a public art experience.” Located in Metro Atlanta near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, in close proximity to the neighboring cities of East Point and College Park, Hapeville has been the site of two one-night-only “art crawls” organized by Atlanta-based organization Dashboard, who will produce the Stansells’ project. According to officials from the City of Hapeville, the public art project is part of the city’s plan to make Hapeville “Metro Atlanta’s arts community, where artists can live, work, and share their art.” The bridge project, to be completed this spring, will feature a sign identifying the city, a mesh roof that includes an LED display, and thousands of kinetic, aluminum disks.
ATLANTA—Street artist Ray Geier, also known as “Squishiepuss,” was set to open a gallery and event space at the Grant Park development The Beacon Atlanta on January 12 of this year. In the weeks preceding the planned opening, disturbing allegations of sexual harassment and abuse were directed at Geier, primarily through social media.
In a statement to Atlanta alt weekly Creative Loafing, artist Aliya Smith said, “This has been whispered around Atlanta, especially though the art scene, and especially among women, for years… I’d had a couple of uncomfortable interactions with [Geier] by that point, and he made sexual comments about photos of mine that made me deeply uncomfortable.”
After Smith and others in the Atlanta street art community began sharing screenshots of offensive, misogynistic tweets posted by Geier (formerly @rayspitsongirls on Twitter), The Beacon Atlanta issued a statement announcing their relationship with Geier had been terminated. In response to the uproar, a group of female-identified Atlanta-based artists, curators, and arts workers are organizing a group exhibition and accompanying public programs addressing sexual harassment and misogynistic violence in the city’s arts community. The exhibition, “If I told you…” is set to open at The Beacon on February 14, Valentine’s Day. Many of Geier’s works around Atlanta have been removed or are in the process of being removed, largely by female-identified artists and activists.
BOSTON—The VIA Art Fund has announced the recipients of its 2018 grants. Since 2013, the organization and its patrons have funded a variety of arts initiatives including original artworks, educational programs, publications, and institutional acquisitions. This year’s grants funded the creation of artist Kevin Beasley’s project “A view of a landscape,” on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York through March 15, as well as David Hammons’s forthcoming public art installation Day’s End, a “ghost monument” to late artist Gordon Matta-Clark. Other grantees include Los Angeles-based contemporary art quarterly X-TRA, the artist-run super PAC For Freedoms, and ICA LA curator Jamillah James. Find the full list of grantees here.
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC) has received a $580,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support growth initiatives at the facility and its satellite location, the Atlanta Art Conservation Center (AACC) in Georgia. According to a statement from the WACC, the grant will significantly “expand AACC’s resources, enhancing its importance as the first regional art conservation center in the Southeast.” The AACC was founded in 2001 as a partnership between the WACC and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta. This grant will allow AACC to double its staff of full-time conservators, in addition to providing funds for internships and workshops for museum professionals and working artists.