The Joan Mitchell Foundation is pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of our annual Painters & Sculptors Grants, which provide 25 artists with $25,000 each in unrestricted funds. The recipients are:
Felipe Baeza, Brooklyn, NY
Cindy Cheng, Baltimore, MD
Yanira Collado, North Miami, FL
Elisabeth Condon, New York, NY
David Antonio Cruz, Brooklyn, NY
Elliot Doughtie, Baltimore, MD
Addoley Dzegede, Portland, OR
Krista Franklin, Chicago, IL
Doreen Garner, Brooklyn, NY
EJ Hill, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Jarrett, Portland, OR
Elizabeth Malaska, Portland, OR
Joiri Minaya, Bronx, NY
Maia Cruz Palileo, Brooklyn, NY
Wendy Red Star, Portland, OR
Naomi Reis, Brooklyn, NY
Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Silver Spring, MD
Kenny Rivero, New York, NY
Lauren Roche, Minneapolis, MN
Evelyn Rydz, Boston, MA
Blair Saxon-Hill, Portland, OR
Nyugen E. Smith, Jersey City, NJ
Juana Valdes, Miami, FL and Amherst, MA
Jose Villalobos, San Antonio, TX
Brittney Leeanne Williams, Chicago, IL
The unrestricted nature of the grants aligns with artist Joan Mitchell’s recognition that having the time and freedom to create is as important to the development of one’s practice as support for specific endeavors. As such, the Foundation, whose mission was set forth in Mitchell’s will, remains committed to providing artists with the flexibility to determine how best to use the grants to advance their careers. In addition to the financial support, recipients of the Painters & Sculptors Grants become eligible to apply for residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans and gain access to a network of arts professionals, who can provide consultations on career development and financial management.
To be eligible for a grant, artists are nominated by artist peers and arts professionals selected from throughout the US, and are then chosen through an anonymous multi-phase jurying process. Over the last several years, the Foundation has increased its attention to equity and access in the selection process, expanding the pool of nominators and jurors to include more geographic, ethnic, and experiential diversity and ensure that the nominees reflect a spectrum of backgrounds and approaches to their work. Among this year’s class of Painters & Sculptors grantees, more than 70% of the grantees identify as female and approximately 80% as non-white, with those identifying as Black, African, African-American, and Caribbean comprising 36% of that number and Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicanx individuals 20%. The artists also range in age from 28 to 59 and hail from 10 states across the US.
The grant recipients' work represents a wide range of artistic techniques, approaches, and concerns, and engages with such pressing issues as migration, identity, notions of belonging, and representation within the art historical canon and in social and political spheres, among other important subjects. The final selections for the grants are made with a particular eye toward artists whose work has contributed to important artistic and cultural discourse, but who have nonetheless remained under-recognized on a national level.
“Joan Mitchell recognized the essential need to support artists in the process of creating. We at the Foundation hear regularly from artists, at all career stages, that many of the challenges they face stem from a lack of support structures for visual artists, and a belief that support for art can be separated from support for artists. We remain dedicated to providing unrestricted funding through our Painters & Sculptors Grants, as a way to acknowledge that each artist knows what is best for them and what will best serve the next phase of their practice,” said Christa Blatchford, CEO of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. “We are delighted to announce and welcome our 2018 recipients. Their work is exciting and compelling, and certainly deserving of greater recognition.”
The announcement of the 2018 grantees coincides with the launch of Widening Circles: Portraits from the Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Community at 25 Years, a project developed by the Foundation to examine the impact and importance of ongoing support for artists. Widening Circles is comprised of a book and companion exhibition, which opened on December 6, and features testimonials and studio portraits by 25 artists. The project captures the real-life experiences of working artists and highlights the realities and business of being an artist, underscoring the importance of financial stability to artistic innovation and the need for and nature of meaningful funding. The exhibition will remain open through May 31, 2019 at the Foundation’s offices at 137 W. 25th Street, 2nd Floor, with public hours Tuesdays through Fridays from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.