$150,000 in Artists Grants Awarded Through ‘THE NEW NORMAL Rockport’

by Christopher Blay September 4, 2020

THE NEW NORMAL RockportForty-three Rockport artists have been selected to receive $150,000 in grants to create new works of art reflecting life in Rockport during COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter protests, and an unprecedented 2020. Fine Line Group, the Family offices of Sasha and Edward P. Bass, awarded the grants through THE NEW NORMAL Rockport” program. Glasstire covered a similar program by the group, The New Normal, Fort Worth, which launched in April.

The program was developed by Mrs. Sasha Bass in partnership with program administrator Lauren Saba Childs, and seeks to empower local artists to create a lasting visual record of this historical moment in time, and [bring] the people of Rockport together to share, process, and heal through art.”


Jay Wilkinson, PPE, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

As was announced in the open call,  NEW NORMAL applicants were ask to submit a statement of purpose related to the impact their work could have on the Rockport community. The selection panel, including members from the Rockport Center for the Arts, the Art Museum of South Texas, Moroles Art Co., and K Space Contemporary (Corpus Christi), then reviewed and scored the applications, awarding the top 43 artists $2,000 grants each to fund their proposed artwork. Nineteen of the forty-three artists also received an additional $3,000 award, having scored higher than the other applicants.

The selection panelists from Rockport Center for the Arts were Luis Purón, Executive Director, and Elena Rodriguez, Curator of Exhibitions. Panelists also included Sara Sells Morgan, Director of the Art Museum of South Texas, Michelle Smythe, K Space Contemporary’s Executive Director, and Suzanna Moroles, Founder of Moroles Art Co., and Jesús Moroles, archivist and curator.

States panelist Luis Purón:“2020 will be remembered for its abundant uncertainty and its lack of direction. That changed for Rockport’s art community when THE NEW NORMAL Rockport launched. This one-of-a-kind grant initiative puts desperately needed income directly into the hands of our local artists, whose shows and exhibitions have been repeatedly cancelled, not just over the last few months, but for the last several years. We are grateful to the Fine Line Group and the Gallery of Dreams for investing in Rockport’s artists, and we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the continuing support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation. Together, they are not only making a real difference for our artists, but they are helping to create of a body of work that documents our town’s hardship and resilience.”

Says the founder of THE NEW NORMAL, Mrs. Bass, along with her husband Edward P. Bass: “Capturing the artistic richness of this city, which is so close to our hearts, THE NEW NORMAL provides critical funding to gifted artists whose work will bring the community together, both to reflect on recent events, and also, to celebrate Rockport’s strength. Rockport’s artistic soul and generous spirit were on full display in every artist’s submission. United by a firm belief in the power of art to galvanize healing and change, every applicant proposed work thatreflected the different ways this diverse community struggles with and overcomes challenge, encouraging all of us to listen, reflect, and join with our neighbors to heal.”

The  list of grantees include the following recipients of the $5,000 grants:

Mae Burke, Anita Diebel, Debra Chronister, Debra Chronister, Stan Irvin, Kelly Schaub, Miriam Braniff, Steven Russell, Jamie Speck, Shirley Blackman, Juleanna Fuller, Sally Mitchell, Diane Johnson, Marnie Long, Rebecca Rice, Barbara Sparkman, Carol Koutnik, John Martell, John Martell, and Maria Nesbit.

Among the remaining artists, all received $2000 in funding:

Teenya Barnard, Angalee DeForest, Danya Heck, Kacie Mahlmann,Eric von Seibert, Betty Shamel, Janice Bartke-Thompson, Mike Catlin, Robin Hazard, Fern Olson, Michael Pence, Barb Robinson and others.

For the complete list, please go here.

THE NEW NORMAL Rockport artists will be featured in a future exhibition once it is safe to publicly gather.

For more information on THE NEW NORMAL Rockport, please go here.

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