The 2020 recipients of the annual national Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters & Sculptors Grants were announced last week. Among the 25 artists who will receive $25,000 each in unrestricted funds, as well as consultations on career development and financial management, are Texas-based artists Gabriel Dawe and Joey Fauerso. Artist Edra Soto, a former Project Row Houses 2:2:2 exchange artist, was also awarded a grant, as was Houston native Tomashi Jackson (now of Cambridge, MA).
“I am so honored to be amongst the recipients of the Joan Mitchel grant for this year, there are so many incredible artists on the list,” Fauerso wrote in an email to Glasstire. “It was a big surprise to get the call saying that I had received the award; it wasn’t something I was expecting. Joan Mitchell was such a brave, brilliant, and tenacious artist — such an inspiration. And it’s amazing the work her foundation has done and continues to do to support artists. It’s a real legacy of generosity and advocacy.”
“I create my work in an earnest effort to make this a better world,” Dawe wrote in a text to Glasstire. “I see this award as a recognition of that effort and commitment, and in validation of all the sweat, tears, love, agony, and dedication that has gone into it throughout years and years of hard work. I’m very grateful, not only to the Joan Mitchell Foundation, but also to the person(s) who nominated me, and those who were part of the selection process.”
The selection process begins when artists are nominated by their peers and arts professionals across the United States, after which they go though a multi-phase jurying process. This year the process was conducted virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Grantees are also eligible to apply for residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans for the remainder of 2020 and through 2021. (This cycle the focus on the local artist community in New Orleans supersedes the regular process. Nationwide eligibility will continue in 2022.)
This year’s artists reflect a broad range of creative approaches and backgrounds as well as ethnicities, ages, and geographic locations, with 32% of artists self-identified as Black, African, Caribbean, and African American; 20% Asian, East Asian, and South Asian; 12% as Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicanx; and 8% as White and Caucasian. 52% of the artists self-identified as female. From ages 28 to 82 and hailing from 17 states and territories across the U.S., the 2020 grantees reflect a variety of issues and concerns in their work.
“The Foundation first launched the Painters & Sculptors Grants 27 years ago with the vision to support and nurture the lives and careers of working artists, recognizing that creative endeavor is best supported through robust and unrestricted financial support. This year, the $625,000 in unrestricted funds awarded through the Painters & Sculptors Grants builds on nearly $1,000,000 in relief funding that the Foundation will have given by year’s end to the coalition efforts Artist Relief and Creative Response NOLA, and direct aid to former grant recipients in need. All of these efforts are made possible by artist Joan Mitchell’s foresight to establish, in her will, a Foundation that serves the ongoing and changing needs of working artists,” states Christa Blatchford, Executive Director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to recognize the artistic achievements of our new grantees and to continue to offer important lines of support, especially in a year that has brought particular challenges to the artistic community.”
The complete list of 2020 Painters & Sculptors Grants recipients include Zarouhie Abdalian, New Orleans, LA Natalie Ball, Chiloquin, OR, Rina Banerjee, New York, NY, Bahar Behbahani, Brooklyn, NY Sarah Cain, Los Angeles, CA, Luke Luokun Cheng, Falls Church, VA Jesse Chun, Brooklyn, NY, Gabriel Dawe, Dallas, TX, Joey Fauerso, San Antonio, TX Colette Fu, Philadelphia, PA, Reggie Burrows Hodges, Maine Linda Infante Lyons, Anchorage, AK Kahlil Robert Irving, Saint Louis, MO, Tomashi Jackson, Cambridge, MA, Caroline Kent, Chicago, IL, Fred H.C. Liang, Boston, MA, Melissa Melero-Moose, Reno, NV Julio César Morales, Chandler, AZ Demetrius Oliver, New York, NY Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Aurora, CO, Arvie Smith, Portland, OR, Edra Soto, Chicago, IL, Cory Kamehanaokalā Holt Taum, Kahaluʻu, HI, Jordan Weber, Des Moines, IA Didier William, and Elkins Park, PA.
For more about the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the 2020 grant recipients, please go here.