ArtsMemphis is pleased to announce six Shelby County visual artists have been awarded a 2019 ArtsAccelerator Grant. These incentive grants are for artists at a critical juncture in their careers and are intended to deepen and expand artistic work to advance the grant recipient’s artistic accomplishments.
This year’s recipients are: Sharon Havelka, Jed Jackson, Chuck Johnson, Lacy Mitcham, Aisha Raison, and Juan Rojo.
Each artist will receive a grant of $5,000. This year is the first year six Individual grants were awarded, an increase from five in previous years. A total of $135,000 has been distributed to a total of 31 artists since the grant’s creation in 2013.
Grant decisions are made by a rotating three-member panel of artists, curators and visual arts professionals. This year’s panel included Julian Kreimer, Associate Professor of Painting and Art History at SUNY Purchase College, Alicia Henry, Professor of Art, Fisk University and Charo Oquet, artist and founding director of Edge Zones in Miami.
Here is an excerpt from the comments of judge Julian Kreimer:
“Having the chance to look through the works of so many different kinds of artists from Memphis felt like a visit into the heart of the city, away from the tourist sites and into the real city, where people are transforming their experiences--the rich [and] raucous history; the contentious and often moving present; the many interwoven communities themselves--into personal visions in mediums as different as quilted and woven textiles, on film, in metal and stone, on canvas, paper, bottle caps, glass, and any other material I could have imagined. Making things well is hard, and making things well is exhilarating. While only a few artists get this prize, the process allowed me a glimpse of a larger vision, of a city of passionate makers, struggling in the tough and beautiful path of putting their vision out into the world for others to see through their eyes the richness of Memphis.”
ArtsMemphis values equity and inclusion in our grant-making, and is pleased to note that four of the six grant recipients are artists of color and three are women. The Artist Advisory Council – volunteer artists, curators and collectors – also value providing support for emerging artists, and this year, two of the grant recipients identify as early career artists. Each of these artists will be profiled in the coming weeks on ArtsMemphis’ social media channels. Follow us @artsmemphis to learn more about these “passionate makers” and through their eyes to see the “richness of Memphis.”