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Four visual artists have been selected to each receive a $15,000 grant and to participate in the 2021 gener8tor Art program.
gener8tor Art is a free,12-week accelerator designed specifically for visual artists to achieve greater visibility and success by providing the support and mentorship needed to navigate the art industry. Of the top accelerator programs in the country, Milwaukee-based gener8tor is the only one to offer grants and programming for artists.
The following artists and collaborators have been selected to receive the grant awards and positions in the program: Phoenix Brown (Milwaukee, WI); Jessica Harvey (Milwaukee, WI); LaNia Sproles (Milwaukee, WI); and Hope Wang (Chicago, IL). The selected artists are incredibly diverse in their artistic practices, which include painting, collage, weaving, installation, drawing, printmaking, photography, video and social practice.
Phoenix Brown uses painting, printmaking and drawing to highlight dialogues around Black feminism, personal narrative and pop culture. She uses diverse mediums and methods of making to confront western art history’s portrayal of nature, still life, and the Black female body.
Jessica Harvey uses photography, video, sound, archival resources and objects constructed from everyday materials to create images and installations that focus on memory and place, with a particular emphasis on the role of women in personal or familial histories. Through humor and tragedy, Harvey creates a new way of re-evaluating life, death and the mythology of our own history.
LaNia Sproles uses printmaking, drawing and collage to interwork philosophies of self-perception, queer and feminist theories, and inherent racial dogmas. Her work focuses on the black femme body as a location of trauma and compromised autonomy, while the figures in her work act as a reclamation of space as a queer Person Of Color.
Hope Wang specializes in weaving, screen-printing, painting and photography to create trompe l’oeil documentations of sites of industrial labour, including building facades that have been eroded, redacted or defaced. By focusing on these architectural “scars,” Wang explores how people form complicated relationships with the structures of their daily lives.
“I am excited to work with such a talented group of artists,” said Maureen Ragalie, Director of gener8tor Art “I look forward to working with these artists not only on their creative practice, but also on creating a sustainable business structure to support their creative practices.”
The artists were selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants after multiple rounds of application reviews and virtual studio visits. They were chosen based on a jury’s gauge of the artist’s talent, the compelling nature of their bodies of work, their strong career goals, their ability to be significantly impacted by the program, and the social impact of their work. The six jurors represented a cross-section of art industry professionals, including curators, gallerists, artists and academics.
gener8tor Art’s 2021 jurors included: Danny Báez (Co-Founder and Director of MECA International Art Fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Co-Founder and Board Member of the ARTNOIR Collective, and Director of Regular Normal Gallery in NYC); An Duplan (trans* poet, curator and artist, Founder of the Center for Afrofuturist Studies and Program Manager at Recess in NYC); María Del Mar Frederique (Director of MECA International Art Fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Program Officer at Titin Foundation and Project Manager for JustKids); Lucy Mensah (Independent curator and Assistant Professor of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago’s School of Art & Art History); Nicole Soukup (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Minneapolis Institute of Art); and Vincent Uribe (Director of LVL3 Gallery in Chicago and Director of Exhibitions at Arts of Life, Inc.).
Brown, Harvey, Sproles and Wang will participate in the 2021 gener8tor Art program starting on June 3. The 12-week program is completely free for participants and includes coaching, mentoring and networking with gener8tor staff, as well as visual art leaders from Milwaukee and across the country. It ends in August 2021 with a showcase for the artists to present their work to industry professionals, supporters and community members.
In addition to the 12-week accelerator, gener8tor Art hosts free professional development webinars, with topics including: creating a budget for your art project; preparing for a virtual studio visit; digital strategies for artists; and how to write an artist statement. gener8tor Art also hosts an art collector education series for new collectors, with topics ranging from the art market to how to buy artwork from auction houses. You can sign up for future webinars on the gener8tor Art website.
gener8tor Art is made possible through support from the American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact.
gener8tor is a turnkey platform for the creative economy that connects startups, entrepreneurs, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships focused on entrepreneurs, artists and musicians. gener8tor.com
gener8tor Art is a 12-week accelerator program for visual artists. gener8tor Art helps artists achieve greater success by providing the support and mentorship needed to maintain a sustainable practice and navigate the industry. https://gener8torart.com/
The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact is a venture capital firm and partner of choice for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building scalable, sustainable businesses in a long-term effort to close equity gaps in America. The Institute invests in companies working to provide economic opportunity for all, to build resilient communities, to create healthy youth development and to increase learning and academic achievement. It is based in Madison, Wisconsin and can be found on social media @AmFamInstitute or on their website amfaminstitute.com/.