A Blade of Grass Announces the 2015 ABOG Fellows for Socially Engaged Art

Clockwise, from top left: Sol Aramendi, Adaku Utah, Kerry Richardson and Steven Ciampaglia, Nigel Poor, Laura Chipley, Mary Mattingly, Suzanne Lacy, and Dread Scott.

A Blade of Grass is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art!

Seven artists and one artist collective—Sol Aramendi, Laura Chipley, Steven Ciampaglia & Kerry Richardson, Suzanne Lacy, Mary Mattingly, Nigel Poor, Dread Scott and Adaku Utah—will receive an ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art, a one-year fellowship that pairs $20,000 in unrestricted project support with strategic assistance, assessment and documentation of each project, access to facilities, and other tailored resources. Fellows applied via a nationwide open call that yielded 510 initial applicants and were chosen for their outstanding artistic ability, the innovative and ambitious quality of their proposed projects, and the viability of their projects in everyday life. Two independent selection committees made up of a diverse group of arts professionals with administrative, artistic, community organizing and curatorial experience evaluated applicants’ proposals and made respective first and second round selections.

About the 2015 ABOG Fellows for Socially Engaged Art

SOL ARAMENDI is an artist, educator, and founder of Project Luz, a nomadic physical and conceptual space for immigrant communities to learn, create, and communicate. Her ABOG Fellowship will support Apps for Power, a smartphone-based app developed in collaboration with immigrant day laborers, artists, organizers, developers, and lawyers, that will fight wage theft by allowing users to safely share their experiences and report abusive and neglectful employers.

LAURA CHIPLEY is a Queens, NY-based interdisciplinary artist and Assistant Professor of Media and Communications at SUNY Old Westbury. Her ABOG Fellowship will support The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol (AMP), a collaborative, environmental watchdog multimedia education initiative that will train people in Boone County, West Virginia to document environmental contamination resulting from coal and natural gas extraction in the Appalachian Mountains.

STEVEN CIAMPAGLIA AND KERRY RICHARDSON are artists, educators, and co-founders of The Plug-In Studio, a mobile studio that brings technology-based art-making to youth and families in underserved Chicago communities. Their ABOG Fellowship will support The Street Arcade, a collaborative, community-based, new media art project that uses videogame design as a platform for young artists to explore social issues important to them. The games will be projected in storefront windows in Chicago’s Hyde Park and Washington Park neighborhoods where they can be played by passersby.

SUZANNE LACY is an artist whose prolific career includes performances, video and photographic installation, critical writing and public practices in communities. Her ABOG Fellowship will support The Quito Project, an artwork intersecting public, legal and educational institutions’ efforts to fight violence against women with a populous organizing project in Quito, Ecuador, that will culminate in a public performance in November 2015.

MARY MATTINGLY is an artist working in varied forms of sculpture and photography focusing on environmental, economic and political change. Her ABOG Fellowship will support Swale, an itinerant food forest that will function as a floating island in New York City. After an initial year of planning and collaborative building with community groups, nurseries, and schools, Swale will be open for public visits and will welcome participation in maintaining the forest and collecting fresh food.

NIGEL POOR is a San Francisco-based artist, photographer, and Professor of Photography at California State University, Sacramento. Her ABOG Fellowship will support the San Quentin Prison Report Radio Project, an ongoing collaboration with incarcerated men at San Quentin State Prison that creates original audio pieces about life in prison for broadcast on public radio.

DREAD SCOTT makes revolutionary art to propel history forward, working in a range of media including performance, photography, screen-printing, video, installation and painting. His ABOG Fellowship will support Slave Rebellion Reenactment (SRR), a community-engaged artwork that will reenact Louisiana’s German Coast Uprising of 1811, the largest rebellion of enslaved people in American history, on the outskirts of New Orleans.

ADAKU UTAH is an educator, organizer, and performance ritual artist committed to healing and liberation within oppressed communities. Her ABOG Fellowship will support Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational healing village committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, all-body loving, all-gender honoring, community spaces that recognize, inspire, and deepen healing for people who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color and allies.

For more information on the ABOG Fellows for Socially Engaged Art, click HERE.

About the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art

Through active training, incubator-style workshops and professional consultations, the Fellows will be given tools to assess their own progress, as well as gain feedback from peers, community stakeholders, and objective, third-party evaluators. A Blade of Grass will also produce three-to-five minute documentaries on each project that will be accessible on abladeofgrass.org and at public screenings, extending the experience of these works beyond their immediate communities and illustrating some of the distinct challenges and advantages presented by socially engaged art. This documentation will complement the online debates, studies and resources that make up ABOG’s online “DISCUSS” forums and public programs. Collectively, these resources will bring clarity and excitement to socially engaged art through inclusive discussions on key topics and through direct exposure to these and other ambitious artworks.

A Blade of Grass is committed to supporting individual artists via its fellowship program for the next five years. Over this time frame the program will amass fifty case studies that will serve a larger discourse about the value of socially engaged art—how it works, what it looks like, and what can be accomplished. “These are artists who are changing what art is, who it’s for, and what it does,” said Deborah Fisher, Founding Executive Director of A Blade of Grass. She continued: “We nurture these artists in a way that is specifically geared toward increasing the effectiveness and visibility of their work, and understanding its value within a larger culture.”

Thank you Field Supporters!
The ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art is made possible by the generous First Field contributions of our board members and friends, and by the leading support of our esteemed Groundbreakers, Agnes Gund, Eva Haller, Shelley Frost Rubin, and Linda Schejola.

See more articles tagged:  
Adaku UtahDread ScottLaura ChipleyMary MattinglyNigel PoorSol AramendiSuzanne LacyThe Plug-In Studio

By Mary Mattingly
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