Now in its second year, the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice is offered in partnership with the Hemera Foundation, and supports artists who work with the intersection of social practice and contemplative practice.
The 2017 ABOG Fellow for Contemplative Practice is Aviva Rahmani, whose Blued Trees Symphony is described here.
How do I apply for the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice?
You can apply for this fellowship using the same online application as the main ABOG Fellowship. When you complete the online form you will be asked if you are interested in being considered for the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice, and if so, asked to answer two supplementary questions.
What do you mean by “contemplative practice”?
We see contemplative practices as both practical and transformative—they develop capacity for change at both an individual and a global level. We consider a broad range of both secular and traditional or religious contemplative practices, and leave the definition of “contemplation” open to the artist to make a connection.
Do I need to adhere to a specific and/or formal school of thought in my contemplative practice in order to be eligible for the Fellowship?
No. Developing your own contemplative practice is encouraged, and a full range of traditions is welcome.
Are you looking for social practice projects that specifically involve or thematize contemplation?
No. While you are welcome to apply if you do have a project that engages in meditation or contemplation with a group, this is not a requirement.
Are you asking me to frame my artistic project as a contemplative practice?
No. We are asking what your contemplative practice is, and how it relates to your artistic practice more generally. Applicants who reframe their project as a contemplative practice will not be considered competitive.
If I apply for the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice am I ineligible for the main ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art?
No. Applying for the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice does not make you ineligible for the general fellowship pool. By applying for the Contemplative Practice track you automatically apply for both.
Can I apply with two different projects, one for the ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice and another for the main ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art?
No, you can only apply with one project and submit one letter of interest.
What are your criteria for deciding this Fellowship?
For the Fellowship in Contemplative Practice, we are looking for three things.
- We are looking for a socially engaged art project that exemplifies our curatorial vision.
- We are looking for evidence that the project is being done by an artist whose contemplative practice is fertile and rigorous.
- We are looking to understand a meaningful, if not direct, relationship between the artist’s contemplative practice and artistic practice.
The 2017 ABOG Fellow for Contemplative Practice is Aviva Rahmani.
What is the purpose, and what are the goals of this Fellowship?
The answers you provide to the additional questions in this Fellowship inform a body of research about the relationship between artistic practice and contemplative practice.
A primary focus of ABOG’s curatorial vision is to learn more about how artistic practice is evolving, so that we can advocate for an expanded field of artistic practice. We want more art for more people in more places.
This Fellowship directly helps us in furthering our curatorial vision by providing both quantitative and qualitative data about how artists view and utilize contemplative practice, relate (or don’t relate) to traditional religion, and translate or incorporate the perspective shifts that come from contemplative, religious, or spiritual practices in their work.
This research process is iterative and open-ended. We are starting with very basic questions, and do not have a hypothesis beyond knowing that contemplative practice can inform artistic practice in interesting ways.
What did you learn last year, and how does that inform what you’re looking for this year?
We are primarily interested in the number of applicants who chose to apply in this framework—last year 171 out of 534 applicants provided information about their contemplative practice. That’s a lot—32%!
We additionally found trends toward artists actively responding to religious upbringing; a bias toward secular approaches to contemplation; and a pronounced desire for artists applying to create a unique pastiche of practices that is personally meaningful.
We found that artists tended to see both a political link and a link to process when writing about the relationship between their contemplative and artistic practices. This political link was most apparent for artists working to reclaim non-western religious practices under a decolonizing framework.
Not sure whether your project is a good fit? Have questions about the application process? Send us a short description via email (not the whole application document), and allow 2-3 business days for a response: firstname.lastname@example.org