Congratulations to Orange County artists Chris Ogden, Monica Sanchez and William Paul Thomas who will receive 2016 Emerging Artists Grant Awards! The Annual Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Durham Arts Council (120 Morris Street) in downtown Durham. Brief summaries of their funded projects are as follows:
Chris Ogden (Photography), Chapel Hill: His project is to create and publish an initial run of a limited edition, fine art photography book from his long term project, “Nature Revealed: Written on a Quarry Wall.” He will feature a series of diptych pairs pulled from his eight year project of fine art, industrial, and hybrid photos made in rock quarries across the country.
Monica Sanchez (Literature), Chapel Hill: Her project is to attend at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Winter Conference in New York, NY during February 2016. This conference will enable her to meet the leading editors and agents in the children’s book industry, take writing workshops so that she can continue developing her craft, and network with other children’s book authors. Now that she has a completed manuscript, the next step is to get it in front of editors and agents, with the goal of having it published.
William Paul Thomas (Film/Video), Chapel Hill: During January 2016, with a prime lens, microphone, and SD card provided by this grant, he will record and edit footage for the second iteration of his project, “TEEF: Good for the Soul.” In the midst of all the turmoil and rampant violence happening around the country, he thinks it is imperative that we all identify creative strategies to counter negative energy with life-affirming interventions. He collects short audio clips from men recounting personal moments of happiness. His goal is to compose an ongoing series of poetic and endearing living portraits that stitch together the lives of a diverse group of men using their own words. For the second iteration of this project, he would like to integrate the voices of women connected to the portrait subjects to add a layer of psychological and emotional depth to this compilation.
Emerging Artists Grants are career development project grants intended to assist artists in all art forms to take the next step in developing their artistic careers. 112 applications were submitted for the 2016 grant cycle and 16 applications were awarded grants. Three levels of review involving 40 individuals evaluate the applications by three criteria: the strength of the work sample, the feasibility of the proposed project and the impact of the project on the artist’s career development.
The Emerging Artists Grant Program is administered by the Durham Arts Council coordinating with the local arts agencies in the partner counties: Orange County Arts Commission, Chatham Arts Council, Person County Arts Council and the Granville Education Foundation.
The first grant program in North Carolina dedicated to artists’ career development, the Emerging Artists Program has awarded 500 grants totaling $553,456 to artists such as jazz vocalists Nnenna Freelon and Lois Deloatch, installation artist Bryant Holsenbeck, photographer Roger Manley, painters Beverly McIver and Jacob Cooley, sculptor Francis Vega, and violinist Nicholas Kitchen.
Launched in 1984, the brainchild of Dr. James H. Semans and Mary D.B.T. Semans, Ella Fountain Pratt, the North Carolina Arts Council and Michael Marsicano, then Executive Director of the Durham Arts Council, the Emerging Artists Program believes in recognizing artists as they grow, rather than after a life-time of achievement.
The program is funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Durham Arts Council Annual Fund, the partner county agencies and contributions from individual donors.
For more information, contact Margaret DeMott, Director of Artist Services at the Durham Arts Council, at email@example.com or 919/560-2720.