PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington artists will have the opportunity to share their creative visions in response to the Black Lives Matter movement with help from a new grant program established by Jordan Schnitzer in partnership with Washington State University’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program will distribute $2,500 grants to 20 artists across the state of Washington who will be asked to use their voices, experiences, and artistic expression to reflect on social justice efforts in response to systemic racism.

“I have often said artists are chroniclers of our time. We all feel anguish about the death of George Floyd and many others at the hands of racial oppression,” said Jordan Schnitzer, president of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. “We, more than ever, need artists to help us understand this issue and help us heal.”

The call for grant applications from Washington artists is part of a broader $150,000 effort funded by Schnitzer that includes similar grant opportunities for Oregon artists as well. The Oregon program is being administered through Jordan Schnitzer Museums of Art at University of Oregon and at Portland State University. A combined total of 60 grants will be issued across both states.

In Washington, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University will work in partnership with the Black Student Union; the Department of Fine Arts; the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race; and the Honors College to determine grant recipients.

“We are committed to fostering greater equity, inclusion, and diversity in all our work, recognizing museums must do more as true allies in places of education, learning and community-building,” said Ryan Hardesty, interim executive director at the museum. “Coupled with progressive programming, art and artists act as powerful agents of social change moving people to new understandings of diverse perspectives.”

Artists residing throughout the state of Washington are encouraged to submit proposals for new work or projects, or recently created work directly responding to: the current Black Lives Matter movement; marginalized communities; experiences with systemic racism and inequality; and artists whose work thematically connects to these experiences. Artists working in all mediums are invited to apply.

Interested artists should submit their applications no later than Sept. 30, 2020. Submission instructions may be found on the art museum’s website beginning on Aug. 4. Selected works may be exhibited online at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s website in late 2020, leading to a gallery exhibition in winter 2021.

Closeup of Jordan Schnitzer
Jordan Schnitzer

A panel is being formed to review the artist submissions which will include: Ryan Hardesty, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU; Io Palmer, Department of Fine Arts WSU; Lisa Guerrero, School of Languages, Cultures, and Race WSU; Trymaine Gaither, Honors College WSU; and Mikayla Makle, Black Student Union WSU. Grantees will be notified by Oct. 31.

“We are grateful to Jordan Schnitzer and his Family Foundation for establishing this critical program enabling the museum to better amplify the voices of artists across Washington state who are engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement,” Hardesty said.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University’s exhibition history includes preeminent national and international artists. Our audiences are connected intimately to the best in life-enriching, forward-thinking art. Since 2018, exhibited artists have included Jeffry Mitchell, Marie Watt, Kate Gilmore, Mark Bradford, Wangechi Mutu, Louise Bourgeois, Kyle Abraham, Chiho Aoshima, and Polly Apfelbaum. In tandem to the museum’s exhibition program is the Collection Study Center. The CSC is a repository of carefully selected artworks and documents, preserved and made accessible; a historical record of visual culture; but most importantly, a tool toward learning and deepened experience.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation’s mission is to share the extensive post-war prints and multiples in the collections with qualified museum through exhibitions and loans in order to further the appreciation of and education associated with the printmaking practice of the major artists of the late 20th and 21st century. Jordan D. Schnitzer grew up surrounded by art in his mother’s Portland, Oregon art gallery. What began as an interest in his formative years became a passion in 1988 when he began collecting post-war prints and multiples in earnest. Attracted by the collaborative and egalitarian nature of printmaking, Jordan naturally developed a program to share the work from his personal and Family Foundation collections in 1997. The collection, which has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections, exceeds 16,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists.

Exhibitions from Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation collections featuring artists of color include: Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar; Emancipating The Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power; Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women; Second Look, Twice; Social Space; and Witness: Themes of Social Justice in Contemporary Printmaking and Photography.

He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 110 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 150 museums. The Foundation publishes scholarly brochures, exhibition catalogs, and catalogue raisonnés in conjunction with exhibitions drawn from the collections. It also funds museum outreach and programming that furthers the mission of promoting education and engaging non-traditional audiences.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University

The museum was established in 1973 and reopened in 2018 as the new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University. Uniquely positioned to transform arts access across the entire Pacific Northwest and beyond, the museum harnesses the combined power and commitment of the WSU multi-campus system and the Schnitzer Constellation of university art museums and collection centers to fulfill the educational mission of WSU in teaching, research, and service.

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