Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art announces Black Lives Matter Artist Grant winners

Troy Riley Miles, I am Human

PULLMAN, Wash.The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU, in a partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, announced the grant recipients for the Black Lives Matter Artist Grants today.

The winning artists will each receive $2,500 to fund the creation of art that communicates the voices, experiences, and artistic expression of social justice efforts in response to systemic racism. Works from each of the artists are scheduled to be exhibited at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU beginning in the fall semester of 2021.

“The museum is considerably impressed with the grant winners’ collective artwork, and looks forward to exhibiting their talents in the Fall of 2021,” said Ryan Hardesty, interim director of the museum and a member of the selection jury. “We’re confident the exhibition of these artists’ works will raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, and feel grateful to have been part of this process.”

The WSU Schnitzer Museum’s 20 recipients are: Aisha Harrison, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Hasaan Kirkland, Rene Westbrook , Troy Riley Miles, Jasmine Iona Brown, Robert J Lloyd, Grace June, Zinda K Foster, Whitney Evans, Jennifer Kuhns, Cynthia Camlin, Myron Curry, Jackie Schaubel, Derek E Johnson, Maya Milton , Bonnie Hopper, Tracy Poindexter-Canton, Damon Brown, and Felicia Follum.

Aisha Harrison, Ancestor, 2018

“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.”

Artists residing throughout the state of Washington were encouraged to submit proposals for new work or projects, or recently created work directly responding to the Black Lives Matter movement; marginalized communities; experiences with systemic racism and inequality; and work thematically connected to these experiences. Artists working in all visual mediums were invited to apply. The application process opened on Aug. 1, 2020 and closed Oct. 31, 2020.

“The jury was honored to select 20 grant recipients from over 70 creative and deserving submissions,” Hardesty said. “We would like to thank all the applicants for their commitment to racial justice and encourage them to continue their valued work. Of the 20 artists selected, the jury gave considerable forethought to insure the awardees exemplify the strongest connection to the Black Lives Matter movement and to confronting systemic racism. It was important to the jury that a wide and innovative selection of artistic practices be represented from installation and sculpture to film and painting.”

Lisa Myers Bulmash, You Got What I Need, 2019

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University worked in partnership with WSU’s Black Student Union; the Department of Fine Arts; the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race; and the Honors College to determine grant recipients. The panel selected to review the artist submissions included 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.

Mikayla Makle, WSU Black Student Union (president) and member of the jury discussed the grant award process by saying, “This artist’s grant has not only provided me with the opportunity to work with an amazing panel of jurors, but it has also allowed me to be witness to impactful and nuanced artistry. I appreciated gaining knowledge throughout this process about the conceptualization of art, as well as developing a prophetic appreciation for the stories surrounding it.”

Visit the BLM Artist Grant Winners webpage for more information about the artists and to see more of their work.

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