Ken Gonzales-Day Examines Racially-Motivated Killings, Past and Present

Ken Gonzales-Day, “Hands Up,” 2015. Chromogenic print.

Ken Gonzales-Day (2012 Visual Arts) will premiere his Creative Capital-supported project with the solo exhibition, Ken Gonzales-Day: Run Up, on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles from April 4 through May 9, 2015. Run Up is the latest chapter in Gonzales-Day’s acclaimed Erased Lynching series, selections of which have been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution, the Norton Museum of Art and numerous private collections, and exhibited in museums and galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Vienna, Mexico City and other major cities. I connected with him to learn more about this timely project.

Jenny Gill: Your past work has involved a lot of archival research, exploring histories of racial profiling and racially motivated crime. These issues have really come to the forefront in the past year with the shootings of Trayvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Ferguson, and other police violence. Did this body of work shift in response to those current events?

Ken Gonzales-Day: The work is directly informed by recent events but my research on vigilantism and lynching began in 2000. The early research looked at the lynching of Mexicans and other people of color in California as a way of expanding our understanding of the history of lynching in the United States, and to more accurately reflect its impact in the American West. My book, Lynching in the West: 1850-1935 (Duke, 2006) included over 350 cases of lynching and vigilantism in California and was able to document the many communities of color that were touched by this history. This new series of works grew out of that research but it is also responding to both the similarities, and the differences, between lynching and the kinds of racialized violence that are occurring today. Continue reading

Announcing the Launch of our 2015 On Our Radar Site

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“Thousands of incredible projects come to us during our application process. Even though we can’t fund all of them, On Our Radar gives us a chance to give exposure to even more adventurous artists.” 
– Ruby Lerner

We are pleased to announce Creative Capital’s On Our Radar site for 2015, featuring nearly 400 artists’ projects from across the country!

In our ongoing efforts to find innovative ways to support artists, we created On Our Radar, a searchable database featuring noteworthy Moving Image and Visual Arts projects that advanced to the second or third round in last year’s highly competitive award selection process. Although the featured projects were not ultimately funded by Creative Capital, we feel they are projects to watch and we invite you to explore them.

During each grant round, we have the great privilege of learning about a wealth of exciting artists’ projects, but Creative Capital is only able to fund a small percentage of the applicants each year. We hope that by promoting projects “on our radar” to our community of artists, patrons, arts professionals and other friends, we can forge connections that lead to new support and collaborative opportunities.

We invite you to begin exploring On Our Radar to discover an impressive array of artists’ projects from across the country!

Snapshot: Amy Smith Talks Money in Miami Financial Literacy Workshop

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“This financial Creative Capital workshop has helped clarify topics that were still slightly mystified. Through Amy’s clear communication and descriptions of these scary money topics, I can now say in confidence that I can hold a long, financially sound future as a professional artist.”
– Natasha Lopez DeVictoria, Participant, 2015 Financial Literacy Workshop in Miami

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Creating an “Artists Raising Kids” Community

Andrew Simonet with his sons Nicolo & Jesse.

Last fall, we hosted a new Creative Capital webinar titled “Artists Raising Kids,” led by choreographer and dad Andrew Simonet. The number of passionate responses we received clued us in to a real need for conversation on the subject of artists-as-parents. Artists in the Creative Capital community (and beyond) are eager to share what they know and to learn from one another. One artist who participated in the webinar told us: “[I learned] that I’m not alone! It’s great to find out there are other people out there with similar concerns, and coming together and talking and exchanging resources, building community, is great.”

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Carlos Motta Celebrates Gender Performance in Web-Based Project “Gender Talents”

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On June 22, 2014, a trans woman in Cali, Colombia, was harassed—verbally and physically—by two police officers in a public area of the Diamante neighborhood.  Because the woman, Tania Marcela Camelo, was both empowered and informed of her rights as a Colombian citizen, she immediately filed a complaint to the police station with the help of the Santamaría Fundación. The mission of the foundation is to promote this sort of empowerment of trans individuals, but they, and many other similar organizations around the world, struggle against stigmatization and a lack of realistic portraits of women like Tania.

Carlos Motta has spent the past few years creating an archive of documentary video portraits of activists and people who perform gender as a personal, social and political opportunity rather than as a social denunciation. His Creative Capital project, Gender Talents, debuts next week with the public launch of the Gender Talents web platform. We spoke to Carlos about his goals for the project.

Alex TeplitzkyGender Talents purports to focus on activists who “perform gender as political, personal and social opportunity rather than a condemnation.” How did you come about this angle of looking at gender? What are some of your own experiences with others seeing gender in this negative light that made you want to produce this project?

Carlos Motta: Gender Talents departs from my project We Who Feel Differently, another web project and video archive where I interviewed dozens of LGBTI and queer activists around the world about the history, development and contemporary state of sexual and gender politics.

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Snapshot: Professional Development Workshops in Cary & Atlanta

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Andrew Simonet (center, in blue) leads a group of artists in PDP’s Cary, NC workshop.

The Creative Capital workshop has helped me to see the work I do in a different light: it is valuable, marketable and not something I should apologize for. My personal art practice should not come second to the work I do to make a living—permission to prioritize!
Cara Hagan, Participant, Core Skills Weekend Workshop, Cary, NC

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Photo Gallery: Seven Elements, 24 Artists, One Workshop

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Artist Particpant Troy Burton (standing) presents during the day-long “The Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing” workshop.

“It is a privilege to be able to get this quality of information and these amazing presentations from amazing human beings.”
—Dulce Pinzon, Participant, Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing Workshop

Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program (PDP) bid farewell to February with a full day of activity in our New York City office. Building on the success of our popular webinar, “The Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing”, with Brian Tate, we offered 24 artists a chance to sit down with Brian and his team of experts, including k. Neycha Herford, Caroline Hendrix and Kevin McAleer, to dig deep into the qualities of a successful marketing strategy—from the philosophical to the technical. The workshop was generously underwritten by Tequila Herradura, and participants were selected through a lottery process.

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Creative Capital Artists at Art Fairs & Shows Across NYC

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Still from “Lessons of War” by Peggy Ahwesh at Microscope Gallery’s Moving Image Art Fair booth

Creative Capital artists are everywhere in New York this week! Don’t miss our 15th Anniversary Exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, featuring more than 30 incredible Creative Capital Artists, and be sure to look for work by our awardees at fairs across the city.

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Paul Beatty Talks Poetry, Psychology and His New Novel, “The Sellout”

"The Sellout" (left); author Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty‘s Creative Capital-supported project, The Sellout, is being released today by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel is a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. The book is already receiving rave reviews, including one from Dwight Garner of The New York Times, who wrote, “The first 100 pages of The Sellout are the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.”  We recently caught up with Paul to ask about his background in poetry, his study of psychology and his writing process.

Jenny Gill: You were a Poetry Slam champ and published two books of poetry before you published your first novel, White Boy Shuffle, in 1996. How did that background inform your approach to language when you started writing novels? Do you still write poetry?

Paul Beatty: Poetry has had a huge impact on how I approach literature. Slamming not so much. Poetry is the backbone to how I think about structure and the page. And I’ve yet to break myself of the notion that every word is vitally important—though I’m trying.
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Snapshot: An Artist-to-Artist Panel at the College Art Association Conference

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This past Valentine’s Day, several Creative Capital artists shared the love with a roomful of colleagues, as they discussed some of the skills that have enhanced their careers. Along with Creative Capital’s Director of Programs & Initiatives, Sean Elwood, I was privileged to moderate the panel, which featured Creative Capital grantees Chris Doyle, Barbara Hammer and Beverly McIver. It was held at New York City’s Midtown Hilton hotel, and entitled “Artist to Artist: Sharing Tools for a Sustainable Practice.” Continue reading