Jenny Gill

About Jenny Gill

Jenny Gill is Director of Communications at Creative Capital and editor of The Lab. Prior to joining Creative Capital in 2010, she produced educational programs and digital content for the American Craft Council. She has worked at numerous commercial and nonprofit galleries, including as Gallery Director at the University of the South (Sewanee, TN), Gallery Manager at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. (New York) and Assistant Curator at Vanderbilt University’s Fine Arts Gallery (Nashville, TN). She also worked as a letterpress designer/printer at the historic Hatch Show Print, studied at the International Workshop for Ceramic Art in Tokoname, Japan, and was an artist assistant for Nashville sculptor Alan LeQuire. Jenny holds a BA in art and art history from Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded the Hamblet Award for studio art, and an MA from Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design and Culture.

Check out this year’s projects “On Our Radar”!

On our Radar 2016We are pleased to announce the launch of Creative Capital’s On Our Radar site for 2016, featuring nearly 300 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 Emerging Fields, Literature and Performing 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. Continue reading

Janine Antoni Uses Movement to Look Back in “Ally”

anine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Photographed by: Pak Han at the Halprin Dance Deck. © Janine Antoni; Courtesy of the artist and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Photographed by: Pak Han at the Halprin Dance Deck. © Janine Antoni; Courtesy of the artist and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.

This month, Janine Antoni (2012 Visual Arts) premieres her Creative Capital-supported project, Ally, at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (opening April 21). Ally is an exhibition of art and dance conceived and performed by Antoni in collaboration with choreographer Stephen Petronio and movement artist Anna Halprin. Taking the form of performances, installation environments, videos and sculptures, Ally will occupy four floors of the museum for three months, with weekly live performances. A book will follow, edited by the British writer and performance scholar Adrian Heathfield.

Antoni writes, “I conceived of this project more than six years ago as a kind of retrospective of my art making, told through dance. It has evolved into a truly collaborative creation that allows us to find a way to continue making new work while looking back.”

Ally is comprised of four projects: Rope Dance, an improvised performance instigated by Halprin, who presented a rope to Antoni and Petronio to be used as a tool to connect their bodies and draw lines through space; Swallow, a complex installation based on a performance by Antoni and Petronio, who connected from the gut using a 10-foot strip of woven cloth; The Courtesan and the Crone, a dance of seduction originally created and performed by Halprin in 1999, reimagined here in a different gender and generational context as a solo performance by Petronio; and Paper Dance, an improvised performance by Antoni with rolls of brown paper in an environment that refers to both Antoni and Halprin’s artistic histories.

I connected with Janine to learn more about the development of Ally and her deeply collaborative process.

Jenny Gill: The works in Ally all sound incredibly complex and layered, but Paper Dance strikes me as particularly rich. Not only is it a weekly performance, but it is performed within a “set” of crated artworks from your artistic history. With each performance, you unpack and repack different artworks, so over the course of the 14 weeks of the show, a mini-retrospective of your past work emerges. Can you talk more about the role of these artworks in the performance and the exhibition?

Janine Antoni: When I first conceived of my project for Creative Capital, I wanted to make a retrospective of my work in dance. For me, it was a way to look back with the intention of moving forward. It was Anna Halprin’s idea to take a section of her work Parades and Changes (1965) as a score for me to do as a solo—she presented me with the rolls of paper she originally used to create that piece.

In the process of improvising movement with the paper, I started to notice how images from my past artworks were presenting themselves to me. It became clear that the lessons learned in the making and the conceptual concerns of my work have etched themselves into my psyche. In Paper Dance, there is a beautiful symmetry as both Anna and I are reconfiguring our pasts. Continue reading

Creative Capital Featured in The Stranger: “How Creative Capital Replaced the NEA and Taught Artists to be Ambitious”

lead pencil studio, maryhill double

Lead Pencil Studio, Maryhill Double.

We were thrilled to read this wonderful, in-depth article about Creative Capital and our impact on artists in Seattle, written by Jen Graves for The Stranger. A short excerpt follows; read the full article here.

Last week, in an attempt to contact the Bellingham artist Christian Vargas about winning a 2016 Creative Capital Award, I googled him, left a congratulatory voice mail, and shortly got a phone call back.

“I’m not the right Christian Vargas,” said this Christian Vargas. “I wish I was!… That award—it’s life-changing, from what I hear.”

This Vargas #2 happens to also be an artist. Along with the rest of his graduate school class in Tennessee, he’s all but got the Creative Capital application pulled up in his browser waiting for the day after he graduates.

Creative Capital is such a big deal in the world of art that it even affects the lives of artists who don’t get it.

This grant-making organization, based in New York but serving artists nationally, was created in 1999 to counter the economic loss to artists when the National Endowment for the Arts killed the majority of its individual artist grants.

But Creative Capital is also a repudiation of the entire Reagan-era anti-social-services doctrine, and the condescending criticism in the 1990s from the Jesse Helms faction, who made the recipients of NEA grants sound like disgusting, freeloading children.

Creative Capital is a twofold initiative, then. It locates talented, deserving artists to support, and it recognizes that support consists of more than just money. The “more than” includes what can be thought of as ambition instruction, or giving artists the tools to think of themselves as something other than hopeless losers with a knack for making things—you know, full-fledged, contributing adults in a culture that regularly infantilizes those not wearing suits and making six figures.

And in Seattle, where money, attention, and the permission to be ambitious have always been scarce or viewed with skepticism, Creative Capital has made even bigger waves.

Case in point: “It wasn’t just a major turning point in my artistic life to get that call,” Paul Rucker, Creative Capital Class of 2012, told me. “It was a major turning point in my life.” …

Read the full article here.

Creative Capital Artists Look Back: Program Evaluation and Report

Creative Capital Artists Look BackIn the summer of 2015, Creative Capital, in conjunction with Ann Markusen (Markusen Economic Research) and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus (Metris Arts Consulting), launched a survey of artists who received awards from 2000 to 2013 to explore the impact of its support on the artists’ creative work and professional success. The following is an Executive Summary of the survey results, written by Ms. Markuson and Ms. Nicodemus; a full PDF of the survey report is also available for download.

Creative Capital awardees overwhelmingly report that receiving the award and access to services have increased their overall visibility and their relative position within their artistic fields. Artists who received awards in earlier years were more likely to report highly significant visibility gains (63%) compared with those in the last three award rounds (41%), suggesting that award benefits may be cumulative over time. Lower rates for recent award years may also reflect the impact of the Great Recession (2008-2012) that fell particularly hard on artists.

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Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere Premiere “Memory of a Time Twice Lived” at the ICA in Philadelphia

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, "Memory of a Time Twice Lived," production still, 2015

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, “Memory of a Time Twice Lived,” production still, 2015

The first U.S. survey of the work of Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere (2009 Emerging Fields) opens this week at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania, with an opening reception on February 3 from 6:30-9:00pm. The exhibition, organized by Associate Curator Kate Kraczon, includes the premiere of their Creative Capital-supported project, Memory of a Time Twice Lived (2015), along with seven other projects and installations.

Memory of Time Twice Lived is a journey through musical tempo, cinematic time and the excavation of an image. The film builds a field of relations tying together 20th-century mythic heroes, the collection of the Wagner Free Institute of Science, the Mexican luchador El Santo and the accordion as a nomadic instrument. Shot on location in Philadelphia and Mexico, the film references Chris Marker’s science fiction piece La Jetée (1962), features a concert arranged for film, and an accordionist performing throughout Philadelphia. The roots of the film go back to Nevarez and Tevere’s years-long research on the history of the accordion, an instrument they see as a poetic representation of how music and people move through space.

I connected with Angel and Valerie to learn more about the new film and the exhibition in Philadelphia.

Jenny Gill: In this project, you use the accordion as a metaphor or focal point to look at cultural and musical migration. When did you first become interested in the accordion and begin to view it in that way?

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere: The accordion, an instrument associated with numerous immigrant histories and musical forms, was also part of each of our own individual family histories. Having the shared yet varied experience between us provoked further discussions and interest in critically engaging the accordion’s history in relation to industrialization, labor movements, periods of nationalism, folklore, and its current production within post-Fordist globalizing trends. Continue reading

Announcing the 2016 Creative Capital Awardees

Clockwise from top left: Marisa Morán Jahn, Video Slink Uganda. Eileen Myles. Robin Frohardt, Dumpster Monster. Ahamefule J. Oluo. Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite. desert ArtLAB, Desertification Cookbook. Jeff Becker, Sea of Common Catastrophe. Irvin Morazan, Performance in the Center of the World, Times Square, NY. Eva & Franco Mattes, Fukushima Texture Pack.

Creative Capital has announced its 2016 awardees, funding 46 projects selected from a nationwide pool of 2,500 proposals. The artistic disciplines being funded this year are: Literature, Performing Arts and Emerging Fields. Drawing on venture-capital principles, Creative Capital seeks out artists’ projects that are bold, innovative and genre-stretching, then surrounds those artists with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers.

The 2016 Creative Capital awardees are an incredible group of creative thinkers, representing 63 artists at all stages of their careers with an age range of 28 to 65 years old. More than half are women; and more than half identify as people of color. Each funded project will receive up to $50,000 in direct funding and additional resources and advisory services—such as financial consulting and communications support—valued at $45,000, making the organization’s total 2016 investment more than $4,370,000. Continue reading

Stephanie Rothenberg’s Garden of Global Crowdfunding

Rothenberg_Garden1

Stephanie Rothenberg’s “Garden of Virtual Kinship” at ZKM Center for Art and Media

Stephanie Rothenberg, like many corporations, is interested in what you’re doing online. But unlike those companies that are collecting data for monetization, Stephanie uses API, virtual worlds and online transactions as a platform to make art and critique. Her project Laborers of Love/LOL took advantage of the recent phenomenon of crowdsourcing to have workers abroad cull images of sexuality and desire in order to create a collaged pornography; it was a critique on desirability as much as it was about digital labor. Her Creative Capital project, “Reversal of Fortune,” is a series of installations that both depend on and critique crowdfunding that happens between affluent Americans and developing countries. Elements of the project are premiering this fall in international exhibitions at The Lowry Contemporary Gallery in Manchester, England, and at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Germany. We spoke to her just before her Manchester exhibition opening.

Jenny Gill: This work is really layered and complex—it’s making virtual transactions visible, it’s translating digital human interactions into organic plant growth. Can you talk a bit about the development of this project and the metaphors at work here?

Stephanie Rothenberg: I have always been interested in using art to raise awareness about particular social issues. Before this project, I had been creating interactive artworks that explored both the benefits and exploits of new forms of online digital labor. These performances and installations leveraged what is known as crowdsourcing—outsourcing work to a so-called online “crowd” of global Internet users. The majority of these online workers were, and still are, in developing countries. They perform online work tasks for little money.

Through these earlier artworks I became aware of a new online phenomena that was becoming more popular and was somewhat of a reversal of crowdsourcing. It is known as crowdfunding. Here the online crowd funds a project or business venture that someone wants to pursue. The most familiar example is Kickstarter, which is mostly used for cultural projects. But crowdfunding is also widely used by charity organizations as a social media platform for raising money to assist people in the developing world with small “micro” loans. Rather than cultural projects, these loans are for small-scale local initiatives such as purchasing animals for a farm or paving a village road.

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Degenerate Art Ensemble’s “Predator Songstress” Finds Her Voice

Degenerate Art Ensemble, Predator Songstress. Photo by Joe Iano.

Degenerate Art Ensemble, “Predator Songstress.” Photo by Joe Iano.

The Seattle-based performance group Degenerate Art Ensemble (2013 Performing Arts) is premiering their Creative Capital-supported project, Predator Songstress, with upcoming engagements at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (Nov 5 & 6, 8pm; Nov 7, 5pm) and On the Boards in Seattle (Dec. 3-5, 8pm; Dec. 6: 5pm). Inspired by punk, comics, cinema, nightmares and fairy tales, Predator Songstress tells the story of a modern-day anti-heroine in search of her stolen voice. The piece fuses live music, dance and media to create an immersive art environment set in a world of hyper-surveillance, interrogation and data mining. Predator Songstress investigates personal power and the divine secrets of the human voice, engaging audiences in a stunning theatrical experience infused with otherworldly visuals, gorgeous vocals, incredible costumes and a singular butoh-meets-anime vision.

Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE) is led by co-founders and co-artistic directors Joshua Kohl and Haruko Crow Nishimura. I connected with Joshua and Crow to learn more about this ambitious performance event.

Jenny Gill: Predator Songstress centers on a female character (played by Crow) whose voice has been stifled by societal forces. Can you talk about the oppressive forces or societal issues behind this concept that you want to bring to the foreground? In the end, how does the character find her voice and expression?

Haruko Crow Nishimura: There is a central female character in this modern fairy tale named Ximena, who is growing up in a totalitarian state, where the public sharing of people’s personal stories and struggles centering around voice are strictly forbidden. Her obsession with people’s stories and the source of people’s power gets her into deep trouble. She is sent away to a women’s penal colony and has her voice removed.
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The Repellent Fence Story, as told by Postcommodity

Postcommodity, a collective of artists scattered around New Mexico and Arizona, will install two miles of scare-eye balloons at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona on October 9.

Postcommodity, a collective of artists scattered around New Mexico and Arizona, will install two miles of scare-eye balloons at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona on October 9.

Next week, the indigenous artist collective Postcommodity (2012 Visual Arts) will present their Creative Capital-supported project, Repellent Fence, the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited on the U.S./Mexican border. The fence, which will be installed through a community action from October 9-12 near Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico, is comprised of 28 tethered “scare eye” balloons, ten feet in diameter, floating 75 feet above the desert landscape to create a temporary two-mile-long sculpture that intersects the U.S./Mexico border.

The geographic location chosen for Repellent Fence is the center point of the largest and most densely fortified militarized zone of the Western Hemisphere. This border region and its omnipresent military and surveillance systems artificially divide people, cultures, languages and communities from themselves and the land, disrupting interdependent human, cultural and environmental relationships that have existed for thousands of years. The monumental Repellent Fence installation is part of a larger public engagement campaign that includes public programming, performances and the first cross-border art walk in Douglas and Agua Prieta. In this post, the artists of Postcommodity—Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist—share the back-story behind this ambitious and timely project, nearly eight years in the making.
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