From Ashes by Elizabeth Fortunato

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NEA Grant for Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Submitted on May 17, 2019 - 9:40am
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National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairperson Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $25,000 to the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design in support of the 2020 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 977 grants in this category.

"These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts. "Organizations such as the Jacob Lawrence Gallery are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired."

Emily Zimmerman, Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, says, "The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support of the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency, a program that supports the development of new work by Black artists. The residency was established in 2015 to honor the legacy of Jacob Lawrence as an artist and a teacher, by bringing artists into the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design and allowing students to learn from the resident as they create."

The 2020 iteration of the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency will focus on the production methods for the development of new work, the role that research plays in the artistic process, and how the written reception of that work places it within a larger matrix of cultural meaning.

The goals for the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency in 2020 will be to further the Residency's, the Gallery’s, and the School’s reputation for artistic excellence by continuing to work with artists of national repute. At the same time, the residency will be used to help cultivate young scholars across campus by giving them a high level of access to an artist as they are in the process of developing a new body of work. Our NEA grant will provide the opportunity to:

  • Discuss the importance of honoring the legacy of Jacob Lawrence within the UW School of Art + Art History + Design, the Seattle community, and nationally, while fostering a crucial dialog around the artists and ideas of the African Diaspora.
  • Emphasize the importance of the enriching presence of artists creating new work in spaces of learning.
  • Support the crucial dialogue between the artist and the general public throughout the act of creating new work.
  • Formally integrate a writing component into the residency to support those students wanting to engage with the field of critical arts writing.
  • Create rigorous evaluation criteria to ensure the project’s success as well as the documentation and publication plan for the project.

Read more about this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement.

About the Residency

Established in 2015, the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency and Exhibition has become the cornerstone of the Gallery's program, enabling artists, students, faculty, and staff to engage in dialogue as new work is incubated. Black artists at all stages of their careers are nominated and then reviewed by a selection committee; the chosen artist travels to Seattle for a residency during the month of January and an exhibition in February. Previous Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency awardees are HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, Steffani Jemison, C. Davida Ingram, and Danny Giles.

About the Gallery

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is an inspiring space for exhibitions with a mission centering on education, social justice, and experimentation. The Gallery is a vital center for social interaction and dialog about art, art history, and design and a critical para-educational resource for students and faculty. It is also a site of knowledge production dedicated to enhancing the intellectual life on campus by advancing discourses on contemporary exhibition and curatorial practice with its ambitious program of lectures, performances, screenings, discussions, and exhibitions.

The Gallery is named after one of the School's most renowned faculty members, Jacob Lawrence, who taught here from 1970–1985 and who served as Professor Emeritus until his death in 2000. The Gallery is the living legacy of Lawrence's exemplary life and admirable practice.

About the School

The School of Art + Art History + Design is the center for creative innovation and study at the University of Washington, one of the world's leading public research institutions. The School's focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of new practices enhances both studio and classroom learning as well as fostering dynamic engagement and critical discourse. Our students are inspired to learn through a rigorous and creative academic experience, competitive internships, and international opportunities. Learning from influential faculty, alumni, visiting artists, designers, and scholars, students of our undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs investigate and create in an environment of possibility.