I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Thursday, March 31, 2022
THE ILLUMINATIONS GRANT Queer|Art's $10K Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists is Back! Email not displaying properly? View it in your browser. If this email is in your promotions tab,
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QUEER|ART ANNOUNCES JUDGES FOR THIRD ANNUAL ILLUMINATIONS GRANT FOR BLACK TRANS WOMEN VISUAL ARTISTS
$10K GRANT AND $1,250 FOR FOUR FINALISTS
To commemorate Transgender Day of Visibility, Queer|Art is pleased to announce the judges for the third annual Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists: interdisciplinary artist Jonathan Lyndon Chase; writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew, and model, performer, and fashion illustrator Connie Fleming.
Developed and named in partnership with Mariette Pathy Allen, Aaryn Lang, and Serena Jara, this annual $10,000 grant, awarded to draw attention to an existing body of work, sheds light on the under-recognized contributions of Black trans women visual artists and provides critical support to their continuing work. The first of its kind, the Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists aims to correct the exclusion of Black trans women from the larger art canon and uplift profound lineages of Black trans women artistic practices, mapping avenues for future generations of Black trans women artists.
Queer|Art is pleased to announce that the grant will also provide a $1,250 award to four finalists, in addition to the $10,000 awarded to a winner each year. The winning artist will receive professional development resources, including a studio visit with each participating judge, to bolster their creative development in the field.
“The Illuminations Grant not only highlights the lacking representation of Black trans women in the visual arts, but also seeks to confront the systemic barriers that deny them artistic opportunities and a sustainable craft. By supporting this grant, Mariette Pathy Allen challenges herself and the art industry to see Black trans women as more than mere subjects, while forging a new pathway for visual artists within this community to thrive.”
—Aaryn Lang, Illuminations Grant Co-Creator
2022 ILLUMINATIONS GRANT JUDGES
Jonathan Lyndon Chase is an interdisciplinary artist who works in painting, video, sound and sculpture to depict queer black love and community amidst the back drop of urban and domestic spaces. Chase’s figures hang in various forms of articulation intertwined with domestic markers of a kitchen or a bedroom, they are then tethered by pop and street signage to blend emotional and physical, internal and external states of being. Rendered through layers of bright, visceral paint, make- up, foam and glitter these compositions challenge and subvert canonical misrepresentation and exclusion of the black body. Recent exhibitions include WHAT DO YOU SEE, YOU PEOPLE, GAZING AT ME at Sadie Coles HQ, London. Chase’s work has been previously featured in Art Basel, Switzerland; Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pond Society (solo), Shanghai; Company Gallery, New York; LSU Museum of Art (solo), Baton Rouge; the Rubell Foundation, Miami; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke; California African American Museum, Los Angeles; Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; The Bunker, Collection of Beth Rudin De-Woody, Palm Beach and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, Philadelphia. Their work is included in numerous private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, ICA Miami, High Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bronx Muse um, Rubell Family Collection, Buxton Contemporary Art Museum, The Wedge Collection, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Woodmere Museum of Art. Chase was born in 1989 in Philadelphia, PA where they currently live and work.
Kimberly Drew is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies. She first experienced the art world as an intern in the Director’s Office of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time at the Studio Museum inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media. Drew's writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour, Playboy, and Teen Vogue and she has executed Instagram takeovers for Prada, The White House, and Instagram. Drew served as the Social Media Manager at The Met. She is the co-editor of Black Futures which she published in 2020 with Jenna Wortham. Drew recently joined Pace Gallery as Associate Director. You can follow her at @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter.
Connie (Girl) Fleming is a performer, model, stylist, fashion illustrator, and undeniable New York City legend. As a renowned stage performer, she has graced iconic nightlife venues like the Palladium, the Tunnel, and the Pyramid; performed in various videos for George Michael, Chic, and Jody Watley; and appeared in the opening montages for Saturday Night Live and MTV News. Connie’s status as a fashion icon and cultural muse has led her to model for Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood, and Andre Walker across New York and Paris. A charter member of the House of Field and a Mistress of Ceremonies at Jackie 60, Connie began her reign as one of New York’s most sought-after gate-keepers when she worked the door at Eric Conrad’s Poop at the Supper Club. Her inimitable fashion drawings have been used to illustrate costumes for Beyoncé, Anastasia, Swarovski, and “The Devil Wears Prada,” among others. Today, Connie splits her time between various artistic endeavors, and works as a runway coach, producer, and casting director for several fashion brands in New York and abroad.
MEET THE GRANT TEAM
The Illuminations Grant is made possible entirely through support provided by visual artist Mariette Pathy Allen, whose body of photographic work over the last forty years has been squarely focused on expanding cultural consciousness around gender and transformation. The development of this grant was stewarded by consultant and writer Aaryn Lang, working in collaboration with Mariette Pathy Allen, Serena Jara, and Queer|Art.
The Illuminations Grant is awarded to draw attention to an existing body of work. Qualified artists must be self-identified Black trans women and trans femmes who are early-career working in visual art and based in the United States. Applications are open March 31, 2022-June 30, 2022 and the grant will be awarded in September 2022.
The Illuminations Grant defines visual art broadly to include art forms including, but not limited to: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and fiber arts. While this grant is particularly interested in supporting artists working within 2D and 3D art forms, time-based mediums, such as video/film may also be considered.
For questions, head to our FAQ, or email Queer|Art Awards Manager, Dani Brito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images: 1)NYC Gay Pride, by Mariette Pathy Allen. 2) Jonathan Lyndon Chase photographed by Rai Martinez. 3) Kimberly Drew photographed by Travis Matthews. 4) Connie Fleming photographed by Cruz Valdez. 5) Mariette Pathy Allen, image courtesy of the artist. 6) Aaryn Lang, image courtesy of the artist. 6) Serena Jara, image by Aaryn Lang. 7) Guest at Drag Ball in Harlem, by Mariette Pathy Allen.
“Although I was already aware of the violence that trans women face on a daily basis, it was only when Serena introduced me to Aaryn that I realized I could do something about the limited options for visual artists whose talents may never have been nurtured or valued. This grant is the first to be offered specifically for Black transgender women and femmes in support of their path within visual arts. Although focused very precisely, I believe that it will have an important impact on the artists themselves, and their influence on the art world."
—Mariette Pathy Allen, Illuminations Grant Co-Creator