This year’s class of MakeWork grant recipients—announced earlier this week—is rethinking the scope of the art scene in Chattanooga and expanding the range of disciplines present in the community.
“I think what’s exciting about this class is the breadth of projects,” said Kate Creason, MakeWork director. “Whether it’s David Ruiz’s public art that are wheat paste murals or Kevin Bate’s powerful portraits that also have an educational component or Stephen Nichols’ recording studio upgrades at As Elyzum, we’ve managed to touch so many creative disciplines.”
The 14 artists were selected from a pool of 114 applications put forward by 120 artists, some of whom wrote collaborative proposals. The 2012 class will split a total of $100,000. The average grant amounts to $7,000, though some applications did receive the maximum award of $10,000.
Over the past five years, MakeWork has distributed $750,000 to 101 artists. The granting process involves a two-tier jury evaluation to first narrow down the applications and then judge them against three specific questions about the quality of the artists’ submitted samples, the distinctive nature of their work and the contribution the proposed project will make to Chattanooga’s creative culture.
“These grants enable recipients to work on and create a wide range of artistic pieces that engage local Chattanoogans and visitors,” said grant recipient Sybil Baker. “These grants contribute to the positive and exciting ways Chattanooga is becoming a vibrant artistic city.”
The now-funded projects focus both on creating art and providing the tools to create art, ranging from a documentary about the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge and a visual/sonic performance art piece to the launching of a printmaking collective and the equipping of a blacksmith shop with an air-powered hammer.
Here is a snapshot of the class of 2012:
Name: Greg Pond
Medium: New media, specifically sound installations
Project: “The installation will collect sound and other information from the physical structure of a building, analyze it, and build harmonics or other compositional structures in response,” Pond explained. “It will amplify and react to the underlying processes and physical conditions of the architecture. The goal is to amplify the acoustic properties of a structure, drawing to the fore the aesthetic relationships of the experience of a space to prompt a reconsideration of it.”
Name: Sybil Baker
Medium: Fiction writing
Project: A special edition novel, titled “Replay," set in Chattanooga and in the style of Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” Baker’s work will enhance the reading experience by combining the written word with local music and photographs of Chattanooga.