The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has announced the five winners of its 2022 Nasher Artist Grants.
Since 2015, the Nasher has supported North Texas Artists through its grant program, which provides financial support recipients can use for a range of expenses, including studio rental, materials and equipment, travel for research purposes, and exhibition-related expenses. Each awardee will receive $2,000.
This year’s winners were chosen by a panel of jurors that included artists Mel Chin, Dr. Lauren Cross, Karla Garcia, and Cynthia Mulachy, as well as the Nasher’s Associate Curator Dr. Leigh Arnold and Curator of Education Anna Smith. The 2022 awardees are Ari Brielle Edwards, Ciara Elle Bryant, Liss LaFleur, Goran Maric, and Tina B. Medina.
In a press release announcing the winners, Ms. Smith said, “In a year when so many artists, like so many people around the country, face economic and political challenges, the Nasher is proud to offer support to the artistic community of North Texas. This year’s awardees call attention to important voices, from the visionary to the domestic, and shine light on marginalized communities.”
Read more about each of the winners below, via descriptions provided by the Nasher.
Ari Brielle Edwards
Based in Allen, Texas
After receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis, artist Ari Edwards turned the focus of her art to exploring how Black women often suffer from reproductive diseases at higher rates than their non-black counterparts due to generational trauma, documented inequities in the healthcare system, higher stress, and less access to healthy foods. Through photography, drawing, and painting, Edwards is processing her diagnosis and its implications, while framing it within the broader context of health and wellness for Black women in this country, and will use her Nasher Artist Grant to fund an exhibition about the subject this fall in San Antonio. The series consists of self-portrait paintings, drawings of family photos, and photographs printed on silk of her body after surgery.
Ciara Elle Bryant
Based in Dallas, Texas
Ciara Elle Bryant will use her Nasher Artist Grant to support an upcoming solo exhibition at Southern Methodist University’s Mildred J. Hawn Gallery in September 2022. Bryant was asked to create artworks by Meadows School of Art PhD candidate Sophia Salinas based on close readings of Octavia E. Butler’s literary work, the result of which are artworks that explore technology and the digital age while considering Butler’s themes of power and the urge for a Black Utopia. The exhibition will include several large-scale panels that deploy photography and collage to wrestle with power constructs, as well as new media works and a video installation.
Based in Denton, Texas
Artist Liss LaFleur will use her Nasher Artist Grant to fund future exhibitions of The Queer Birth Project, a five-year initiative (2022-27) that seeks to promote inclusion by sharing the birth experiences of queer (LGBTQ+) people in the United States. The structure of this project is based on a radical re-envisioning of feminist artist Judy Chicago’s Birth Project (1980-85) and includes: a new national survey, a collection of visual artworks for exhibition, and a series of publications. This project is made collaboratively with queer sociologist Katherine Sobering, PhD. Given the landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the cascading effects of the ruling on everything from bodily autonomy to marriage equality, the project seeks to promote access and support for reproductive healthcare, not just for the queer community but for everyone, expanding cultural ideas relating to the body, birth, and family building.
Based in Wylie, Texas
Artist Goran Maric, whose life has been deeply affected by war, will use his Nasher Artist Grant to fund an exhibition that addresses conditions where the normative aspects of a society during peaceful times lose their meaning in wartime, as well as the hope conveyed by individuals engulfed in wartime destitution. Utilizing an anthropological approach to photojournalism, he endeavors to convey the attitudes of the local manual laborers with whom he worked as a contractor at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan by silk-screening their hope-filled faces on military sandbags atop sandbag walls. This element, aided by others that also express memories from the war-torn world, metaphorically addresses the vital, unrecognized support these workers provided to the US military throughout the region.
Tina B. Medina
Based in Dallas, Texas
Tina Medina will use her Nasher Artist Grant to fund a documentarian project that captures the current cultural identity—the voices, memories, histories, and faces—of Oak Cliff, Dallas, a neighborhood that has ebbed and flowed with various ethnicities and economic classes throughout Dallas history and is now rapidly changing due to gentrification and the influx of developers and property tax changes. For the project, Medina will create audio records of personal family histories and of individuals from various backgrounds who live in the neighborhood, which will then be incorporated into an audio-visual installation. The visual installation will include non-literal portraits of the individuals and families, with the intention of conveying the importance of their contributions to the local community and the culture of our nation.