Faculty Receive ASC Cultural Vision and Artist Support Grants

installation of watercolor scrolls by Maja Godlewska
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Five current CoAA professors are among the grant recipients.

Five current College of Arts + Architecture faculty members and one retired professor are among the recent recipients of grants from the local Arts & Science Council (ASC). Associate Professor of Dance Tamara Williams has received a 2023 Cultural Vision Grant; Professor of Art Maja Godlewska, Associate Professor of Dance Kim Jones, Professor of Art Lydia Thompson, Professor of Theatre Robin Witt, and retired ceramics professor Keith Bryant have received 2023 Artist Support Grants.

Cultural Vision Grants support artistic and cultural projects that build community by connecting individuals across points of difference; build community by nurturing, celebrating, and supporting authentic cultures and creative expression; increase relevance by using arts, science and history to address complex community issues; or increase innovation by supporting the creation of new and groundbreaking work. Williams has received $20,000 to support the second annual LAVAGEM! African Brazilian arts festival, which will take place in April.

Tamara Williams leading a procession in the festival

Artist Support Grants support professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities to create work or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences.

Godlewska is a finalist for the Arte Laguna Prize, an international contemporary art competition, and as such will display her large, site-specific 3D work, Islands, at the finalists' exhibition in Italy. She received $3,000 from the ASC to cover the costs of travel, shipping, and the installation of her work, which will be in exhibition at the Arsenale of Venice from March 11 to April 16, 2023. “Watercolor paper installations are my attempts at creating environments that would invite unhurried examination, for the viewer to follow their meandering form and variegated surfaces,” Godlewska said in an artist statement. “They are my slow, defiant responses to the fast paced insta-consumption of the landscape in the pre-Covid19 world. These laborious works are meant to remind us of a simple act of being in nature, or really maybe just being.”

Maja Godlewska sitting among her watercolor scrolls

Jones was awarded $3,000 in support of her ongoing research of the life and work of Korean modern dancer and choreographer Choi Seung-Hee (1911-1969). Widely regarded as Korea’s first modern dancer, Choi lived an eventful life through the Japanese occupation of Korea and the Korean war. Jones began her study of Choi in 2019 and in June 2022 presented a work inspired by Choi at the DAP Festival in Italy. The ASC grant help fund ongoing rehearsals and investigations to further the choreographic work, a version of which will be performed in January 2023 in the Faculty Dance Concert, featuring So Young An, a current Martha Graham Dance Company member. Learn more in this video.

Kim Jones and musician in performance

Thompson received $3,000 to support the creation and preparations for exhibition of Mumblings: After Hour Conversations. This installation will consist of several sculpture components, video, and sound. “Currently, I am conducting interviews with a select group of African Americans whose biographies include their living memories from the 1930s until present,” Thompson said. “The conversations are account of their personal, working conditions, and community experiences during civil unrest and social injustice during their lifespan.” The interviews will provide a soundtrack, with video projections of the interviewees that accompany the structural elements of the work, which will represent dwellings in neighborhoods that contain multiple stories about communities that have evolved and changed over time.

Witt has received $1,000 to design a website that presents her directing work. At the new site, theatres and producers will be able to read about Witt and her artistic vision and access her resume, see production and research photos, and watch video samplings. Witt has a long career in Chicago, where she has won multiple awards for directing, and her productions have been cited as “Best of the Year” by The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, and Chicago Reader.

In addition to these four current faculty, Bryant was awarded $2,494 to fund a small CNC plasma cutting table to integrate new technology into studio practice, and alumnus Zachary Tarlton ‘13 received $2,800 to support the production of Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2.

Images from top: Tamara Williams leading the processional at the 2022 LAVAGEM ! African Brazilian Fetival; Maja Godlewska's "Islands" installation (and cover photo); Kim Jones with musician Vong Pak performing at the DAP Festival in Italy; Lydia Thompson's ceramic work "What Happens in Waiting" (2022).