The Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation are pleased to announce the first recipients of the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award, a fast-track project grant to support aspirational visual art projects.
The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation (CDFF) and the Arts Council of Indianapolis (ACI) have partnered to create a new artist grant/award program to provide quick turnaround project funding for professional visual artists in central Indiana that promotes, celebrates, recognizes, and rewards excellence. The aim of the program is to give public recognition to artists whose artistic excellence merit such recognition and to expand the awareness of contemporary art. Funding will be provided on an annual basis by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and will be administered by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
Officially launched at this year’s Start with Art luncheon on September 1, four artists have been awarded the grant during its inaugural cycle; Philip Campbell, Shawn Causey, Nhat Tran, and Lauren Zoll.
"We are pleased to foster the artistic excellence of contemporary visual artists living and working in Indiana" – Christel DeHaan
"We are pleased to foster the artistic excellence of contemporary visual artists living and working in Indiana," says Christel DeHaan. "These awards recognize the artistic excellence of artists whose aspirational projects merit the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award. I am very excited that we could partner with the Arts Council of Indianapolis to provide a new forum of recognition to contemporary artists and to involve our community in such a new and exciting program.”
Each artist submitted a detailed proposal outlining the intended project, its impact on their career, and how financial assistance would allow them to take the next steps to add this project to their repertoire.
“In our work with professional artists over the years, we have found that once-in-a-lifetime opportunities don’t often align with grant deadlines and funding cycles. We yearned for a way to be even more responsive to artists’ needs” says Dave Lawrence, President & CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “Through the extraordinary generosity of Christel DeHaan and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, we are able to assist artists as needs arise. We look forward to funding outstanding visual artists to support career enhancement opportunities and groundbreaking new projects.”
"We look forward to funding outstanding visual artists to support career enhancement opportunities and groundbreaking new projects.” – Dave Lawrence
The DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award is just the latest of many individual artist funding opportunities administered by the Arts Council including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, the Transformational Impact Fellowship, and the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Fellowship for Emerging Artists. As a part of the award, artists will take part in a DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award group exhibtion at Gallery 924 in the month of September.
The DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award will accept and review applications on a quarterly basis and will honor up to five contemporary visual artists each year with grants of up to $10,000 for aspirational visual arts projects. Each project must be short-term in nature and require a quick turn-around in receipt of funds. It is intended to allow a high-tolerance for risk and exploration and will provide support of an artist’s creative practice that will help them push their work in dynamic ways.
The next deadline for applications will be February 23, 2018. Additional details about the program can be found here.
About the Artists' Proposals
These projects were selected because of their highly aspirational and risk tolerant nature. The goals of this program include giving artists the opportunity to extend beyond their current body of work to discover new opportunities and processes. The descriptions below are aspirational and involve exploration and discovery. The results of risk taking and experimentation does not always yield intended outcomes but can inform new directions and results.
Philip will pursue a new exploratory body of textiles that directly deal with the intimate fear people face in our current society by creating RF (radio frequency) blocking, fiber optic, puncture, and bulletproof quilts. He will reference traditional quilting techniques juxtaposed by the latest technology and security based materials to offer a timely and provocative statement on a current social crisis. He will create 6-10 comforting and functioning “protection” quilts. Campbell is a 2013 Creative Renewal Arts Fellow.
Shawn plans to create a fully-surrounding, immersive corridor or tunnel that is lined on both sides with a deep, shimmering color field of string backed by deep black backgrounds. This ‘infinity chamber’ will be up to 20 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and 40 feet long, and it will envelop the viewer in a long passage of color harmonies, commanding full attention and taking the viewer deeper into their sensory experience. Causey currently has work on a national tour through Wonderspaces and plans to explore similar opportunities with her new piece. Causey is a 2015 Creative Renewal Arts Fellow.
Nhat will use natural urushi lacquer, a tree sap rarely experimented with in contemporary art, to create a new body of work titled “Into the Bones” that will consist of several 3D installations. She plans to procure a large collection of wild animal bones and antlers to create astonishing compositions that exploit urushi’s enzymatic ability to bond to bone collagen. She will also use funds to participate in “Art Santa Fe – A Spectrum Art Show,” a major international juried exhibition – considered the heart of contemporary Southwestern art. Tran is a 1999 and 2009 Creative Renewal Arts Fellow.
Lauren will create a series of paintings and public works created with black bean ink, or with an experimental dye. The artworks will mimic the process of photosynthesis, and they will thus be able to harvest light into energy and display their inherent power. Zoll will engage in extensive research of solar cell kits before completeing these paintings. Zoll is a 2015 Creative Renewal Arts Fellow.
About the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation:
Since 1997, CDFF Board Members have overseen grants in excess of $60 million to arts, arts education, education, child welfare, and human need organizations. Throughout its history, the Foundation has refined its giving strategies and operations to optimize its support provided to arts and cultural organizations with a special emphasis on the performing arts. Support for the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award program is a new opportunity to engage the visual arts community.