“This experience foundationally changed me. The friendships I made, the creative passion I saw in others, the cultural differences that I had to bridge, all made me a better artist, world citizen, and Indianapolis community contributor.”
Brian James Priest is an interdisciplinary artist based in Indianapolis. For Priest, the fellowship did exactly what it was designed to do. “I had the most rewarding, lasting, and inspiring artistic period of my life. I am forever grateful for this program and what it accomplishes.” His renewal took place in multiple artist studio visits arranged by the Nina Sagt Gallerie throughout Germany, ending with a personal studio visit with world famous photographer Andreas Gursky in Berlin. The funding went further, helping with travel expenses to Europe and the cost of supplies for his first German gallery installation, How Deep is Your Love in the Nina Sagt Gallerie.
Priest became an artist because of direct experiences he had traveling for two years throughout Europe over fifteen years ago. He explains, “The experiences were directly responsible for the formation of my use of art as a means to not just make a living, but for the context of how to live my life and communicate. Priest was able to retrace prior steps, but more importantly experience new places, mount an international exhibition, and meet and collaborate with artists from all over Europe.
The success of Priest’s first European exhibition allowed him to meet dozens of artists, designers, and curators. The feedback and response from sharing his work with non-Americans was deeply rewarding, especially since he makes work dealing with the culture and politics of public spaces. The renewal was deeply felt in all arenas of Priest’s artistic life as he came back to Indianapolis “inspired, refreshed, ready to work in new methods and expand these memories into the new ways to connect with my homebase city.”