COURTESY OF AISHA HARRISON
The WSU Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art awarded 20 artists $2,500 each for their artwork depicting social justice and systemic racism.
Artists in Washington were allowed to submit artwork expressing a story in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, said Debby Stinson, museum marketing and public relations manager.
Artists were selected from different areas in Washington, including Seattle and Spokane. Between 13 and 15 cities were represented, she said.
“We wanted no artist to be left out,” Stinson said.
The grant program was funded by Jordan Schnitzer and the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, according to the BLM Artist Grant website.
Museum curator Ryan Hardesty and the artists will decide which of the art pieces will be displayed in the exhibition during fall 2021. The piece might be something the artist has already made or it might be something new they created with the grant money, Stinson said.
The art pieces will be of different mediums, including ceramics, sculptures, drawings, digital media and photography, she said.
“There’s a moment that happens when the viewer is in front of a piece of artwork, and that artwork transports them into the mind of the artist,” Stinson said. “Sometimes those moments can be transformative, we hope for every exhibition that our viewers have those transformative moments.”
Mikayla Makle, president of WSU’s Black Student Union and deciding member of the jury, said every artist who submitted work did a wonderful job.
“I am proud of everybody for expressing their stories and giving hope to teach artistry and spreading the message of what Black Lives Matter actually is,” Makle said.
The winning artists are: Aisha Harrison, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Hasaan Kirkland, Rene Westbrook, Troy Riley Miles, Jasmine Iona Brown, Robert J Lloyd, Grace June, Zinda K Foster, Whitney Evans, Jennifer Kuhns, Cynthia Camlin, Myron Curry, Jackie Schaubel, Derek E Johnson, Maya Milton, Bonnie Hopper, Tracy Poindexter-Canton, Damon Brown and Felicia Follum.
The jury consisted of representatives from WSU, including Hardesty, Makle and Io Palmer, associate professor of fine arts; Lisa Guerrero, associate vice provost for inclusive excellence; and Trymaine Gaither, recruitment coordinator for the WSU Honors College, according to the BLM Artist Grant website.