The Arkansas Arts Council is now accepting applications for its Individual Artist Fellowship program from Dec. 30, 2021 to April 16, 2022.
The Arts Council will award up to 18 Fellowships in six categories in 2022. While the program has traditionally been awarded to three artists in three categories annually, the Arkansas Arts Council, in partnership with the Windgate Foundation, is pleased to be able to expand the Individual Artist Fellowship program.
Fellowships are unconditional, non-matching grants made directly to individual, Arkansas artists. Awarded annually, these fellowships recognize the artistic creative excellence of the recipient’s work and enable the selected artists to devote more time and energy to creating their art and mastering their craft. Recipients of the award earn $5,000 each in unmatched funding. The award encourages and recognizes individual Arkansas creatives whose work is exceptional.
Up to three artists in six categories will be chosen by an independent panel of judges. New categories will offer Arkansas creatives a better opportunity to pursue contemporary, cutting-edge artworks and receive recognition for engaging, mixed-media and multisensory works. Funding categories change each year.
Criteria for the 2022 Individual Artist Fellowship Awards:
- Applicants are 21 years old or older.
- Up to three creators are chosen per category per year with applications due by April 16, 2022.
- Applicants must have an established portfolio/experience/body of works demonstrated through the application process, work examples and panel review. Forms are available at www.ArkansasArts.org.
- Applicants must have resided in Arkansas at least one year as of the application deadline and be current Arkansas residents.
- Applicants must not have received a Fellowship grant from the Arkansas Arts Council previously.
- Applicants can enter only one category per year. Multiple applications in multiple categories will not be permitted.
- The applicant is an individual artist/creator who is using their own works for the application process. Nonprofit organizations and groups are not eligible. Work not originating from and created by the applicant will not be considered.
- Submitted works must be of a very high quality. New Categories:
This category showcases creatives who create work that is experienced through more than one sense: sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. A growing trend nationwide, multisensory artwork combines at least two senses and creates new, immersive and dynamic ways experience art in multiple ways. Examples include light art combined with digital art; touchable artwork with artistic meaning; highly designed and presented food art; infinity rooms; “Whispering table” and audience engagement/participation.
- For the 2022 award, the Fellowship recipient must incorporate visual arts elements with one other sense to create a multisensory art experience.
- Multisensory artwork is experienced in more than one way, which can be done through the incorporation of existing, new and innovative technology or by using traditional art methods.
- Multisensory artwork opens access to viewers work by offering multiple ways to experience the same piece, which can benefit people who struggle with accessibility.
- Multisensory works also increase educational components and can be showcased in this category.
Community Engagement Art
This category uses art to create community dialog or engage residents with art and each other. The art is a mechanism to inspire, invoke and evoke dialog, inspire change or understanding, educate and bring unity to communities. The artwork should address something the community cares about, create dialog and/or activities toward solutions, and establish or embolden relationships that improve the community’s quality of life, inclusion, place identity and/or preservation. Examples of community engagement art include murals and public artworks where the piece or process inspired change or raised quality-of-life standards or where theater/plays were performed using original scripts produced in public collaboration that created community dialog and conversation.
- Community engagement art should include facts; informational, factfinding or educational material.
- The work must include aspects of public engagement, including but not limited to survey, community dialog, listening sessions and presentations of history, fact, community issues, etc.
- The community engagement category requires that the exhibition/experience/body being presented for a Fellowship was free and open to the public and was held in an accessible way for all Arkansans.
- The Fellowship requires that the submitted works were on display or accessible for at least one day.
- The exhibition/experience could have been presented virtually, indoors or outdoors.
This category focuses on nonfunctional crafts created by using traditional and/or historical methods or materials and using modern and contemporary aesthetics or concepts. This category includes using traditional folk arts methods. The creations should be “art of today” in the truest sense in that the work today with Arkansas heritage and past through the mechanism and lens of traditional arts and crafts. Contemporary craft does not have to be functional, but it traces its history back to traditions rooted in functionality. Traditional crafts, such as quilting, is then used to create a contemporary work emblematic of what Arkansans experience today. Examples of contemporary craft include creating quilts made from scraps from evicted renters; exploring the intersection of arts and place through crochet; and using metalworking molds to create larger-than-life portraits of modern Arkansans.
- For the 2022 award, the contemporary art or craft must include fiber art, which includes but is not limited to textile, thread, embroidery, yarn and fabric. Material may be natural or synthetic fibers.
- The contemporary craft must focus on visual aspects and be a visual piece.
- The work must focus and use fiber materials and highlight manual labor or skill involved in creating the piece.
- Priority is placed on visual aesthetics over utilization/utility.
Performance Art: Mississippi Delta Blues Contemporary Songwriting or Score
This category seeks to recognize the compositions of Arkansas musician-songwriters who create in the blues genre. Historically, Arkansas was a hotbed for blues musicians and helped develop a style of music specific to the Mississippi Delta. This Fellowship category will highlight the current blues talent in our state.
Visual Arts: Graphic Novel or Narrative
This category seeks to recognize the artform of graphic novels or narrative, which include visual storytelling, manga, extended comic strips, traditional graphic novels, comics and heavy-visual roleplaying books. The graphic novel or narrative work may be fiction, creative nonfiction or nonfiction. Artwork must be original to the artist. This category will focus on the quality of the art and its ability to successfully tell a story visually.
Literary Arts: Flash fiction or flash creative nonfiction
In this category, the Arkansas Arts Council seeks to recognize writers whose work falls between 500 and 1,000 words and uses literary fiction techniques in either a fiction or nonfiction format. The work can be fiction or creative nonfiction but should contain all elements of a good story. Flash fiction is the telling of a story that is not true but is told in a truthful way or in a way that evokes the truth of something larger and encourages readers to think. Creative nonfiction is a true story told by including fiction techniques, such as allusion, alliteration, allegory, figurative language and blurred-time sequences. A panel will review three pieces of submitted writing per entry to recognize writers whose work is revealing, dramatic, provocative, engaging and concise. We are looking for top stories told in new, inventive and short ways. Submitted work may be published or unpublished.
Creatives who earn Fellowship awards will be honored during a reception in October 2022.
Photo: 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship recipients: (back) Holly Laws, sculpture or installation art; John Vanderslice, writing of novels; Matthew Boyce, dance choreography; Tyrone Jaeger, writing of novels; (front) Monica Clark-Robinson, writing of novels; Greely Myatt, sculpture or installation art; Robin Neveu Brown, dance choreography. Not pictured are: Paiyin Lin-Mros, dance choreography, and Linda Nguyen Lopez, sculpture or installation art.