The New City Arts Fellowship at Welcome Gallery supports six Charlottesville-area artists from January-June 2021 working on projects related to the theme Next Breath: History, Hate, Possibility, written by Maurice Wallace. 2021 New City Arts Fellows include Ashon Crawley, LaRissa Rogers, Somé Louis, Joey Bostock, Joumana Altallal, and Tobiah Mundt.
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP: Following a competitive application process, six Charlottesville-area artists were selected for month-long fellowships (January-June 2021) at Welcome Gallery. In addition to free work space, each artist receives a $400 stipend and a stocked pantry with their favorite drinks and snacks. Selected artists are expected to use the gallery for at least 5-10 hours per week during the 1-month that they are given a fellowship. During the final week of each fellowship, artists have the option to invite the public to engage with their work online or by free, private appointment at Welcome Gallery.
FELLOWSHIP THEME: Next Breath: History, Hate, Possibility
Written by Maurice Wallace
Today, many Americans are registering their outrage at systematic racism, especially as the public murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner by violent asphyxiation recall a real and metaphorical history of race, criminality and suffocation. African Americans’ struggle to freely breathe in real and metaphorical ways is not new but now coincides with a dangerous virus that risks compromising everyone’s ability to breathe who contracts it even as it disproportionately impacts those in vulnerable communities susceptible to chronic illness and death.
New City Arts invited artists to submit proposals with work that deeply and imaginatively related to or addressed “breath” as the essence of life and freedom. What materials, sounds, and movements best aid the visualization or vocalization of breath as critical to our common survival? How does the present COVID-19 pandemic complement or complicate the urgency of breath and a climate conducive to respiratory health and flourishing? Conversely, how might we imagine breath joyfully? As celebration, bliss, vitality?
All Charlottesville-area artists including those who live in the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, and Louisa were encouraged to apply, especially (but not limited to) artists who have considered the causes and consequences of the strangled freedoms of oppressed populations.
We invited artists to consider everyday sounds, movements, and objects (masks, inhalers, filters, ventilators, fans, flags, chimes, weathervanes, garden spinners, plants, etc.) as well as public landmarks (statues, windmills, towers, tunnels, parks, amphitheaters, etc.) as they relate to breath, existence, belief, and daily life. Works might explore breath in one or more of the following contexts: biology, justice, climate, health/illness, environment, fashion, housing, design, history, religion.
Proposals were open to all Charlottesville-area artists including those who live in Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, and Louisa counties.
Artists of all disciplines were welcome to submit proposals. All artists including those who have held New City Arts residencies, won SOUP grants, and/or exhibited at Welcome Gallery before January 2021 were eligible to apply.
The selection committee included Maurice Wallace, Horace Ballard, and Sarah Boyts Yoder. This committee selected a total of 6 artists to receive a 1-month fellowship.
Artists were required to be available to complete a fellowship for 1 month between January and June 2021.
Strong proposals creatively addressed the theme but did not need to respond to any of the questions in the call directly, as these questions and examples were not meant to be exhaustive.
Each selected artist will safely share their work in some way with the community during the last week of the fellowship. It is up to each artist to decide how this happens, and we acknowledge that this will be different for writers, musicians, performance artists, visual artists, etc.
Artists are welcome but not required to include previously-created work in the final week of the fellowship when the gallery is open to the public. It is up to each artist to decide if they want any/all of this work to be for sale.
Public engagement with the work might include private, free in-person appointments; demos, screenings, performances in the large storefront window; online content such as recordings, readings; and more.
COVID--19 Safety Protocols: Artists will be given the space exclusively to work and will not share the space with staff or visitors. If the gallery is open to the public to engage with the work, the artist is not expected to be there, and in that case, staff will coordinate free private appointments for the public to view the work. Masks will be required for all visitors and staff, and no one will be permitted to touch any work. The gallery will be professionally cleaned and fogged in between fellowships.
This program is supported by a Community Recovery & Catalyst grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and Maurice Wallace and Pam Sutton-Wallace.