Round 6 (2014) Grant Recipients Announced

The Idea Fund, a re-granting program administered through DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announces the 2014 grantees.

The following ten Texas-based artists and artist collectives will each receive $4,000 ($3,500 for the awarded project, plus $500 seed money for future work) to create and showcase innovative artistic projects in the coming year:  The Flinching Eye Collective (Houston, Austin, San Antonio); Friends of Angela Davis Park / Regina Agu & Gabriel Martinez (Houston); Habitable Spaces / Shane Heinemeier & Alison Ward (Kingsbury, TX); Autumn Knight (Houston); Michelle Monseau & Barbara Perea (San Antonio / Mexico City); Nomadic Beats / Dustin Chad Gann, Kelly McCann & Harbeer Sandhu (Houston); Cavanaugh Nweze (Houston); Robert A. Pruitt (Houston); Phillip Alan Pyle, II (Houston); and Suplex / Max Fields & Olivia Junell (Houston). Project descriptions are below.

A public reception honoring the grantees will be held on January 30, 2014 at Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Bartlett Street, Houston, Texas from 6:30 – 8 pm. Each grantee will give a 3 – 5 minute presentation about their work.

Of the 125 applications submitted to The Idea Fund from across Texas, these ten were selected by Idea Fund Panelists as projects that most exemplify artistic practices that fall outside the traditional frameworks of support, one of the main requirements of the grant. The 2014 panelists were: Yona Backer, Founding Partner, Third Streaming, New York City; Nathaniel Donnett, Artist / Past Idea Fund Recipient, Houston; and Andrew Suggs, Executive Director, Vox Populi, Philadelphia.

Panelist Yona Backer states:

The Idea Fund provides a rare platform for artists and artist collectives to receive support for projects that are experimental, and fall outside of more traditional modes of producing/presenting work. It was great to see such a diverse range, particularly in terms of media/genre, but also conceptually”

Now in its sixth round, The Idea Fund is the second re-granting initiative of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, following the pilot program, Alternative Exposure, administered by Southern Exposure in San Francisco.  The Idea Fund is structured to provide artists with quick access to substantial financial support for projects that might not otherwise have access to funding.


The Flinching Eye Collective: The Aberration Tour: The Flinching Eye Collective is a group of seven interdisciplinary artists (Max Bernstein, Scott Ferguson, Tobias Fike, Adan De La Garza, Ryan Wade Ruehlen, Benjamin Gale-Shreck, and Matthew Weedman) based in Texas, New York, and Colorado who explore sound-based, interactive performance and video. The Aberration Tour will include 8 – 10 new performances using sound as a starting point for art making and will visit venues in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Each show on the tour will be modified in response to the specific venue and local audiences. Works intentionally incorporate and engage with the audience so the viewer moves in and out of the performance, ultimately becoming part of the experience of the show.

Friends of Angela Davis Park / Regina Agu & Gabriel Martinez: Friends of Angela Davis Park is a series of free, collaborative, interactive events led by Houston-based artists, writers, and performers set in a small park in the Montrose area of Houston. In addition to programming and events, a field guide will be published annotating and documenting the project, as well as the life of Angela Davis and the park itself.

Habitable Spaces / Shane Heinemeier & Alison Ward: The Trading Post: Habitable Spaces is a small farm and artist community in the small town of Kingsbury, Texas, built on land that had not been inhabited since the 1930s. It is unique in that it actively combines art with the basic activities of creating shelter and growing food, and regularly engages visiting artists and members of the local farming and ranching community. The Trading Post will be a living artistic experiment at the site of the old Kingsbury post office. Traditional items that one would find in an Old West trading post (produce, handmade soaps, candles, quilts, etc.) will be available for trade for art objects, stories, songs, or performances to be acted out in the space for the audience present, and recorded for later display. By examining the value of art and agricultural commodities in conjunction with each other, The Trading Post expands the vocabulary of art making.

Autumn Knight: Eugene Howard Open Sourced Lecture Series: Curated by interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight, the Eugene Howard Open Sourced Lecture Series is a non-traditional platform for eight self-taught individuals to present free public “lectures” on tangible and intangible artistic abilities. The series will be presented in various artistically, educationally, and historically significant institutions in the Third Ward neighborhood of Houston. Each event will include a lecture, demonstration, Q&A, and reception, and will be archived through text, images, and video. Knight is specifically interested in engaging as lecturers older Houstonians, ex-pats, under-represented artists, and marginalized voices.

Michelle Monseau & Barbara Perea: Crossing the Line: Exchange Project between Three Walls (San Antonio) and Centro Cultural Border (Mexico City): Framed as a creative multidisciplinary exchange between cities, Monseau and Perea plan to mount two non-traditional exhibitions. The first will be in San Antonio and involves an interactive, site-specific sound installation by Mexico City-based artist Manuel Rocha Iturbide. The second exhibition, at Centro Cultural Border in Mexico City, will involve the “contamination” and “hybridization” of gallery by Texas-based artists and “invade” the immediate outdoor urban space through a performance/social sculpture conceived by Monseau and San Antonio-based artist Cruz Ortiz.

Nomadic Beats / Kelly McCann, Dustin Chad Gann, Harbeer Sandhu: This trio of Houston-based writers, promoters, djs, and producers will present free dance parties in unlikely public spaces, such as city parks, traffic islands, under freeway overpasses, and alongside bike trails.

Cavanaugh Nweze: The Living Grocery Store:  Cavanaugh, a native Texan with Nigerian roots, is an accountant, farmer, published writer, and recognized community leader. The Living Grocery Store is an artistic expression in order to functionally, psychologically, and culturally transform the relationships that low-income communities have with healthy food. Instead of simply pleading for the distribution of nutritional food in these communities, The Living Grocery Store will demonstrate multiple creative ways to repurpose land, buildings, and empty spaces into artistically installed food sources.

Robert A. Pruitt: Pop Up Sculpture Park: Houston-based artist Robert A. Pruitt will invite six artists to each create temporary, lightweight, large-scale sculptural works to be installed in a vacant lot which will then be made accessible as a usable park with accompanying tables and benches built by Pruitt. After one week, the park will be de-installed and re-installed in a new vacant lot in a different neighborhood. The neighborhoods selected are Houston’s Third Ward, Sunnyside, and South Park – areas neglected by most of the established Houston arts community and which have receive very little civic investment in their leisure and social circumstances (as opposed to spaces like Discovery Green or Market Square Park).

Phillip Alan Pyle, II: Sign Language: Continuing upon Pyle’s guerrilla street art project of the past two years, the artist will create a Third Ward civic club focused on neighborhood beautification through graphic yard signs and door-to-door marketing techniques, carried out by a team of volunteers.

Suplex / Max Fields & Olivia Junell: 2014 Suplex Presents Series: Suplex is a curatorial collaboration formed with the simple premise of actively implementing innovative ideas and projects that engage people through the arts. Throughout 2014, Suplex will present a series of three interactive solo exhibitions in previously abandoned spaces around Houston. Suplex gives each artist agency as creative leaders in the marketing, online presence, and documentation of their respective exhibitions. By extending the artist’s reach to the administrative realm of the exhibition process, in addition to the presentation of the actual work, engagement with the audience begins long before the art event, and continues after its conclusion.