The Austin Chronicle

Arts Awards

Area visual artists win support for 2012 projects

By Robert Faires, December 16, 2011, Arts

Four area visual-arts projects have just won grants from the Idea Fund, a program in which Houston arts organizations Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks Art Space, and Project Row Houses reallocate funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to Texas artists and art groups. Panelists Kate Hackman (co-director of Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, Mo.), J. Hill (Houston-based artist), Noah Simblist (Austin/Dallas-based artist/curator/writer and associate professor of art at SMU), and Michelle White (curator for the Menil Collection) combed through 170 applications before settling on this year's 10 grant projects, each of which will receive $4,000 ($3,500 for creating a project in 2012 and the rest as seed money to develop future work). The lucky locals are:

Michelle Benaim Steiner, Lope Gutiérrez-Ruiz, and Alexander Wright for the Gopher Projects, an initiative to "promote arts-based dialogue across cultures" that includes Gopher Illustrated magazine;

Aaron Dubrow, Xochi Solis, Jules Buck Jones, Drew Liverman, Scott Eastwood, Margit Raczkowski, Timothy Schmidt, and Carlos Rosales-Silva for the Alleycat Project, a series of sculptures, murals, and interventions situated in the back alleys of Austin's older neighborhoods;

Lakes Were Rivers for (Re)Collection, an exploration of the way photography is collected, interpreted, and valued through a book, an exhibition, and a public panel discussion;

Ariel Evans and Richard Yanas for Pastelegram No. 2, Solving Each Problem as It Arises, the second issue of the online/print publication, which will be an investigation of ads and popular magazines such as Time and Life, created in collaboration with artist Yanas;

Christina Sukhgian Houle for Exodus: Sequel to Migration Patterns During Wartime, a duration performance art piece in which 12 individuals will travel to and camp in Big Bend while inside a large, soft sculpture costume made primarily from stuffed animal pelts. For more information, visit

Belated congratulations to Hollie Brown, the winner of the 2011 Eyes Got It! visual art competition sponsored by artist/arts blogger Salvador Castillo during the East Austin Studio Tour. The Texas State art student beat 45 other artists for the top spot and the top prize: a solo exhibition at grayDUCK Gallery in 2012. Other artists who made the final four were Andrea Nguyen, Becky Joye, and David Culpepper. Emma Hadzi Antich was selected by honorary judge Chloe Yingst, who won the 2010 Eyes Got It! contest, to show at 1319 Rosewood for the second weekend of EAST.

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