Artadia Celebrates 20 Years: UNRESTRICTED Benefit at Phillips
On April 29th, 2019, Artadia will be celebrating 20 years of supporting emerging visual artists with a benefit auction at Phillips New York. Since 1995, Artadia has awarded over $5 million in unrestricted, merit-based financial awards to 325 artists in 7 cities. This network and commitment to financial support are what make this organization such a vital resource to artists. Artsy Auctions asked artists who have contributed work to this year's benefit auction about the legacy and importance of Artadia and what it means to them.
Artsy: This year celebrates Artadia’s 20th anniversary -- what, in your opinion, is the reason for their long-lasting success? Why is it so important for artists to be involved in nonprofit organizations like Artadia?
Patricia Treib: I believe Artadia’s long-lasting success is due to their commitment to supporting artists directly, at crucial points in their development. Through working with curators and art professionals local to each city, they’ve been able to seek out committed artists who would benefit immeasurably from public support when they most need it. A nonprofit organization like Artadia can give an artist another dimension of support beyond what can be found within the realm of commercial galleries—which can feel liberating.
Farah Al Qasimi: Artadia provides support through both funding and fostering community and dialogue between artists. They create a space, network and platform for emerging artists which I believe has been the main factor in their continuing importance and success. Artists should be involved in non-profit organizations because they provide support to other artists and help to develop their communities, creating opportunities and growth. We cannot exist without one another.
Carrie Gundersdorf: Artadia’s mission to give unrestricted grants in several different cities is unique and special. Creating the opportunity for emerging artists to be awarded in smaller art scenes brings visibility to art practices that may not be seen as readily as others. Artadia has been a wonderful catalyst in helping to create these thriving scenes and to help many artists build international careers.
Carrie Gundersdorf, Banded Marble Cone #3, Courtesy of the Artist
Artsy: Who is a past Artadia awardee that you’re inspired by?
Farah Al Qasimi: Eric Mack who currently has an installation at the Brooklyn museum - I really love his careful attention to the treatment and history of textiles - and Anoka Faruqee who makes mesmerizing paintings.
Lily Cox-Richard:There are so many! Focusing specifically on Houston: Karyn Olivier and Mequitta Ahuja continue to inspire me.
Patricia Trieb: I first became aware of Artadia when I lived in Chicago in the early 2000s. One of my teachers at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gaylen Gerber, was an Artadia awardee and an early inspiration for me and my work. He helped me become more aware of subtle distinctions within perceptual experience—and he also brought my attention to painting within a larger context—both visually and socially.
Portrait of Patricia Treib
Artsy: Can you tell us about the artwork you’ve donated to the auction?
Carrie Gundersdorf: I donated Banded Marble Cone #3, 2018. This piece is part of a new body of watercolors that I have been working on in my studio. I used a pattern from an image of a shell to create the composition of the piece. All of my works use found images of nature or natural phenomena as starting points, some viewable to the human eye, some only viewable through the picture. I am interested in exploring dichotomies of the personal and universal, abstraction and representation, and image and process through the work. While thinking about the histories of art and science, my work leans more towards the aspiration of making a science project – aiming for discovery, but remaining casual and homemade in its essence.
Patricia Treib: The name of the painting I’m contributing, Intervene, is related to the idea of intervals or gaps between things—an intervening space or time. The image grew out of the observation of the space between a group of 35mm cameras. I wanted the image to take shape and evolve through an accumulated history of observing this hard-to-define space over a long period of time. I want the color to have a sensuous quality and the palette is loosely based on my memory of certain frescos of Giotto.
Farah Al Qasimi: I donated the piece Bird Market, a photograph of one of many birds for sale in Abu Dhabi’s bird and pet market. I often work with animals as subjects for what they might represent about vulnerability, beauty, grace and photographic consent.
Farah Al Qasimi, Bird Market, Courtesy of the artist and Helena Anrather, NY
Mika Tajima: This print work is related to my series Art d’Ameublement, which are ambient paintings that draw on the psychogeographic associations produced by color combinations and the affective names of industrial colors/paints. In this print series, the words “Emotion Commune” is imprinted in various languages in the center of the color gradient.
Lily Cox-Richard: Hailstones: Grapefruit 2, Softball 1 is from an ongoing series called Sculptures the Size of Hailstones. I'm interested in thinking about the power of smaller things as demanding the attention of something larger, but perhaps in a more concentrated form. The forms are in part made from molds taken from matapalos, a kind of wood burl that I've been working with in Guatemala. They are kind of like woody tumors that form on trees in response to a parasitic mistletoe. I'm so taken with them because they are a like a natural act of resistance that grows into something beautiful.
Lily Cox-Richard, Hailstones: Grapefruit 2, Softball 1, Courtesy of the artist
Artsy: What does it mean to receive this kind of grant in your particular city?
Carrie Gundersdorf: As an emerging artist in Chicago in the early 2000’s, it was a valuable honor and resource to receive the Artadia award. At that time, I was barely making ends meet and just starting to find my voice as an artist. The financial award was very helpful, however, more significant to me, was being honored by artists and curators that I respected deeply, and in the company of other great artists. This instilled a sense of confidence at a critical moment in my development as an artist.
Lily Cox-Richard: It is very affirming to be recognized by both your immediate community and a national institution. On top of that, the unrestricted nature of the grant doubles down on this affirmation. It feels like someone is saying, "You are worthy; we trust that you know what you and your practice needs at this moment, so go for it!"
Farah Al Qasimi: The Artadia grant gave me the time and financial support I needed to experiment with a whole new world of materiality and re-photography. It came at a crucial time in my career - I had just moved to New York and was still learning how to have a practice without many of the resources I had access to in graduate school. I feel very lucky.
Patricia Trieb: It is an immense honor to receive this grant as a resident of New York, a city teeming with vibrant artists and yet, with sparse resources for funding—I feel incredibly grateful for Artadia’s support.
Mika Tajima: In the cloud of working hard, one often forgets to reflect on past projects and the work. And how does one get recognized in a city like NYC? So to have received this acknowledgement is such a happy surprise, but also makes me realize what I’ve been working so hard on matters.
Portrait of Mika Tajima