Nine artists and writers were selected for this year’s Rubys Artist Project Grants, which are administered annually through the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance with funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. This selection rounds out the list of annual grantees, which are divided into two categories: literary and visual arts, and the performing and media arts. Seven of the visual and literary arts winners (whose awards range from $3,000 to $10,000) are based in Baltimore City; the other two are in Baltimore County.
Winners in the literary and visual arts category include the artist Stephen Towns, who’s working on a quilting project which “processes violence through escapism, religion, and myth” and uses stories surrounding Nat Turner’s rebellion as a jumping-off point. Ericka Blount Danois’ sci-fi screenplay also draws on history, specifically “what martyrdom does to the personal lives of historical figures.”
Courtney Sender’s “The God of Longing” is a novel that tracks the near futures and deep pasts of three characters from each of the Abrahamic religions. Poet James Arthur will be putting together a collection that is “broadly speaking, a manuscript about love,” and Jen Grow will be combining photographs with essays about “loss of home, identity, and history.”
Artist Marian Glebes’ funding will support public programming and components of her yearlong installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art’s new Center for People and Art and concurrent installations at The Loading Dock, which explore the materials that build a home and how that connects to our sense of place. CP comics contributor Dale Beran will be conducting interviews and research to illustrate a book on the Baltimore City school system and its impact on students’ lives.
MICA professors Nate Larson and Tony Shore are both creating documentary-style work; Larson’s photographic portraits of Sandtown-Winchester residents aim to “make visible their lives, their struggles, and their triumphs,” and Shore’s paintings on velvet will depict scenes from the Baltimore Uprising, based on photos taken by CP Photo Editor J.M. Giordano during that time. (Full disclosure: Shore was a professor of mine at MICA.)