February 22, 2023 Coverage and Posts

NEXT Pittsburgh: Nearly $300K in grant money is going to 15 Pittsburgh-based artists

Gregory Williams. Photo courtesy of Gregory Williams.

Nearly $300K in grant money is going to 15 Pittsburgh-based artists

By Jason Phox

Almost $300,000 from The Heinz Endowments will go to 15 Pittsburgh-based artists whose work highlights people living with accessibility challenges, the effects of the war in Ukraine on Russian children or helping youth learn to make music.

The Heinz Endowments Creative Development Awards support and advance the careers of local artists through increased visibility with professional partnership opportunities and financial backing.

The $296,450 in grants supports artists in a range of disciplines, including filmmaking, photography, theater and 3D-printed sculpture. Grant amounts in the program’s latest cohort vary from $8,000 for individual artists to $35,000 for artist residency collaborations.

“The art that enriches our daily lives is all around us, from the sculptures in our parks to the artists living and creating in our neighborhoods,” says Mac Howison, program officer for creative learning at The Heinz Endowments.

“The artists and organizations funded by the Creative Development Awards are shining a light on Pittsburgh’s triumphs and challenges; amplifying their deep connection to both our city and the world at large; and bringing insight, joy and beauty to all in our region,” says Howison.

The recipients are:

Mellissa Catanese. Photo courtesy of Melissa Cantanese.

Melissa Catanese: $20,000 to support the production of a book, image prints and an installation of “The Lottery,” inspired by the classic Shirley Jackson short story.

Natalie Condrac: $9,285 to fund the creation of a 3D miniature house influenced by Pittsburgh’s intertwined neighborhoods.

Karina Dandashi: $18,000 to support two film projects: “Out of Water” and “Cousins,” which explore nuances in identity through the intersection of family, religion and culture in Southwest Asian and North African countries, and in Muslim communities in America.

Film Pittsburgh: $35,000 to support an artist residency with filmmaker Gregory Williams for post-production work on his documentary film, “Warriors.” The film intertwines the story of a Pittsburgh teen who had never before joined a protest, but very much wanted to, with images and documentary footage from protests that have taken place in Pittsburgh.

Petra Floyd. Photo courtesy of Petra Floyd.

Petra Floyd: $20,000 to support the development of “Audio.belisk,” a sonification of the sculpture “Five Factors” in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Park by artist Peter Calaboyias.

Guardians of Sound: $35,000 to support Idasa Tariq’s one-year creative, performance and teaching artist role with the Hip Hop Orchestra.

Owen Lowery: $11,715 for the development of artwork prioritizing people living with accessibility situations. The multi-disciplinary artist’s “Access” project will include a series of interactive installations featuring mediums of accessible communication such as braille, sign language, text-to-speech, haptic feedback and Morse code.

Bryan Martello: $20,000 to support the completion of “The Front Yard,” a series of ephemeral black-and-white photographs that meditate on themes of pride, political rhetoric and the flexibility of history.

Darrin Milliner: $8,000 to support professional studio space at Pittsburgh’s Redfishbowl Studios and an immersive solo art exhibit. Milliner’s work incorporates digital and analog collage, painting and illustration.

Jason Méndez. Photo courtesy of Jason Méndez.

New Hazlett Theater: $35,000 to support a residency with Jason Méndez to write and produce “Sons of the Boogie.” The play explores the changes a Puerto Rican writer’s former Bronx neighborhood has experienced from the golden age of hip-hop in the 1990s to the present day.

Emily Newman: $16,500 for support of a film about Russian children affected by the war in Ukraine.

Felicity Palma: $20,000 to support research, production, studio materials and equipment to create an experimental film that examines the effects of cancer treatment on a young working-class woman’s body.

Mathew Rosenblum: $12,350 to support an audio recording of a new contemporary classical music work, “We Lived Happily During the War.” The work is influenced by Ilya Kaminsky’s poem of the same name that reflects the isolation, pain and political inaction he witnessed during the pandemic.

Sharrell Rushin: $15,600 to hire models to stage custom reference photos for use in prepping upcoming paintings, allowing her to lessen dependence on found images and stock photos and create art that highlights a broader variety of skin tones, textures and color palettes.

Marvin Touré: $20,000 to secure a two-year, fixed lease on a customized studio with industrial ventilation to facilitate the safe creation of his sculptures, which often include thermoplastic adhesives, silicone and resins.


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