Category: Awards and Honors

2017 Great Meadows Foundation Artist Professional Development Grant Recipient

2017 has already started off on the right foot!!  It brings me great pleasure to announce that I have been awarded an Artist Professional Development Grant from Great Meadows Foundation!

Great Meadows Foundation is a grant giving foundation, launched in 2016 by contemporary art collector and philanthropist Al Shands.  The vision and purpose of Great Meadows Foundation is to strengthen and support the visual arts in Kentucky.  There are accomplishing this by empowering artists and visual arts professionals to research, connect, and participate more actively in the broader contemporary art world.

Examples of professional development grants awarded include travels to attend conferences, major exhibitions, art fairs and biennials.  These experiences will enable recipients to connect with professionals in the field and help them develop their practice.  In pursuit of their proposals, grantee artists are traveling to American cities such as Boston, L.A,, Chicago and New York, as well as to countries as diverse as Cuba, Dubai, Greece, Iceland, and Korea to name just a few.

So where am I headed?  I will be attending CONTACT, the world’s largest photography festival in Toronto during the month of May 2017.  Each day of this week long trip will be devoted to exploring the broad spectrum of programming presented at this internationally respected photography festival, with the ultimate goal of initiating meaningful interaction and exchanges with the individuals who are making, presenting and viewing these works alongside myself.

CONTACT is a photography festival that is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography.  As a photographer whose heart lies beyond the click of the shutter, I too seek ways to advance knowledge, creativity and innovation in my work.  The impact of this deeply educational experience is sure to be present in my output for years to come, not only by inspiring new ways of creating but also incorporating conceptual ideas in my practice.  It could also be the impetus that broadens my audience and advances my career.

It was a true pleasure applying for this grant.  The wide parameters and narrow time constraints of the application made me super aware of current and upcoming exhibitions as well as potential development opportunities worldwide, several of which I have already submitted too!

Thank you Great Meadows Foundation!!

The Great Meadows Foundation region encompasses the 120 counties of Kentucky, and the Greater Louisville area of Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana. The next deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday March 19, 2017.  Travel in this cycle must be carried out between May 1 and October 31, 2017.  Click HERE to learn more and apply!

~jz

Creative Capital Professional Development Program at 21c

The life of an artist isn’t easy.  It may look glamorous from a distance or it may seem like we are always traveling or living the life of leisure.  But that could not be farther from the truth.  Being an artist in the modern world is a lot of hard work.  Not only are we responsible for the conception and production of our work, we must promote ourselves, get our work into galleries, elevate our status on social media platforms and constantly update our websites, oftentimes while we have a day job that pays our bills, our studio rents and our art supplies.  The life of an artist is not for the feeble either.  My work has been rejected for numerous juried exhibitions, fellowships and residencies…more than I can count actually.  But I’ve received my fair share of acceptances into shows, awarding of fellowships and selling of my work too…and thats why I continue to keep putting it out there (besides the fact that I simply like the process of making the work itself)!

So it was with sheer pleasure to learn that I had been selected to participate in the nationally renowned Professional Development Program of the Creative Capital Foundation of New York, which took place one Sunday this past October at 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville.  This was BIG!

Developed by artists for artists, the Professional Development Program provides career, community and confidence building tools to help all artists become successful artists.  The day long workshop was led by professional consultant Colleen Keegan and artist/educator/Creative Capital awardee Beverly McIver.

 

Spending a lot of time post-workshop with this workbook!

The Professional Development Program teaches artists about self-management, strategic planning and goal setting to attain increased satisfaction in your life and career.  Ummmm…yes please, I could use that!  Other topics included communication, with tips on improving verbal communications in negotiations and the importance of developing of a strong “elevator pitch” as well as descriptive written materials for promotion and fundraising.  After lunch we spilt into groups and addressed the specific topics of Time and Art Business Management and Financial Planning.  One hell of a full day!

Can you say inspiring…overwhelming…mind-blowing???!  I’m still processing it…and I think that’s the point!!

While I got so much from each part of the day, the one about financial planning hit home the most.  More than any other profession, artists go out of their way to accommodate their clients, reducing their fees to please and overextending their time without proper compensation.  This session in particular gave me the tools I needed to access a value to my time and work.  I now feel more confident knowing what my work is worth, taking into consideration the time and skill behind all of it.  I was also inspired by how far ahead the program motivated me to think about my life and career…what do I want to accomplish in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?  What do I want my obituary to say??  This is something great for us all to think about!

 

The other KY artists I was fortunate to spend my day with. (From Left to Right) Back row: Gaela Erwin, Vian Sora, Carrie Neumayer, Rosalie Rosenthal, Cynthia Norton, Scott Massey, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Matthew & Mitchell Bradley, Emily Sheehan, Jacob Heustis, Ewa Perz, Jennifer Palmer, Claire Pope.  Front Row: Ying Kit Chan, Letitia Quesenberry, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, JZ (me), Aron Conaway, Thaniel Ion Lee, Julie Liedner

 

If you’re and artist and have the opportunity,  take a Creative Capital Professional Development course…you won’t be disappointed!  They also have webinars on their website that can be purchased and viewed on your own time.

Thankful for the opportunity to participate in this most productive experience!

~jz

 

Founded in 1999, Creative Capital is a groundbreaking organization that gives substantial grants and guidance to artists pursuing adventurous projects in a range of media and practices. The professional development program, which has been presented in cities all over the United States, is designed to help artists learn how to manage their artistic careers, fund and market their work, communicate effectively, and develop sustainable practices.

KNLT Pine Mountain Artist Retreat

This past fall, I was invited to attend an artist retreat with the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust in Pine Mountain State Park.  KNLT has started hosting retreats where they invite 20-25 artists to join them in the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, their primary project area, to learn more about this special place and their efforts to preserve and protect it.

Pine Mountain Collective
Fall 2015 Artists’ Retreat ~ photo by Guy Mendes

 

The big weekend activity was a day long hike in Bad Branch State Nature Preserve.  The specific hike was to High Rock, a massive sandstone extending along the summit offering spectacular views of the Cumberland Plateau.  It was a beautiful autumn weekend.  Clouds in the sky made for the most spectacular light and the views were stunning!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend sparked a moving conversation about the role of art and conservation.  As we drove nearly an hour through the mountains to arrive at our departure hiking point at Bad Branch, we passed large mined areas of the ridge, devastating to see and truly sobering.  What can we do as artists to be the voice for nature?  Science doesn’t seem to be getting very far with facts alone.  Art is crucial to making that emotional connection which inspires change.  It got me thinking about my creative voice for nature!

The weekend was transformational.    I was inspired by KNLT and charmed by the Pine Mountain Settlement School.  There was a bonfire and bonafide entertainment.  Met a lot of great people.  Took a lot of deep breaths.  Felt connected.

Thanks to Greg Abernathy from KNLT for all his hard work in making this weekend a success!!  Click to access KNLT Fall Artist Retreat blog post to see who was on the retreat with me!!

Stay tuned for the announcement of an upcoming group show with artists from both the 2015 spring and fall retreats!