McComb, Miss.— The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the recipients of its Fall 2021 grants. Among those awarded program support over 2 years is McComb-based Pike School of Art – Mississippi, which was awarded $60,000. The Fall 2021 list, which includes 20 first-time grantees, features organizations notable for their innovative and enduring support for artists through exhibitions, residencies, commissions, publications, and a wide range of public programs that engage critically with artists’ ideas. These organizations’ flexibility, creativity and collaborative approach to working with artists help artistic practice to flourish during this protracted period of instability and uncertainty in the art world and in the world at large.
“The Fall 2021 grantees are adapting and inventing new ways to meet the needs of artists as they persevere in the face of obstacles that surface every day in these unpredictable times,” states Joel Wachs, President of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, “Artists are at the heart of the Foundation’s work, and it is more important than ever to shore up the organizations that sustain and empower them as they evolve their practices.”
Currently, Pike School of Art – Mississippi is working with Greensboro, NC, artist Charles Edward Williams on FORWARD (LIVE). As a resident artist at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Center for Art and Public Exchange in late 2021, Williams wrote and produced a 7-track EP album entitled FORWARD, which juxtaposes the artist’s own personal encounters, past and present, with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The concept album consists of tracks recorded in McComb, with audio, spoken word, and music from local citizens and community stakeholders. While the music has already been created for FORWARD, Williams will come to McComb to continue working with the community to produce a live video version of the album, and to create a companion publication and limited-edition vinyl pressing of the album.
Williams’ residency will take place in early 2022, with the goal of working more closely with members of the community who have already laid the groundwork for FORWARD. Williams will more deeply connect with community members with whom he has only worked remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. Williams will also film a live version of the album, working with the performing artists who helped record the album. His PSA-MS residency will culminate in FORWARD (LIVE), an exhibition of new studio work in the form of paintings, drawings and audio and video that will be presented at the Mississippi Museum of Art in 2023.
In the fall of 2022, Pike School of Art – Mississippi will work with the Sea Level Rise Architectural Intervention Institute (S.L.R.A.I.I.). S.L.R.A.I.I. was formed in 2018 — as a collaboration between artists Laurencia Strauss and Jason Lazarus — in order to create awareness of sea level rise projection models in everyday as well as formal/institutional spaces. The installations of future calendar years and their corresponding installation height correlate with the height of predicted mean sea level corresponding to a range of reputable climate change models. S.L.R.A.I.I. will be commissioned to create a permanent site-specific installation indicating sea level rise projections for the Pike School of Art facility.
Independently, Jason Lazarus will extend his residency to allow time to research the history of protests in McComb. Since 2003, his work has sought experiential forms and methods to grapple with the politics of representation — often engaging communities in collective research and image making. Lazarus will use his time in McComb to create a monument, his first permanent site-specific artwork informed by the history and present of the McComb community.
Feminist artist and activist Micol Hebron, joined by collaborator and eco-artist Cara Despain, will host Feminist Summer Camp at Pike School of Art – Mississippi. Feminist Summer Camp is a unique, 10-day residency program for adults of all genders which focuses on exploring, educating, and redefining contemporary feminism through creative exploration. Feminist Summer Camp aims to continue and expand current conversations about what feminism is and why it’s still necessary and helpful. FSC aims to build inclusive, intersectional dialog and strategies that participants can bring back to their own communities to continue and grow the conversation. In 2016, 2017 and 2019, Feminist Summer Camp was held at Birch Creek Service Ranch in Sanpete county, Utah. In 2019, an iteration of Feminist Summer Camp, called Feminist Field School was also offered at the Centre Pompadour in Ercourt, France. Feminist Summer Camp has been on hiatus for 2020 and 2021, due to Covid, with hopes that it can safely resume at Pike School of Art.
During Feminist Summer Camp, PSA-MS will present Hebron’s (en)Gendered (in)Equity: Gallery Tally Project, a crowd-sourced, social engagement art project in which 2000+ artists from around the world have joined the effort to collect and visualize statistical data regarding ratios of male and female artists in top contemporary art galleries. Artists have been invited to make one poster for each gallery, in whatever style or medium they chose. The project started with galleries in Los Angeles, and is now deep in data, with a collection and visualization of gender statistics from cities around the world.
“Pike School of Art – Mississippi relies on our artist residency program to provide provocative community engagement,” said Calvin Phelps, Founder and Director Pike School of Art – Mississippi. “Recently, the residency program has shifted primarily to an invitation-only basis. This allows us to seek out artists whose work we feel will integrate with our community and our institutional values. Our aim is to work with emerging and established artists who maintain a critical art practice that addresses historical legacies (artistic, institutional, socio-political, etc.) and the material conditions of everyday life.”
“The economic, racial, and political turbulence of our contemporary moment affects the lives of artists as well as the work they produce,” says Rachel Bers, Program Director at The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “Museums, non-profit galleries and other artist-centered organizations are essential sites for artists to incubate, interrogate, develop and discuss projects that tangle with the complexity of the present; the Foundation values the prominence these platforms give to artistic visions and voices, centering artists’ perspectives in conversations that extend far beyond the art world.”
About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given nearly $260 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.
About Pike School of Art – Mississippi
The mission of Pike School of Art – Mississippi is to enrich and empower a thriving community built by artists and allies in Southwest Mississippi. Pike School of Art – Mississippi (PSA-MS) values collaboration, understanding, respect, inclusivity, equity, and unconventional spaces. As southwest Mississippi’s only contemporary art center, PSA-MS offers free community programming and exhibitions; artist residencies; workshops and talks; and space for art-making and discursive research. We encourage artwork and curatorial or writing projects that create articulations about the Deep South, including Mississippi and Louisiana’s history of the colonization of indigenous people. Projects about the ongoing African-American struggle to achieve full participation in American society are especially welcome.