The first five Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows were announced last month at a reception in the Stutz Art Gallery in Indianapolis. Fellowships were awarded to five Herron School of Fine Arts faculty and staff—visual artists working in photography, painting, sculpture or installation art.
The fellowship program was designed to increase the awareness and importance of contemporary visual arts in central Indiana, to reward creativity and to encourage emerging and established contemporary visual artists by supporting their development. “Our family recognizes that the individual artist is key to unleashing the creative possibilities in our city, and more than support for buildings and collection is essential,” explained Jeremy Efroymson, an Efroymson Fund adviser. “To ensure that art is an integral part of central Indiana, now and in the future, we must value and support those individuals who create art—we must invest in our creative capital.”
Efroymson Fund, a donor-advised fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), provides funding for a variety of purposes locally, nationally and internationally, and is known for its support of social services, historic preservation and the environment. The Efroymson family also has supported the arts community in Indianapolis for decades, believing that art is a vehicle for exploring new ideas and stimulating community dialogue.
The $20,000 prizes may be used for living expenses, studio rental, rental or purchase of equipment or supplies, or travel essential for artistic research or to complete work. The Efroymson Fellows are:
Marc Jacobson, painting
Jacobson, an associate professor of painting, will use the fellowship to create, transport and promote his paintings of Indianapolis at New York City galleries.
Gregory Hull, installation
Hull, an assistant professor of sculpture, will use the fellowship to enhance his current work; experience Alaska’s Northern Lights; create artwork using 3-D forms on the Internet; and develop a model for a two-story-tall rocking chair motivated by ocean wave currents.
Linda Adele Goodine, photography
Goodine, an associate professor of photography, will be photographing the largest agricultural fair in New Zealand and will further her current work in re-examining the role of the American Midwest farmer during this technological era. The award also will cover costs for producing and designing her final work.
David Russick, painting
Russick, director of the Herron Gallery, will use the fellowship to visit numerous galleries in Italy to further inform and complement his work in Indianapolis. The fellowship will give him the opportunity to continue his education as both a painter and curator.
Eric Nordgulen, sculpture
Nordgulen, associate professor of sculpture, will be expanding his sculptures more towards architectural objects in nature. He also will help develop a new bridge for the Cottage Home Neighborhood Association and devote more time to his craft.
A six-member selection committee, consisting of national, regional and local representatives, reviewed the materials submitted by 87 artists and determined 11 finalists. The selection committee included Janet Tyson of Fort Worth, Texas; Betsy Stirratt, IU School of Fine Arts Gallery, Bloomington; Lee Marks, Lee Marks Fine Art, Shelbyville; Dee Schaad, University of Indianapolis; Mindy Taylor Ross, art consultant, Indianapolis; and Julia Muney Moore, Indianapolis Art Center.
Efroymson Fund advisers Lori, Jeremy and Elissa Efroymson determined the final five fellowship recipients from the 11 finalists the selection committee recommended.
Compared to other cities across the U.S., it is rare to find a similar individual artist program with award amounts this size. “Our research shows that individual artist grants of similar amounts often have restrictions on eligibility such as being a degreed artist, having a minimum number of years of professional years’ experience, or limitations on what the funds can be used for,” said Brian Payne, president of CICF. “The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowships truly offer greater flexibility and opportunity for more artists to develop their craft right here in Indianapolis. “