The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced grants to organizations across the country this week, including a $25,000 Art Works grant to the Wexner Center to support creative residencies in visual and performing arts, as well as a the commission of a new work of music:
• A gallery installation by New York-based artist Sarah Oppenheimer that “disrupts” the architecture of the Wexner Center by way of a rotating pivot mechanism with glass, on view in winter 2017. The artist is partnering with Ohio State’s Knowlton School of Architecture and College of Engineering, as well as with local architect Jerome Scott, on the site-specific project.
• A work by returning New York choreographer Faye Driscoll (Thank You for Coming: Play), to premiere at the Wex September 22–25, 2016. This show is the second in a trilogy that opens up fresh relationships between performers and their audiences. The first in the trilogy, Thank You for Coming: Attendance, is part of the center’s current season, to be performed April 14–17, 2016; while at the Wexner Center in the spring, she will also further plan for her fall residency. The Wex previously commissioned the Driscoll piece You’re Me and was the first to present her work in the US outside of New York.
• A composition by Columbus composer/musician Brian Harnetty titled Shawnee, Ohio, an electro-acoustical work using audio from archives from the Appalachian town of Shawnee. The commissioned work will premiere at the Wexner Center on October 28, 2016 and explores the region’s history in coal mining and organized labor as well as its fracking boom today. Harnetty will hold discussions with audiences and high-school students, and will engage with Ohio State students studying Appalachia, environmental issues, and musical composition. He will also perform his work in a historic theater in Shawnee, as well as in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Harnetty’s record label, Dust-to-Digital, will also release Shawnee, Ohio as an album and accompanying book.
The Wexner Center is the only Ohio organization to receive the NEA Art Works grant in the Presenting & Multidisciplinary category this cycle.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu says, “The arts are part of our everyday lives—no matter who you are or where you live. They have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the ones from the Wexner Center offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
Notes Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin, “The NEA has been a steadfast partner over many years of Wexner Center artist residencies and commissions. We are thrilled to once again receive an Art Works grant, this year to support three nationally acclaimed artists as they produce and present new work. And given the tours planned for the Driscoll and Harnetty performance pieces, the impact of the NEA funding will extend far beyond Columbus.”
The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts. To join the Twitter conversation, please use #NEAFall15. Visit arts.gov for more information.
More on Wexner Center artist residencies: