Posts tagged with "United States Artists":

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United States Artists awards MOS and Sara Zewde with $50K grants

Chicago non-profit United States Artists (USA) has announced its 2020 fellowship class, a group of 50 creatives across the country and various disciplines who will be awarded $50,000 in unrestricted grants towards supporting their lives and individual work. New York-based MOS Architects and landscape designer and urban artist Sara Zewde were selected as this year’s sole architecture honorees.  “It is a critically important time to support the livelihoods of artists and we are ecstatic to be able to honor 50 of them this year,” said USA President and CEO Deana Haggag. “The 2020 class is the largest cohort of Fellows we have awarded since we relocated to Chicago, and each and every one of them stands out as a visionary influence in their respective field.”  Born in Los Angeles in 2006, USA was established soon after the National Endowment for the Arts decided to cut ties with its personal grant awards program. Now backed by larger endowment groups like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, among others, USA has continued to grow its annual fellowship program, often awarding two or three design teams among the honorees. Recent winners in the field include Erin and Ian Besler of Besler & Sons, Keller Easterling, and Lucia Cuba in 2019, as well as Amanda Williams and Norman Kelley in 2018.  Founded by principals Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample in 2005, MOS works out of Harlem, New York, on numerous projects ranging from schools, apartments, exhibition design, furniture, books, and more. Most recently, MOS completed a nine-acre Housing Laboratory in Mexico meant to help the National Works’ Housing Fund Institute (Infonavit) explore new low-cost housing typologies. In 2018, AN named the firm one of the top 50 interior architects in the country.  Zewde is the founding principal of Studio Zewde based in Harlem, New York. A trained landscape architect from Harvard GSAPP, Zewde also holds a master’s in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She integrates artistry and activism into her work, as seen in her graphic urban park planned for the Africatown Community Land Trust in Seattle or her masterplan for Plan Road, a historic street in East Baton Rouge that’s about to undergo major changes as the site of Louisiana’s first-ever Bus Rapid Transit system. In 2018, Zewde was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's inaugural “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” list. Find the full list of USA's 2020 fellows here.
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United States Artists awards Amanda Williams and Norman Kelley $50K grants

Chicago-based United States Artists (USA) has selected its 2018 fellowship class, and the 45 recipients across the United States will each receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant to spend as they please. This year, the class includes architects Amanda Williams and Norman Kelley, comprised of Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley. Founded in 2006 as a response to National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) budget cuts and discontinuing of personal grant awards, USA awards these funds without restrictions so that artists can pursue any project they’d like. The group is supported by a number of larger foundations, including the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson, and Prudential Foundations, as well as private donors. Artist and designer Amanda Williams has consistently bridged the divide between art and architecture while commenting on the African-American experience. Williams is most well known for her Color(ed) Theory project, in which she painted abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side in bright, monochrome colors. The work references Gordon Matta-Clark’s reclamation of condemned urban space, as Williams sheathed the condemned buildings in colors found in the urban environment, which re-activated the buildings and drew attention to their broken-down state. According to USA, “Her practice blurs the distinction between art and architecture through works that employ color as a way to draw attention to the political complexities of race, place, and value in cities. The landscapes in which she operates are the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that have misshapen most inner cities.” Williams has recently been celebrated for both her ideas as well as her architecture, and has had work shown at Design Miami 2017 alongside Sir David Adjaye at the “Spatializing Blackness” exhibition. She will be an exhibitor at the U.S. pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Norman Kelley, the New York and Chicago architectural practice founded by Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley, was also recognized for both their built work and design. Similar to Williams, Norman Kelley was singled out for their ability to transition between design and architecture, and work in both two and three-dimensions. Their work hasn’t been confined to the theoretical, as the studio has realized several projects throughout the country, including their collaborations with Aesop in Chicago and New York. The three-person jury panel for this year’s Architecture & Design category included:
  • Sarah Herda, Executive Director, Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL
  • Natasha Jen, Partner at Pentagram, New York, NY
  • Andrew Zago, Partner & Founder at Zago Architecture, Los Angeles, CA, 2008 USA Fellow
A full list of the 2018 Fellows can be seen here.
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Six Architects & Designers Take Home $50,000 Prizes

Today the United States Artists (USA), a national grant-making and advocacy organization, named fifty artists to receive the USA Fellowships, which includes six in design and architecture whose accomplishments, in everything from landscape architecture to digital technology, have distinguished them in their field. These fellows—hailing from New York, Los Angeles, and Arkansas—will receive unrestricted grants of $50,000 each. Among the winners are two architecture firms, a landscape architect, and an academic. P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S From United States Artists:
Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich founded their architecture firm, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, in Los Angeles in 1999. In their practice, they integrate digital technology with an extensive consideration of form and innovative materials. Working at various scales, they have recently completed a ten-story apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, and a mix-use corporate headquarters in Chengdu, China. Huljich is on the architecture and urban design faculty of UCLA, and Spina is on the design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
Stephen Luoni / Community Design Center From United States Artists:
Stephen Luoni is the Director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC), a non-profit that specializes in interdisciplinary public works projects combining landscape, urban, and architectural design. Luoni’s design and research have won him more than 80 honors, including Progressive Architecture Awards and American Institute of Architects Honor Awards.
SCAPE / Landscape Architecture From United States Artists:
Landscape architect Kate Orff founded her firm, SCAPE, in 2004. She merges ecology and strong form to create rich, bio-diverse, textured landscapes that magnify the relationship between people and place. SCAPE’s projects range from a pocket park in Brooklyn to a 1000-acre landfill regeneration project in Dublin, Ireland. Orff is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University and the director of its Urban Landscape Lab.
Reiser + Umemoto From United States Artists:
Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto started their internationally recognized firm, Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture, in New York in 1986. They established their firm as “an innovative laboratory in which significant social, cultural and structural ideas are synthesized into a tangible, dynamic architecture.” Reiser is a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University, and Umemoto has taught at various schools in the U.S. and Asia, including Harvard, Hong Kong, and Columbia Universities, as well as The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
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And the Winners Are

Among the winners at last night's ceremony for United States Artists (USA) were architects Neil Denari, Laura Kurgan, and architect/activist Rick Lowe. The $50,000 unrestricted awards are given each year "to ignite the creativity that makes this country great," according to the organization's website. USA was started in 2005 with seed money from the Rockefeller, Ford, Prudential, and Ramuson foundations to support artists in the wake of dwindling public funding for the arts. They praised Denari as a "leading voice in the pedagogy and practice of contemporary architecture," and commended him for showing that "progressive ideology is buildable." Kurgan's work employs "data network information and uses it as a visual device to inform and educate the general public on social issues and their physical implications to the built environment." The jurors referred to Texas-based Lowe as "an artist, architect, urban designer, developer, businessman, and activist who is a catalyst for social outreach for underserved neighborhoods." They praised his Project Row House as a "template for others to follow on how to bring local people together to engage their own creative energies and aesthetic values to produce a 'collective expression' to reinstate a community." The fashion designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte were also given an award by the design committee. The Architecture and Design selection committee includes Art Institute of Chicago's Curatorial Chair for Architecture and Design, Joe Rosa, Mabel O. Wilson, a professor of architecture at Columbia, Peter Zellner, architect and principal of ZELLNERPLUS in Los Angeles, Karen Fiss, a professor of visual studies at the Califonia College of the Arts in San Francisco, and Stephen Burks, director of ReadyMade Projects in New York.