July 2, 2015
Press Release
Results of the 2015 Artist Community Engagement Grant

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation is excited to announce the recipients of the inaugural season of the Artist Community Engagement (ACE) Grant in New York City. The ACE Grant Program was established in 2015 with the goal to encourage meaningful engagement between New York-based artists and their surrounding communities.

The ACE Grant was inspired by the successes of the RHMF YoYoYo Grants that began in 2013 as part of the Foundation’s LA Initiative. We are thrilled to be able to expand this worthwhile Fund to our New York City-based artists and communities.

Since 1995, the RHMF has awarded over 200 unrestricted cash grants to artists in New York City and Los Angeles. With the addition of the ACE Grants, we hope to have an even greater impact on the artist community, especially in our support of artistic collaboration, special projects, and community engagement.

Through careful deliberation by the selection committee that included Jesse Greenberg (artist), Naomi Hersson-Ringskog (executive director, No Longer Empty), David Humphrey (artist), Nicole Russo (owner and director, Chapter NY), Elisabeth Sherman (senior curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art), John Silvis (artist, independent curator and art advisor), Lumi Tan (associate curator, The Kitchen), and Nari Ward (artist), ten artist proposals were chosen to receive funding ranging from $750- $1,500 to carry out their projects.

Please help us congratulate the 2015 ACE Grantees!

Camel Collective, (Anthony Graves and Carla Herrera-Prats), “Something Other Than What You Are”
A multi-channel video, shot at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, that focuses on the hidden labor of theater. It is also a narrative about the production of light and the physiological and social cause–effect dynamics of light and affect, labor and love.

Aisha Cousins, “The Soulville Census”
A performance art score which documents and responds to the 2010 US Census’ decision to lump blacks from the USA, Caribbean, and African countries into a single checkbox. Administered by a team of “census takers,” the Soulville Census engages black Americans from a range of geographic backgrounds in taking an alternative census which “gathers the data the 2010 US Census missed” as a means of exploring how a census can be used to illuminate or conceal important sociological shifts.

Heather Hart, “The Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother”
The artist will be building a physical space that holds liminal content; it will transform with each use according to a visitor’s frame of reference or the programming concept. The space will be a site offered to the public for conversation and a space of self-actualization and reclamation through interaction with other people and the sculpture.

Stacie Johnson, “Seniors Visit Local Artists in the Studio”
Senior citizens in Bushwick and Ridgewood are invited to participate in a weekly studio visit series. Small groups of seniors will visit to artists’ studios to expand the relationship between artists and their neighborhood.

Saul Melman (collaborator: Maria Petschnig), “Memory Palace”
A video project inspired by conversations between the artists and individuals with memory disorders. The project explores the indistinct lines between past and present, memory and imagination, identity and loss. The video will be presented at the NY Memory Center and Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Cathleen Mooses (collaborators: Aurora De Armendi, Vladmir Cybil Charlier Rejin Leys), “Correspondence from NYC to PAP”
Over the course of the fall of 2015, a core group of four artists will each facilitate a round­table discussion between extended communities of artists based in New York City that will act as the basis for a correspondence with artists in Port­au­Prince. These exchanges will culminate in a limited edition publication to be distributed in the respective cities.

Rory Parks (collaborator: Christina Sukhgian Houle), “Mirror Tools”
This project pairs clients of Grand Central Drop-In Shelter with Art Students League members for an exercise in co-directed working processes across institutions. Through a creative curriculum, participants paired from each institution, will be guided through the project to support (mirror) each other through the creation of an artwork by each. The project will result in a Mirror Tools worksheet publication and an exhibition of the projects produced.

Shani Peters (collaborator: Sharita Towne), “Tradução: Intercultural Media Exchange: US & Brazil”
A cultural exchange project organized by collaborators Shani Peters and Sharita Towne, the project will bring an interdisciplinary U.S. based “playlist” to Bahia, Brazil to be translated and analyzed in open dialogue sessions, in tern participants will create and contextualize a playlist of their own to send back to the U.S.

Gabriela Salazar (collaborator: Mary Choueiter), “Carousel”
An exhibition project using an analog slide projector as a portable gallery. The collaborators will work with emerging artists to create one-night exhibitions held “on” the projector, at sites integral to the artists’ projects. The format sets a common denominator among varied artistic practices; these parameters are an exciting challenge for artists, and become a catalyst for conversation and gathering among diverse audiences.

Amber Hawk Swanson, “Five Dolls”
A performance and online experience that brings contemporary feminist art online while revising representations of doll subcultures. Five Amber Dolls based on the original RealDoll commissioned in Hawk Swanson’s likeness in 2006 will be distributed to participants, who will join her in a yearlong interactive performance and culminating exhibition.

About this year’s Selection Committee
Jesse Greenberg is a Brooklyn-based artist who has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Derek Eller Gallery, NY; Loyal Gallery, Malmo, Sweden; White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MS; and Kansas, New York, NY. Greenberg is the current recipient of the Shandanken residency award at Storm King Art Center. Jesse Greenberg is also the co-owner of 247365 in New York, NY.

Naomi Hersson-Ringskog is the Founding Executive Director of No Longer Empty. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Masters Program in Urban Planning with a focus on urban green sustainability. She was awarded the William Kinne Fellowship Award, and she currently serves on the Coro New York Neighborhood Leadership alumni board and as a Public Advocate to the Board of Trustees for Museum of the City of New York.

David Humphrey is a New York artist who has shown nationally and internationally. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize among other awards. An anthology of his art writing, Blind Handshake, was published by Periscope Publishing in 2010. He teaches in the MFA programs at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania and is represented by the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, NY.

Nicole Russo is the owner and director of Chapter NY.

Elisabeth Sherman is a Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where she curated Trisha Baga: Plymouth Rock 2 (2012) and worked on the 2012 and 2014 Whitney Biennials, among other exhibitions. She has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues, Art in America and ArtForum.

John Silvis is a New York-based artist, curator and independent art advisor. He is also the co-owner/co-director of Outlet Fine Art Gallery in Brooklyn.

Lumi Tan is the Associate Curator at The Kitchen, New York City, NY

Nari Ward is an Internationally recognized artist, living and working in New York City. His work has been widely exhibited on an international level, including solo exhibitions at the MassMOCA, Nort Adams (2011); Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee (1997); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2002); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001, 2000). In 2012, Ward was the recipient of the Rome Prize, representing the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities.