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MakeWork Feature Image
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MakeWork Grantees for 2012
Anderson and Jessie Bailey: CeramicsAnderson and Jessie Bailey: Ceramics photo by Jamie Leah Smialek
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MakeWork Grantees for 2012
Sybil Baker: LiteratureSybil Baker: Literature photo by Jamie Leah Smialek
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MakeWork Grantees for 2012
Tim Hinck: Performance ArtTim Hinck: Performance Art photo by Jamie Leah Smialek
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MakeWork Grantees for 2012
Paul Rustand: PrintmakingPaul Rustand: Printmaking photo by Jamie Leah Smialek
I was awarded a MakeWork grant in 2008 for a project with my group, Shakespeare Chattanooga. With it, we created an original compilation, “Songs, Sonnets & Soliloquies”, that we performed in Renaissance Park that June. (Ask me sometime what it’s like to try and do Shakespeare with Riverbend bands soundchecking across the river. But that’s another story.)
The grant had repercussions far beyond just that project. I was able to pay the actors, musicians, designers and stage managers. We have a script that we can re-stage at any time. And we were able to do a number of staged readings throughout the next year, using the momentum generated by the grant.
That the MakeWork program has continued successfully after the “Supernova” of parent organization CreateHere is a tribute to its value in the arts community. Its vision for helping artists see themselves as self-sustaining entrepreneurs has had big community impact. This year, 15 grants were awarded out of 120 applications, with an average grant amount of $7,000. I talked with five of the recipients. To follow projects as they evolve, check for artists’ blogs to be posted on makework.is
Paul Rustand: Printmaking
Technology, Paul Rustand fully acknowledges, rocks when it comes to graphics design, and he makes full use of it in his commercial work. But there is something about the old, hands-on methods of creating posters and manuscripts that is irresistible. So his MakeWork grant will fund purchasing additional letterpress equipment that will join the collection he and partner Matt Greenwell already have accumulated at their new space, 1271 Market Street, across from Urban Stack. The idea is to launch as “community-based print collective” that will also include intaglio and lithographic printmaking.
“There is a charm to letterpress and the simplicity of the equipment,” Rustand says. “It’s a craft of times gone by…there can be something missing in designing on computers. Printmaking lives in that in-between world.” But the letterpress equipment is expensive and increasingly rare, so creating a place where multiple artists can receive instruction and hands-on time with the machines means everyone will benefit.
Rustand and Greenwill intend to offer classes at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels. “It will open to the public, and we hope, very accessible,” he says. The project should be up and running by March.
Sybil Baker: Literature
When writer Sybil Baker saw UTC’s production of “Anton in Show Business” last year, the concept clicked into place.
A Southern native, Baker has lived in multiple places—North Virginia growing up, Vermont to get her MFA, South Korea for 12 years as a teacher—before coming to Chattanooga to teach writing at UTC. Most of her writing up to this point has been set in Asia. All along, however, she’s been a fan of the work of Anton Chekhov. “I learn so much from him,” she says. “He’s really the father of the short story.”
So…Chekhov…Chattanooga... “The Three Sisters”…the idea for a novel about three sisters from Chattanooga inspired by the Russian writer’s iconic play emerged. Baker had already settled on this project when she realized it might be a perfect candidate for a MakeWork grant. What was already conceived expanded into a multimedia exploration. The grant is helping her write the novel, titled “Replay, the stories of three sisters (“Really,” says Baker, “three aspects of my own life”), a lawyer, a reporter, and a musician, in Chattanooga from 1999 to 2011. And Baker will record and provide a CD of local music, and include photographs of different parts of Chattanooga. Readers all over the world will access Chattanooga and its reinvention through multiple vantage points.
Stephen Nichols: Music Production
“As early as middle school, I was playing in bands,” says Chattanooga native Stephen Nichols. Like so many in those earlier years, he moved away (in his case, to Atlanta), to find the opportunities not available to him in his home town.
But Chattanooga changed. More bands were forming and staying together—and here—longer. More venues opened up. Nichols moved back to town and for the last 12 years, has operated Elyzum Recording Studio to record demos of his own music and to produce recordings for other bands. “I wanted to bring something to Chattanooga to help legitimize the scene,” Nichols says. His MakeWork grant will allow him to upgrade his studio production equipment, and also allow more creative access to the recording techniques of the past.
“Everyone can use a laptop to capture sound,” he explains. “But, for example, I’ve got a 1977 analog recording console in the studio [that records sound in an entirely different way]. Being able to purchase new digital equipment to complement what I already have will help me interface with the older equipment in brand new ways.”
For local musicians, this will mean even more options for mixing exactly the sound they want.
Tim Hinck: Performance Art
Regulars at Barking Legs’ monthly Wide Open Floor events, fans of the New Dischord Music Festival, and those who saw the wildly innovative “Rebecca Furiosa” presentation last February know that Tim Hinck is a MacArthur grant waiting to happen. MakeWork, however, got in first, giving the composer an opportunity to produce “Cyclopædia”, a “visual/sonic essay”.
“I want to use elements that go beyond the scope of classic composition,” Hinck says. “How does a contemporary composer treat nonmusical elements? How can I score for this light source? What would a dancer do with a static 3-D form? I’m interested in artists tackling media outside their disciplines.”
Set to run for two weekends this coming February in a venue yet to be determined, “Cyclopædia”, will as usual be a collaboration. “I’ve got a list of about 20 people who may be a part of it, depending on their schedules,” he says, naming Blake Harris and Theater for the New South, Megan Hollenbeck, Chattanooga Dance Projects and dancer/choreographer Ann Law as a few on the list. One thing is for sure: The 60-minute presentation will be like nothing you’ve ever seen. (Follow the evolution of the project at timhinck.wix.com/cyclopædia.)
Anderson and Jessie Bailey: Ceramics
One of the most exciting aspects of their MakeWork grant to Anderson and Jessie Bailey is the opportunity to collaborate. Both are emerging artists in their fields—Anderson’s clean, dramatic functional ceramic art forms and Jessie’s handbuilt pieces and jewelry are well known in the local art scene—but their MakeWork grant is enabling them to work together to create a new slip cast line.
“Slip cast lends itself well to abstract, asymmetrical forms,” says Anderson. “The process is broken up into a lot of different parts, meaning that we can easily reproduce the piece.” The Baileys are using their grant to create prototypes for a line that can be “sustainable,” says Anderson, allowing them to sell to bigger outlets in other cities. “It also opens up opportunities for interns to learn the process,” he says.
He notes that the new line will also showcase experiments in color. “You can use stains to color the clay in this process, which creates unusual effects, like light blue porcelain.” The Baileys will continue working in their studio at Artifact, 1080 Duncan Ave., which they share with several other artists. Though Anderson estimates it will be January before the new project begins, anyone wanting to see the lines currently being produced can stop by or visit www.teamartifact.com.
Jessie has the final word: “We’ve seen how other people’s work has grown through their MakeWork grants. What’s most important in this grant is asking, ‘How is this going to make you a better artist?’”
Keep checking in with the recipients and find out for yourself.
Other MakeWork 2012 Recipients
Kevin Bate, Mark Bradley-Shoup, Matt Fields-Johnson, Lakshmi Luthra, Stephen Nichols, Greg Pond, Jennifer Rubin, David Ruiz, Eric Smith, Tiffany Taylor