After You Hit Submit

Here’s what happens in that murky time after you hit the submit button on your RISCA grant application and before you get a letter in the mail with the results (and why it takes so long).

Each program’s process is a little different, so this is what happens in the Fellowship and Project Grants for Individuals programs.

Step One: Screening for Eligibility

Staff start by reading every single application- for the April 1st deadline, about 215 applications were submitted for the fellowship and PGI programs alone, this week I am working my way through 187. At this point, I just check that each application meets our eligibility requirements and is complete, and I take some notes about content, genres represented, and style for step two.

Step Two: Central Casting

For the April deadline, I gathered nine grant review panels with 31 total panelists from six states. We recruit panelists that are working in a wide variety of art forms and styles. Our panelists are artists, arts administrators, and people working in arts-adjacent fields or serving artists. With the exception of the Fellowship program, they are Rhode Islanders. This is similar to casting a play- we need specific skills, experience, and knowledge and each person fits together like a puzzle piece. We gather totally new panels for each deadline, you can only serve on a RISCA panel once every three years, so we are constantly updating spreadsheets and making notes about people we think would be great panelists.

Step Three: Panelists Evaluate Applications

Panelists for all of the grant programs, except a few of the fellowship categories, then review the applications at home, and give them a preliminary score. So, your applications and supporting materials are first viewed by panelists at home, on their personal computers. We estimate that panelists spend about 30 minutes reviewing each application, so, depending on the number of applications, this is a 12-18 hour time commitment before the in person panel review day. We try to give panelists at least a month to do this work. At this point, in addition to submitting a numerical score via our online grant system, they also take notes and make comments about each application in preparation for the panel review day.

Step Four: Panel Review Day

The panelists come to RISCA offices in Providence for an all day panel review meeting. This is the big day for your application. Facilitated by the program director, the panelists discuss each application in detail, returning to supporting materials, asking questions of each other, and looking at each project’s budget. Each panelists updates their score for each application, and once we have discussed each application, the program director ranks the applications by their total score. The panelists then make funding recommendations for each application, based on the total amount of money available to award.

Step Five: Distilling Feedback

During the review day, both the program directors and other staff take notes on the feedback from the panelists. Then, the program director distills this feedback into a concise paragraph for the applicant. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback or critique in our fellowship programs, partly because of the number of applications.

Step Six: Council Approval

Our council, which is the governor appointed group that oversees RISCA’s activity, reviews the panel recommendations and comments, and then approves the grants. We do our best to give them at minimum a week, usually two, to review the comments before the council meeting.

Step Seven: Notification

Once the grants have been approved, we send out notifications via mail to each applicant. With the exception of the fellowships, each applicant receives feedback on their application regardless of whether they were funded. From submission to notification typically takes about 2 and a half to three months, and a lot of spreadsheets.

Meet our Fellowship Recipient in Photography!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the past week or so, we have featured the 14 recipients.

Barboza-GuboJuan Jose Barboza-Gubo
Fellowship Recipient in Photography

Juan submitted 10 images from his series Virgenes de La Puerta, which honors the transgender women of Peru. Panelists described this work as political and important and human, as well as praising the technical aspects, especially the lighting and composition, of the works.

Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo (Peru, 1976) received his Bachelors Degree at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. He has received MFA degrees in both painting and sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has had numerous exhibitions in the US, including shows at the Nielsen Gallery; The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University; Chazan Gallery, Providence; The Fitchburg Museum; the06_Carol Attleboro Museum; and the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. His work has been featured internationally in galleries and museums in Tokyo, Athens, and Italy, as well as the Cecilia Gonzales Gallery of Lima, Peru. Recent awards of note include first prizes in the 2008 Ceramic Biennial of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and the 78th Regional Exhibition at the Fitchburg Museum in 2014. Also in 2014, he was named the Breakout Artist of the Year by Artscope Magazine. He is the recipient of two previous RISCA fellowships: painting in 2015 and sculpture in 2016. Barboza-Gubo currently teaches at Rhode Island College. www.barboza-gubo.com

 

Meet our Merit Recipient in Photography!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the next week or so, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.

brian bio picBrian Ulrich
Merit Recipient in Photography

Brian’s submission of ten images was described by the panelists as a layered depiction of wealth- the work feels both attracted and repulsed by it. The panelists appreciated the subtlety of the photographs, and that the series encompassed multiple facets of one main idea.

Brian Ulrich was born in 1971 in Northport, NY. His photographs examining consumer culture have been in solo exhibitions at the Eastman Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the North Carolina Museum of Art; the Julie Saul Gallery; the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; and the Robert Koch Gallery; as well as in group exhibitions at the Walker Art Center; the Museum of Contemporary Photography; the San Diego Museum of Art; the New York Public Library and The Art Institute of Chicago.

He is a recipient of a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. The Aperture brian picFoundation and the Cleveland Museum of Art collaborated to publish his first major monograph, “Is This Place Great or What” in 2011. In 2013, the Anderson Gallery published the catalog “Closeout: Retail, Relics and Ephemera”. His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine; Time Magazine; on National Public Radio programs; Orion Magazine; Vice Magazine; Mother Jones magazine; the Chicago Tribune; Artforum; Harper’s; Politico; Vice; Leica World; Yvi Magazine and Adbusters.

He is currently an Associate Professor and the Graduate Director of Photography at
the Rhode Island School of Design.

Portrait by Dawoud Bey

 

Meet our Fellowship and Merit Recipients in Crafts!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the course of this week, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.

Copy of S85A5689.tiffJungil Hong
Fellowship Recipient in Crafts

Jungil submitted fiber works that are based in the sound of the loom weaving translated into binary code. The panelists described this work as visually striking, and appreciated the relationship between the abstract visual product and the creation process.

Jungil Hong is a Korean-American visual artist.  Since graduating RISD in 1999 with a BFA in Ceramics, she has been immersed in a strong community of artists and musicians in Providence RI. In the thirteen years of studio practice between receiving her BFA and returning to RISD for an MFA in Textiles, she developed work that incorporates printmaking, collaging, casting and metal. A professor helped herJungilHong.Image3 150 understand a philosophy of creation in which one’s hand is present in every aspect of making. As an undergrad, this idea of constructing the rope to suspend the object was revolutionary, and it fueled her curiosity to learn multiple processes.

“My interest in how an idea is manufactured has shifted as my work branches out into the textiles industry. It is vital for me to develop and understand relationships with manufacturers and producers, and this understanding helps build a new language to incorporate into my practice; a practice with themes rooted in systems and relationships.”

chris headshotChris Taylor
Merit Recipient in Crafts

Chris submitted primarily cold worked glass pieces. The panelists commented that this work takes craft technique and history and moves it forward into the contemporary art space in a surprising way, and that this work is inviting and inclusive by its familiarity.

Providence, RI artist Chris Taylor turns the mundane into the extraordinary. For twenty years, Taylor has been close-copying readymade objects in glass such as bubble wrap, Styrofoam, soap, plastic, and paper. These objects combine his interests in subversion, irony, and humor with beauty, elegance, and a reverence for the tradition of glassmaking. What is unique to Taylor’s practice is that his objects exist as both sculptures and functional parts of the home. Taylor aspires to expand his audience,

Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder (installation view)

allowing his viewers to indulge in the tactile nature of these objects outside of an art context, by transforming his sculptures into functional objects that can be experienced physically in the everyday. Taylor was a part of the group exhibition Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder at MASS MoCA in 2016, where his bubble wrap sculptures Apparent were on view.

Chris Taylor’s work transforms the daily conventional experience with things into a sculptural and performative art interaction. Particularly examining glass tradition and conventions, Taylor’s projects have included learning to blow glass upside down. Taylor teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.

 

Meet our Fellowship and Merit Recipients in Poetry!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the next week or so, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.

Pickworth, 7-13-17Amy Pickworth
Fellowship Recipient in Poetry

Amy submitted 9 individual poems. The panelists particularly appreciated this work when read aloud, and described the language as elegant and assured.

Amy Pickworth’s poems have appeared in Dusie; Forklift, Ohio; New Ohio Review; Smartish Pace; Two Serious Ladies; and other journals. Her book Bigfoot for Women (Orange Monkey Publishing, intro by Matt Hart) was released in 2014. She lives in Providence with her husband and two children, and works as the editor of publications at the RISD Museum.

SatterleePhotoSarah Satterlee
Merit Recipient in Poetry

Sarah submitted 13 individual poems from a book currently in development. The panelists described these poems as carrying emphasis and significance, having an attunement to things in daily life that risk going unseen.

Sarah Satterlee was born in Westerly and grew up in Ashaway, Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Rattle, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Maine Review, Gamut, The Nasty Woman Project, and elsewhere. She has worked in the mental health field for several years, most recently as an acute care psychiatric nurse on the night shift. She lives in East Providence with her daughter. www.sarahasatterlee.com

Meet our Fellowship and Merit Recipients in Film & Video!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the next week or so, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.

maryMary Healey Jamiel
Fellowship Recipient in Film & Video

Mary submitted an excerpt from her feature length documentary SEARCHDOG, and excerpts from a series of short films about Warren, RI artist Allison Newsome. Panelists described this submission as very strong in the craft of filmmaking- good storytelling, strong editing, and great shooting. In the artist documentary, the panelists especially appreciated the focus on watching the artist work and letting the artist speak visually.

For more than four years, Mary Healey Jamiel filmed Matthew Zarrella, a Rhode State police sergeant who rehabilitates “pound dogs” and turns them into Search and Rescue K9s. The result was SEARCHDOG, an intimate and moving documentary that reveals the unparalleled patience, love and grit of these extraordinary human-searchdog postercanine teams. See SEARCHDOGMOVIE.COM for more information. Jamiel’s other award-winning documentary, Holy Water-Gate , was the first film to lay bare the 25 years of an institutionalized cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests, in which she details the methods and mechanisms that concealed these atrocious crimes for decades. Her short film Hidden in the Leaves explored the history of Lyme disease and focused on tick-borne illness prevention.

Jamiel is currently documenting the work of world-renowned sculptor Allison Newsome, a prolific artist whose distinctive style and gregarious personality infuse her ceramic, bronze and steel sculptures with unmistakable energy and force.

Mary is an associate professor of Film/Media & Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication & Media at URI  where she combines her passion for immersive documentary filmmaking and love of her students with her teaching. She lives Warren, Rhode Island, with her husband Kurt and their rescued dog Lucy.

benBenjamin Lundberg Torres Sanchez
Merit Recipient in Film & Video

Benjamin submitted four short films. The panelists were drawn to the use of media and pop culture style to address larger social issues. They appreciated the use of language in the submissions, and the effective use of humor.

Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sanchez is a U.S./-Colombian performance and visual artist.

His video performance uses bodies annotated by historical scars and pop culture citations to peal back the skin of Colombianidad, and to reveal the violence of U.S. intervention in Colombia. He regularly collaborates with Spiderwoman Theater Company as a designer and archivist. He has worked with Norwegian Theater Academy, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, 2050 Legacy, Jes Tom, TITS FISCHER & KITTEN’S KISS, and GQ/Conde Naste.ben work

He is a resident artist at AS220 in Providence, and is a member of the 2012 EMERGENYC cohort at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics. Lundberg Torres Sanchez is the recipient of NEA funding through AS220’s 2017 Community Live Arts Residency and was RISCA’s 2017 Merit Fellow in New Genres.

Meet Our Fellowship and Merit Recipients in Fiction!

Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the next week or so, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.

ARNOLDMK2017Mary-Kim Arnold
Fellowship Recipient in Fiction

Mary-Kim submitted the first chapter of a novel entitled Cumberland. Panelists described the work as having a great understanding of human nature and an acute observational quality, commenting that the mental state of the character is wonderfully embodied in the prose.

Mary-Kim Arnold is author of Litany for the Long Moment, forthcoming from Essay Press. She is a multidisciplinary writer and artist, whose work has been featured in a number of literary and art journals, including Tin HouseThe Georgia ReviewHyperallergic, and The Rumpus, where she was Essays Editor from 2013-2015. She was born in Seoul, Korea and was raised in New York. She holds graduate degrees from Brown University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Mary-Kim has taught writing at Brown, RISD, and at Wheaton College, and has developed workshops for Goat Hill and Frequency Writers in Providence. She is an Editor-at-Large for Fog Machine Press, serves on the Advisory Board of The Rumpus, and on the Board of Directors for Dirt Palace Public Projects. She lives in Pawtucket, RI.

Stewart_headshot_1x1Michael Stewart
Merit Recipient in Fiction

Michael submitted a number of short stories. The panel was intrigued by these short pieces on the border between prose poetry and flash fiction, and described them as compelling and memorable.

Michael Stewart is the author of four books including The Hieroglyphics and A Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Sewart_cover_magicMagic, now in its second edition. In 2011, he was chosen by Starcherone Books as one of the thirty most innovative young writers under thirty, and in more recent years, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts has awarded him fellowships for both his fiction and his poetry. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island and teaches at Brown University. You can find some of his work at www.MichaelHughStewart.com.