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Charlotte Street Announces New Visual Artist Fellows

Three artists. $10,000 each in unrestricted cash gifts. The Charlotte Street Foundation - a nonprofit supporting Kansas City artists through exhibitions, studio spaces and residencies, and fellowships - has announced its 2013 Visual Artist Award fellows. The original pool of 111 applicants was narrowed to 10 artists, and then again to the three artists selected: Mike Erickson, Erika Lynne Hanson, and Paul Anthony Smith.

All are graduates of the Kansas City Art Institute.

Mike Erickson’s paintings have been described as Pop-styled, and sometimes are paintings of paintings. Erika Lynne Hanson’s weavings and video projections incorporate natural materials like linen, plants, and ice.


Paul Anthony Smith’s work is often autobiographical; he calls a recent technique, similar to collage, picotage. In an interview with the website fromyourdesks.com, he described how it works:

"For that technique, I like to use a ceramic needle tool which has the necessary point needed to remove the top layer of paper, it’s like collaging but it’s not. It’s the only tool of its kind I own, which I’ve shaped to fit my grip."

This year's panel of awards advisors includes Lauren Cornell of the New Museum in New York, Stacy Switzer of Grand Arts in Kansas City, and Franklin Sirmans of the LA County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. 

"The quality of the ten studio visits that we made was pretty amazing," says Sirmans. "It makes it all so worthwhile and it makes it more difficult to have to select three people in that situation. Which is a pleasant difficulty, obviously."

Since 1997, 80 visual artists have received nearly $543,000 from the Charlotte Street Foundation. If other funding opportunities, like Rocket Grants, Art through Architecture commissions, and the Generative Performing Artist fellows (added in 2008), are included, that number jumps to $805,000 in total awards and grants distributed by the organization.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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