Telluride Arts: 2020 Small Grants For Artists Announced

Telluride Arts: 2020 Small Grants For Artists Announced

Telluride Arts announces the recipients of their annual Small Grants for Artists program.

Transfer Warehouse. Image, Molly Perrault of Telluride Arts.

This week, Telluride Arts awarded grants to eight Telluride-based artists for various creative endeavors that advance their work. The funding will support professional development workshops, equipment, art supplies, and other necessities artists need to create. Grants this year will support a breadth of artistic disciplines, including literature, film, fine arts, jewelry, dance, and radio production, representing the diversity of creative talent that thrives in the Telluride Arts District.

Proposals are selected based on the quality of the work first and foremost, along with the artists’ plan to enrich the lives of the Telluride community by sharing their work through a performance, exhibit, screening, workshops, and other public happenings.

Every year, a peer panel of diverse artists and arts professionals who represent multiple creative disciplines review each application, then gather to evaluate the proposals and carefully award funding that will be meaningful to the artist and the Telluride community. The pool of applicants this year was the largest ever. Over 30 local creatives applied, making the decision process very challenging.

The selection process is rigorous and increasingly competitive. Each year the quality of proposals increases — a testament to the strong creativity that continues to thrive within the Telluride region. Since its inception in 1999, the program has supported over 300 artists, helping them to deepen their skills and advance their work in the areas of filmmaking, literary arts, visual arts, theatre, music, dance, and other disciplines. Over the last 20 years, Small Grants have been a significant investment in advancing the work and expertise of Telluride’s local creatives.

The Small Grants for Artists program is a long-standing collaboration between the Town of Telluride and Telluride Arts.

2020 Small Grant Award Recipients

Erika Curry-Elrod: Dance Development

Erika Curry-Elrod is training as a professional dancer in Denver where she is seeking out opportunities to grow as a performer. Erika’s grant will help sponsor her continued professional development through dance classes that are not available on the Western Slope. Erika’s professional development will impact the Telluride arts community through her ongoing contributions as a teacher, choreographer, performer, and mentor.

Jennifer Parsons, Sugaring: A Memoir

Jennifer Parson’s memoir, “Sugaring,” weaves her experience with grief with real-deal, humorous “how-to” advice to other young widows. Sugaring is the story of moving through grief, rather than the myth of moving on. It is the story of simplifying your life to see a way forward. It is the story of a woman who brings her children back to Telluride, where the love began in a very Telluride fashion – at midnight, at the Diggity Dog stand, and how a whole life sprang from that moment, love, birth, and ultimately death, and the children who live on.  “Sugaring” is aimed at women who like to look through other people’s picture windows when it’s newsprint grey outside, and those  who struggle with one simple question at a turning point in our lives: “Now what?”

Jill Wilson: “Telluride ABCs: A Picture Book”

In collaboration with artist Abby Fox, Jill Wilson is creating a children’s book titled “Telluride ABCs.” The hardcover picture book will take the reader on a captivating journey through Telluride, one letter of the alphabet at a time. It will include a mix of local wildlife, historical figures, local landmarks, and natural phenomena that are all quintessential elements of Telluride, past and present. Jill’s background as an educator and children’s librarian, combines with Abby’s is a professional illustration to create a book that will be both educational and entertaining for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Laura Colbert: Vox Canyon

Laura Colbert plans to create a series of audio interviews with interesting people. The description of her project is broad, vague, and simple by design. There are many individuals who live in or visit the Telluride region with fascinating stories.  Laura’s project will be a virtual venue that will allow for the oldest form of communication: a conversation. Laura believes in the power of just the voice, spoken words alone, to create an intimacy with the listener that is still relevant in today’s ever more visual society.

Poe Nicodemus: TAB 2020 Lumens

Poe Nicodemus’s project includes the design and fabrication of a wearable art costume design, building upon previous work through the use of illumination that will suit the theme of the TAB show where it will be premiered. This year, Poe wants to make a costume that advances their craft while twisting themes of death, depression, and pain into something beautiful, glowing, and graceful. For the past two years of participating in the Telluride AIDS Benefit, Poe has used the event as an opportunity to challenge themself and to push the boundaries of what they can confidently design and build.

Stash Wislocki: “Singlehanded”

Stash Wislocki is creating a 5-8 minute documentary film short, “Singlehanded.” In 2008 Dustin Reynolds was riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a drunk driver. As he lay on the road, still conscious and aware that he had lost an arm and a leg, he debated the awful choice before him. Call 911, live, and be disabled – or die on the road. Fours years later Dustin, who had no seafaring experience, set sail from Hawaii in an attempt to become the first double amputee to solo sail around the world. Since then, Dustin has sailed over 25,000 miles from Hawaii to South Africa to the Caribbean. The film follows Dustin on a sailboat in Antarctica as he tells his story of finding solace from the darkness of his accident on the ocean and seas around the world.

Tony Finocchio: Learn (Even) More; Teach (Even) More

Tony Finocchio is a jewelry-maker whose themes capture local mountain spirit and embrace a soulful life. Tony has established a firm artistic presence in town over the past year as both a creator and educator, and this project will expand his own skills as an artist and bring that expertise to aspiring, developing, and professional artists in Telluride. Funding from the Small Grant will go towards Tony’s continuing education

Valerie Madonia: “Swaying in Stone”

“Swaying in Stone” is a collaborative dance project between two artists, Valerie Madonia and Kim Epifano. The stories we carry in our bodies and the places we come from are imprinted on the walls around us. Walls keep us safe, keep us out, break us down, and transform our world. Conjuring stories from personal histories and those emanating from within the Transfer Warehouse site, Valerie and Kim invite their audience to move inside the stone walls with them and the ghosts that remain. Through dance, theatre, music, and video these artists will create an immersive experience for the audience featuring two well-known seasoned dance professionals and more possible creative collaborators.

Telluride Arts is the local arts council that serves the region by sustaining, promoting and expanding the arts.

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