Gallery 400 on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus is one of six recipients chosen by the Joyce Foundation to receive a 2019 Joyce Award, which includes a $50,000 grant to help support collaborations between artists of color and cultural organizations.
The award was announced Dec. 12 and will go toward commissioning Mexican visual artist Adela Goldbard to stage “The Last Judgment,” a six-week exhibition at Gallery 400, as well as a traveling, pyrotechnic performance in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
According to the Joyce Foundation, the 2019 Joyce Awards were awarded to highlight the six collaborations between artists of color and arts and cultural organizations in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
Goldbard’s work will feature large-scale sculptures and will draw on Little Village residents to script their experiences of environmental justice, migration and safety, while envisioning a collective future for this Latino community.
Both the exhibition and the participatory event will be unveiled in fall 2019.
“We could not be happier to have the support and affirmation of the Joyce Award for this project with Adela and Little Village residents,” said Lorelei Stewart, director and chief curator of Gallery 400 at UIC. “Not only will Gallery 400 be able to strengthen our ties between the campus and the neighborhood, but Adela will be able to bring Mexican artisans to work with Chicago builders to construct the work, as well as enlist neighborhood artists and organizers in the co-writing workshops. Ultimately, ‘The Last Judgment’ will be a bi-national bridge that reconnects Little Village residents to traditions rooted in and remembered from Mexico but not often practiced here in the U.S.”
According to Joyce Foundation officials, the grants are intended to develop works that “engage, educate, and challenge, while celebrating the diversity in their local communities.”
The aim of this year’s projects is to take a creative and compelling look at themes of immigration, segregation, community sustainability and find a “sense of home in our polarized society.”
“For 15 years, the Joyce Awards have been a celebration of cultural diversity. This year, given the climate in our country, there is a greater need to spotlight efforts that encourage an appreciation of diversity as a strength of our society,” said Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation. “We’re thrilled to support these incredible artists and vital cultural organizations that brilliantly help shape our understanding of each other.”
To date, the Joyce Awards have granted $3.5 million to commission 65 new works connecting artists with cultural organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.
This is Gallery 400’s second Joyce Award. In 2005, the gallery and Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux won an award to commission a short 35-mm film installation entitled “The Alchemy of Comedy.” Gallery 400 and Arceneaux invited students from UIC and two local high schools to participate as both film crew and audience.
The $50,000 Joyce award is used to support artists in the creation and production of a new work and provides the commissioning organization the resources needed to engage potential audiences, new partners and their larger communities.
“What stands out about this cohort of Joyce Award winners is that they are directly taking on the biggest challenges facing their communities,” said Tracie Hall, director of the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program. “These artists are asking questions like, ‘How does a community come together to create its own strategy to address economic disinvestment?’ and ‘How can communities use art to chronicle and ultimately subvert histories of segregation?’ The weight of these questions has the potential to change the artists, the institutions that have commissioned them, and the communities they engage. That three-fold impact has become the hallmark of the Joyce Awards.”
Gallery 400 was founded in 1983 and is located at 400 S. Peoria St. It is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture and design. The gallery’s program of exhibitions, lectures, film and video screenings and performances features interdisciplinary and experimental practices. Operating within the School of Art & Art History in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Gallery 400 endeavors to make the arts and its practitioners accessible to a broad spectrum of the public and to cultivate a variety of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Gallery 400 is recognized for its support of the creation of new work, the diversity of its programs and participants, and the development of experimental models for multidisciplinary exhibition.