In a time where talk of strife and injustice is the order of each day, it’s genuinely uplifting to see something good and unfettered at play. Such is the case with the newly-formed Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists. Commenced in June, prodded by Mural Arts, and designed to elevate, foster and fund fresh new important work of local Black artists, the Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists is set to be an annual initiative, which, in 2020, is offering twenty artists $1,000 each to support their goals and their craft. Along with the dough, these same twenty artists will receive consultative sessions with experienced curators who can offer guidance on building powerful portfolios, marketing their work, and networking with fellow creatives from the area, and beyond.
While the work and words of all twenty Philadelphia Fellowship award recipients can be found here, dosage MAGAZINE and I caught up with a few of our favorites for comment.
The West Philly mosaic artist, famed for her own, and its name-brand local museum, exhibits her work regularly along the East Coast and conducts workshops for organizations such as Mural Arts, People’s Emergency Center and more. “I am so fortunate for this opportunity, especially in these trying, uncertain Covid-19 times. I’m looking forward to creating some new art with the money from the stipend. It will be interesting to get to know my fellow artist cohorts and their practice. Looking forward to career networking, and learning some marketing skills. Artists are notorious for not knowing the business end of the art world and I am no exception. Again I can’t stress enough how thankful and blessed I am for this opportunity.”
Anthony Carlos Molden
Currently exhibiting at Painted Bride Arts Center and readying a solo exhibition at Danny Simmons at Rush Arts Gallery, is a self-taught mixed media painter and sculptor with a practical 20 plus year career in construction and creation/restoration of decorative architecture. “I think this is very helpful for artists, even beyond the money. The exposure to Mural Arts resources and curatorial advice is invaluable. I plan on continuing my tree totem series which uses reclaimed materials and solar-powered lights.”
Beyond acting and modeling, it is Edmunds’ time and skill behind the camera that guides his vision of the future. Along with video work for WYBE, DUTV and Scribe, he is known for developing his “5 on the Go” arts-around-town series for PhillyCam. “I plan to continue and build on my project ‘The Inside Look‘…an artist series which docu-profiles national/international renown Philadelphian artist of color, and our elders that are under-recognized. Think Leroy Johnson, Betty Leacraft and David Stevens to name a few. I agree with Anthony, that this helps artists of color with added resources and advice so we may continue to create during this time of the pandemic. To quote Moe Brooker, “If you are given a gift, using that gift in its fullest sense is true worship.”