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Announcing the 2018 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Awardees

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 award of a year-long rent-free studio space in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Seventeen visual artists were selected from a record 1,600 applicants by an initial review by four Program alumni: Heeseop Yoon ’06, Gilbert Hsiao ‘12 Ben La Rocco ‘05, and Rachel Beach ‘13, followed by a final selection with jury members Tara Donovan ‘00, Joel Shapiro, Loie Hollowell, Joanne Greenbaum, and Kalup Linzy ’05.

The recipients for 2018 are James Biederman, Jennifer Coates, Julie Curtiss, Carrie Elston Tunick, Louis Fratino, Allison Gildersleeve, Alejandro Guzman, Heather Hart, Erick Alejandro Hernandez, Sacha Ingber, Kimo Nelson, Lee Relvas, Tracy Thomason, Lumin Wakoa, Derek Weisberg, Ana Wieder-Blank, and Sun You. The residency period will last from September 2018 through August 2019, with an open studios weekend to be scheduled for spring 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome these seventeen distinguished artists to the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program this fall. We hope that by providing studio space and community to these artists, their practices will be enriched, and we’re looking forward to seeing their work progress over the next year,” said Jane Walentas, Executive Director.

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program is the new face of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, developed for artists, by artists in 1991. In 2014, the program was renamed the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program to honor the legacy of Marie Walsh Sharpe and reflect the new sponsorship and commitment of the Walentas Family Foundation. Since its founding 27 years ago, over 400 artists have received rent-free studio space through the program.

2018 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Awardees:

James Biederman engages with conversations of painting and sculpture, through a body of work encompassing painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Influenced by Minimalism, Constructivism, furniture making, and architecture, he creates objects that occupy the space between function and dysfunction. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Grant, Pollock-Krasner Grant, Rauschenberg Foundation Grant, NYFA Grant, and two NEA Grants.

Jennifer Coates is an abstract painter whose work is inspired by natural landscapes. She has exhibited widely, with recent solo and two-person exhibitions at Freight + Volume Gallery (New York, NY), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA), and Crush Curatorial (New York, NY). She received an MFA from Hunter College and a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. www.jenniferlcoates.com

Julie Curtiss is a painter who examines various representations of feminine identity combining humor with darkness and the uncanny with mundane, often depicting the grotesque in vivid color. Curtiss is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship through the New York Foundation for the Arts and has participated in various residencies, including the Saltonstall Arts Colony Residency Program (Saltonstall, NY) and the Contemporary Art Center At Woodside Residency Program (Woodside,NY). She received an MFA from L’Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France). www.juliecurtiss.com

Carrie Elston Tunick is a multimedia artist whose work examines instances of shared emotion with subjects that range from politics to sports and consumerism to religion. She was included in the Bronx Museum’s Bronx Calling:  The Fourth AIM Biennial, and has shown across New York City at Cuchifritos, The Proposition, Station Independent, and Google Inc., as well as internationally, including at Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria). Elston Tunick received an MFA from Hunter College and a BA from Yale University. www.carrieelstontunick.com

Louis Fratino is a figurative painter whose work describes the changing nature of queerness, family, masculinity, lust, and friendship in modern life. He has been included in group exhibitions at carlier | gebauer (Berlin, Germany), Andréhn-Schiptjenko (Stockholm, Sweeden), and Beers London (London, UK). Fratino received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. www.louisfratino.com/

Allison Gildersleeve is a painter and multimedia artist who uses the landscape as a venue to explore different experiences of space and the relationship between figuration and abstraction. She has had solo exhibitions at Asya Geisberg Gallery, (New York, NY), Robischon Gallery (Denver, CO), Valley House Gallery (Dallas, TX), and Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom, (Stockholm, Sweden). She has been awarded a NYFA Fellowship in Painting and has had residencies at Yaddo, Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center. She received an MFA from Bard College and a BFA from the College of William and Mary. www.allisongildersleeve.com

Alejandro Guzman uses performance, sculpture, and painting to dissolve the boundaries between esoteric spiritual practices and art production. He has had installations and exhibitions with Faena Forum (Miami, FL) The Moth (New York, NY), The Brooklyn Museum and Seattle Art Museum, and has participated in residencies at The Macedonia Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, New Roots Foundation, and MadArt, among others. He received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. www.alejandroguzman.org

Heather Hart makes social and participatory sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, and deals with issues of perception, liminality, history, and spirituality. Most recently her work has focused on public sculpture that creates a site for exploring the intersections of and conversations between Blackness, architecture, and the public eye. She has exhibited at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, the Studio Museum in Harlem, ICA Philadelphia, MoMA PS1, and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. She has had residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center, the McColl Center of Art + Innovation, Bemis Center for Art, LMCC Workspace, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Santa Fe Art Institute, Fine Arts Work Center, and the Whitney ISP. She received an MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, WA). www.heather-hart.com

Erick Alejandro Hernandez is a painter who explores the intersection of memory, history, and emotion connected to themes of identity and trauma, especially as related to immigration and the Cuban diaspora. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. www.erickalejandrohernandez.com

Sacha Ingber is a sculptor who documents physical and psychological experience within domestic space and architecture, drawing inspiration from Pop, consumer objects, prop styling, and craft traditions. Ingber has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Catwalk Artist Residence, and has recently exhibited at Hometown Gallery, (Brooklyn ,NY), DaSilva Gallery (New Haven, CT), and PEANA projects (Monterrey, MX). She received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA from Vassar College. www.sachaingber.com

Kimo Nelson paints the landscape of the American West, building works with multiple layers to reference the development and erosion of landscapes over time. Nelson has been an organizer and participant for the Signal Fire Artist Residency Program (Portland, OR). He has exhibited nationally at galleries including Danese/Corey Gallery (New York, NY), WAS Gallery (Washington DC), Disjecta (Portland, OR), and Chase Young (Boston, MA). Nelson received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, a BA from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR), and attended the Oregon College of Art and Craft. www.kimonelson.com

Lee Relvas uses sculpture, writing, music, and performance to explore the intersection of interior and exterior moments. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Callicoon Fine Arts (New York, NY), Artist Curated Project (Los Angeles, CA), and has performed at the Whitney Museum, Various Small Fires, the Hammer Museum, Art in General, and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. http://bodyisafolder.com

Tracy Thomason is a abstract painter whose work incorporates sculptural materials such as marble dust and clay. She has had solo exhibitions at Marinaro (New York, NY) and Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), and has participated in group exhibitions across the United States. Thomason was a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Art and the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship. She received an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield, MI) and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Lumin Wakoa paints past experience from memory, often revising each work several times until it feels both familiar and foreign. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Providence College and Reynolds Gallery, and she has received the Adjunct Professional Development Grant from CUNY (New York, NY), VCUarts Fountainhead Fellowship from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship (New York, NY),  and the Award of Excellence from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI). She received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the University of Florida. www.luminwakoa.com

Derek Weisberg is a figurative artist whose bricolage sculpture explores paths and strategies for encountering pain, violence, and death. He currently is a faculty member at Greenwich House Pottery (New York, NY) and has shown across the United States. He received a BFA from the California College of Arts and Craft. www.derekweisberg.com

Ana Wieder-Blank uses painting, ceramic sculptures, and performance to interoperate Greek, Mexican, and Indian Mythologies; Bible stories; and fairy tales through a contemporary feminist lens. She has exhibited nationally, with two recent solo exhibitions at Honey Ramka (Brooklyn, NY). She received an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BA from American University. www.anawiederblank.com/

Sun You is a sculptor who uses a variety of everyday and household materials to explore connections among women’s work, craft, the ready-made, and the language of abstraction. She has recently exhibited at the Queens Museum, The Korean Cultural Center (New York, NY), Seoul Arts Center (Seoul, Korea), and was an artist-in-residence at Marble House Project, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Triangle Arts Association, and Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral (Bad Ems, Germany). She is co-director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Brooklyn, NY). You received an MFA from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) and a BFA from the College for Creative Studies (Detroit, MI). www.sunyou.us

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