August 02, 2022


Three individual jurors have selected an additional four recipients for the Urgent Art Fund Cycle Two. The Urgent Art Fund offers project-based support to Cuyahoga County artists, supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. This support may go toward production expenses and artist commissions for the creation of “urgent art” that is socially, politically, or culturally responsive. Jurors for 2022 include Jes Allie (Detroit, MI), Letitia Lopez (Cleveland, OH), and Aaron Williams (UAF ‘21).

Project recipients include practices as diverse as drawing, painting, music and other forms of creative urgent art. The Cycle Two cohort is composed of: Crystal Miller, “We Belong In The Future” ; Higo Gabarron, "A Women's Book of Coloring, Drawing, and Healing" ; Saba, Come Tell me My Body Isn't Mine. ; Theresa May (Trumpet), Afrofuturism: Black Lives Will Exist in the Future.

Of the awarded projects, Crystal Miller will create acrylic paintings that showcase her own idea of what afrofuturism is and what it can look like through her project “We Belong In The Future”. This concept gives her and others a platform to thrive in. Her exhibition will invite the viewer into an otherworldly space filled with vibrant colors, dripping jewels, and reflective glitter. She's hoping the viewer will be captivated in the lustrous environment and can come to the conclusion that black people also belong in the future. Higo Gabarron will create "A Women's Book of Coloring, Drawing, and Healing" as Therapy Support for Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The book will be the integration of art as therapy exercises to help women cope with hard news in their minds and heart. As part of this project, she will focus mainly, but not exclusively, on breast cancer. The idea is to organize the exercises into complementary sections. Saba’s project Come Tell me My Body Isn’t Mine, directly pertains to abortion rights and the direct consequences we are facing in a post-Roe society. Originally pertaining to the Supreme Court leak to Politico and now, the overturn of Roe v Wade, the piece exemplifies the dire need to take action for abortion rights and bodily autonomy. Politicians no longer speak for the people and have been disregarding the opinions of the majority of voters in the US. From the first two sounds that call upon the ancestors, and the middle section which dances in a groove to the beat of the African Diaspora, to the finale which ends in the spoken words. Theresa May’s project Afrofuturism: Black Lives will Exist in the Future, elicits stories of Blackness and embodies Theresa’s personal style, creativity, and aesthetic. This music and corresponding visuals are bold, relevant, and urgent.

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