Open Fund Press Release

Visual Arts Project Grant 2022 Awards Distributed

October 10, 2022 Milwaukee, WI

The Open Fund in collaboration with The Poor Farm and with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Re-granting Program is pleased to announce twelve Visual Arts Projects have been awarded $5,000 each in this funding cycle.

“Milwaukee County's art scene stands apart in its commitment to experimental, collaborative, and ambitious original work. The awardees of the 2022 Open Fund grants confirm this to be true in their visionary and deeply engaging proposals.” commented juror Nat Pyper.

The pool of applications are a testament to the strong presence of collaborative, public-facing, artist-run-projects that flourish in our region. Collectively the 25 artists receiving support will initiate further artistic collaboration and partnerships as projects come to fruition. The following projects received the 2022 Visual Arts Project Award.

Moody is a bi-monthly handmade zine publication featuring artist contributions by queer and/or BIPOC creatives run by Melissa Mursch-Rodriguez. _underscore is a space run by artists Michael Lagerman and Grace Mitchell that emphasizes risk-taking in time-based, installation, performance, and visual art by Queer, BIPOC, and other underrepresented communities. Microlights Cinema is a micro-cinema based in Milwaukee that specializes in programming experimental film and video art run by artists Ben Balcom and Jesse McLean.

Yours Truly community art space and gallery run by Taylor Bucki, Joe Clark, and Brittany Mahlberg. Molly Hassler's In My Chest will host free sewing workshops and binder drives in Milwaukee County for trans masculine people. OK Mmmm! (Open Kitchen, Milwaukee-masa-mole-mill) is a project by Rudy Medina, Alyx Christensen, and Alan Medina that explores hyperlocal food possibilities aiming to challenge food access and homogenous food norms in city settings. The Grilled Cheese Grant (GCG) is an annual community fundraising event and emerging artist grant run by Alyssa Sue Anderson, Rachel Hausmann Schall, and Joe Acri that provides financial support for undergraduate seniors at The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) who are working towards completing their senior exhibition projects in the areas of Fine Arts and/or Design. Usable Space is a series of summer exhibits at a repurposed factory garage in Milwaukee’s Harbor District in the form of small group or two person shows, solo exhibitions, film screenings, and a variety of performances such as live music and stand up comedy run by artist Keith Nelson. Live AV is an invitational project by Kim Miller and Peter Barrickman pairs unique artist videos with unique artists soundtracks, bringing them together to be performed live. Kitchen Minute invites people to share their kitchen stories via brief videos developed in the informality of their own kitchens with support from the artist team: Paul Druecke, Eduardo Zavala, Melisa Limanowski, and Joshua Rutherford. Full Moon Karaoke is a monthly karaoke night hosted by artist Sara Caron on the night of the full moon featuring local karaoke performers and performance art as well as costumes and sets designed by artists. Studio Seiche is an environment-driven workshop crafting cups and pitchers using local, hand-harvested wild clay in forms shaped by Lake Michigan’s shores, culminating in a free exhibition and a zine hosted by Sarah Eli Lu and Nora Leccese.

Juror Pao Her said “All the submissions from The Open Fund grant were very strong... I’m excited about the projects and I am looking forward to seeing them realized in Milwaukee.” Daniela Lieja added "It was an honor to be a juror for the Open Fund. I learned about Wisconsin's powerful art communities. While reading the applications, the collective spirit, the lively creative forms, and the non-institutional approaches fascinate me.”

The Open Fund looks forward to watching this year's awarded projects develop and materialize. The work by the recipients celebrates a diverse range of cultural initiatives and the communities and audiences it impacts.