The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art is thrilled to announce the first round of Generator Fund grantees. $60,000 in funding will be awarded to 18 visual arts projects across Erie and Niagara Counties, including three grants of $10,000 for new platforms that serve many artists and fifteen grants of $2,000 that will fund individual projects.
The Generator Fund supports visual arts projects that propose new directions in the presentation and display of the visual arts, and the first round of grantees promise to ignite the visual arts ecosystem in our region with their innovative ideas and proposals. The $10,000 Potential Grant awardees are DOPE Collective, who will start a new visual arts project space gallery, Domo’s Art House; Robert Rusch for a creative fabrication studio that will work with artists to create limited edition print works in LIBBY Projects and Editions; and Kyla Kegler for Agatha Falls, a new performance and time-based art gallery in Niagara Falls operated by artist Kyla Kegler. The fifteen $2,000 grants will support exhibitions, media and multimedia projects, zines, workshops, fashion/art fusions, and more. Grantees include Sussan Giallombardo and Stefana Paskoff, Groupwork, Matt Kenyon, Iris M. Kirkwood, Nick Mass, Quincey Miracle, James “Yames” Moffitt, PETETHEGOD, Melissa “Chango4” Rivera, Silas Rubeck, John Santomieri, Joel Shackleford, D. Sloan & Connor Grogan, Dana Murray Tyrrell, and Elia Vargas. Read on to learn more about each of their projects.
“We are eager to see what comes from our first round of grantees,” said BICA Executive Director Emily Reynolds. “These artists presented us with challenging and exciting projects and will set a standard for future rounds of funding. We hope this funding is a catalyst towards building Buffalo’s legacy for innovation and risk-taking in the visual arts.”
The Generator Fund was announced in August 2023 as a fund of $60,000 to be awarded to innovative visual arts projects in Erie and Niagara Counties. The fund is supplied by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of their Regional Regranting Program and administered by The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art. Applicants could apply in two grant categories: Kinetic grants of $2,000 to fund an artist’s production for a new project with a publicly accessible component; and Potential grants of $10,000 intended to act as seed funds to sustain novel, long-term platforms for artistic expression and experimentation that foster collaboration, dialogue, and discourse in our region.
Through August and September, four information sessions were held in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and virtually, and 93 applications were submitted for this first round of funding. A jury composed of visual artist Julia Dzwonkoski, curator Tiffany D. Gaines, and artist and curator Pablo Guardiola selected the grantees. Round two of applications for The Generator Fund will be announced in the summer of 2024.
Full List of Selected Projects
Domo’s Art House, $10,000
Dope Collective: Ineil Quaran (Savion Mingo) and Jason Cathcart
The Generator Fund will help establish Domo’s Art House, a multi-use gallery space and alternative creative incubator. Funds will be used towards space rent, featuring gallery artists, podcast creation, and self-determined social-political advocacy.
Follow this project: dopewny.org
Agatha Falls, $10,000
The Generator Fund will provide six months of programming for Agatha Falls, a new performance and time-based media art space in Niagara Falls, NY, in The Tugby Lennon Building at 322 Niagara Street.
Follow this project: kylakegler.com/agathas
LIBBY Projects + Editions, $10,000
Robert A. Rusch
LIBBY Projects + Editions is a creative fabrication studio specializing in producing art editions, apparel, and designed objects. The Generator Fund will help kickstart LIBBY by hosting two shows in the next year and acquiring printing production equipment.
Follow this project: libby.studio
Rites of Spring, $2,000
This multi-media project reworks an early Modernist example of the vegetal other as a media performance that seeks to project beyond the human and address both the rite and rights of Spring itself. This Generator Fund Kinetic Grant will target operational costs such as tech purchases and custom fabrication.
Love Canal, $2,000
Dana Murray Tyrrell
“Love Canal” is a series of new paintings and exhibition by Dana Murray Tyrrell. This body of work thinks through the landscape genre as a means to understand the site of the worst environmental disaster in US history 50 years after the fact.
Follow this project: danatyrrell.com
TRANSVERSALS [Dead Futures], $2,000
D. Sloan & Connor Grogan
TRANSVERSALS is a hybridized experiment in producing and publishing essays, visual arts, and mixed media on theory, theory-fiction, and other speculative genres. Artistic creation is a struggle when meritocratic ideals place trend before rigor, flash before nuance, major before minor. We believe the struggle is worth the effort.
Follow this project: transversals.net
A Thousand Words, $2,000
Melissa “Chango4” Rivera
A Thousand Words will be a presentation of shared stories of an autoethnographic nature, written poetry, and visual aids in the form of portraiture. Awarded funds will go towards the cost of printing, zine-making, and installation materials.
Follow this project: instagram.com/changofour
Lost Woods, $2,000
Lost Woods is an interactive public art exhibition using blanket forts, treehouses, and other makeshift childhood structures to explore the formation of queer identity in adolescence. Funds from the Generator Grant will be used to secure materials and exhibit space in order to bring the project to Buffalo.
Follow this project: quinceymiracle.com
Gold Leaf Glass Sign Art – Workshop & Public Exhibition, $2,000
James “Yames” Moffitt
The Generator Fund will support the creation of works using gold leaf that are similar and different from more traditional uses in hand-painted signs. To engage the public and artists of Western New York, a workshop and public demonstration of gilding will coincide with an exhibition of new non-traditional work.
Follow this project: theyames.com
Dumpster is an interactive talking dumpster fire – a fusion of tech, art, and environmental concerns that serves as a megaphone, spotlighting waste, consumerism, and politics, igniting important dialogues.
Follow this project: swamp.nu
The Heliotechnics/Heliotechniques Institute for the Study of Solar Practices, $2,000
Heliotechnics is a speculative media art project that explores new ways of thinking about energetic entities, such as petroleum, whale oil, electricity, and the sun to decenter anthropocentric representations of nature, culture, and technology.
Follow this project: eliavargas.com
Field Service, $2,000
Groupwork provides “Field Service”: redefining reality in Buffalo’s open spaces through a curated sensory experience. Embedded within the trees, skies, and open fields, video art and soundscapes illuminate and augment our shared space, creating a momentary yet memorable dialogue between the natural world and its transient guests.
Follow this project: groupwork.fyi
Beneath the Soil, $2,000
Sussan Giallombardo and Stefana Paskoff
Sussan Giallombardo’s project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with Stefana Paskoff. She will be creating an installation using Stefana’s vast collection of animal bones. Her intention is to design and produce separate environments using the innumerable bones that have been systematically cataloged for over forty years.
Follow this project: sussangiallombardo.com
And Light Meant God, $2,000
Displaying the innate beauty and artistic value of light in a natural or slightly altered state through a gallery exhibition and series of videos.
The Last Dance, $2,000
The Last Dance is a representation of cultural Identity and how it relates to textiles in contemporary art. This is Petethegod’s first solo exhibition, and an intention to shine the light on the artists’ culture and its significance.
Follow this project: petethegod.com
Better Hoods and Garden, $2,000
This project aims to shine a light on the need to develop and better our inner-city neighborhoods.
Follow this project: joelfrombuffalo.com
IMKirkwood the Artist, $2,000
Iris M. Kirkwood
The Generator Grant will fund an exhibit of my artwork in God City Senior Living Apartments Community Center. I tell stories of the little moments in life: joy, pathos, awe, jealousy, love. My work is figurative. When I create my visual narratives, I use elements such as character, setting, and point of view. There is more to the emotional life of Black people than anger and sorrow.
Vague Questions, $2,000
Nick Mass and Silas Rubeck
Vague Questions is an interview series that documents the reactive mind. The concept is to take questions that may appear in everyday life, take them out of context, and allow the interviewee to assign their own topic to them. The questions are essentially Rorschach tests in language form.
Follow this project: Nickmass.net