"Portrait of Duke as the Pacifier Punk," oil on panel, Katie Miller
“Portrait of Duke as the Pacifier Punk,” oil on panel; copyright Katie Miller (IAA Award winner); courtesy CONNERSMITH, Washington, DC
“Portrait of Duke as the Pacifier Punk,” oil on panel; copyright Katie Miller (IAA Award winner); courtesy CONNERSMITH, Washington, DC

Baltimore is such a hyper-creative place. Our graffiti is grand; our symphony’s uncommonly strong; our acclaimed writers, artists, and indie musicians get things done. And our state’s pretty artistically great, too. Eighty-seven Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award recipients were announced earlier this week, each artist receiving healthy grants of either $1,000, $3,000, or $6,000, respectively. The grants are meant to help advance artistic careers. Almost 600 state residents applied for funding in this year’s areas of discipline: Fiction; Painting; Media/Digital/Electronic Arts; Solo Theatrical Performance; and Works on Paper. Click here for a full list of recipients, their disciplines, and counties of residence.

“Artists and art making in Maryland help fuel our creative economy and expand opportunities for cultural engagement across the state,” says Theresa Colvin, executive director of MSAC. “The diverse works of exceptional individual artists is essential to the arts industry, which generates a billion dollars a year in Maryland.”

So how will Baltimore’s best creative citizens be spending their competitive cash? Find out after the jump.“Being a writer/writing teacher isn’t super lucrative, so it’s nice to receive a little extra money to offset living costs,” says writer Kathy Flann of Baltimore City, who received a $1000 grant for Fiction. “It’s also nice to receive a nod of recognition. With all of the rejection we writers face, good news like this can boost momentum. I’m grateful that Maryland has a program like this.”

“Even though it feels like I’ve already spent the money on physical therapy and support hose, the grant will make my year in Kampala, Uganda — starting in June — seem less like financial lunacy,” explains writer James Magruder of Baltimore City, who received a $3000 prize for Fiction. “A dollar goes a lot further in East Africa.”

“I’ll be using the grant to get away for writing time, working on two books — fiction and nonfiction,” says writer Ron Tanner of Baltimore City, the recipient of a $3000 award in Fiction.

“I’m pretty darn happy to be in such amazing company, and I’m so grateful to live in a state that supports the arts,” says writer Michael Downs of Baltimore City, who received a $6000 grant for Fiction. What will he do with the money? “Book promotion these days requires so much effort and expense — from travel to video production and web site development. Recently I completed a novel manuscript, and the grant from the Maryland State Arts Council will help fund the promotional work for that book. It will also help pay for the research and time as I start a new manuscript.”

“I was thrilled to be chosen by the MSAC to receive this award,” says painter Katie Miller of Baltimore County, who received a $1000 grant. “I’ll be using the money to fund my never-ending needs for paint, teeny-tiny brushes that fray far too easily, and materials to build the panels I paint on. I’m working on a new body of work for my second solo show with CONNERSMITH in Washington, DC, sometime in early 2014.”

Artist Beth Hoeckel of Baltimore City, who won $1000 for Works on Paper, says she also plans to spend money on materials, starting right now. “I am beyond pleased to have received a 2013 grant from MSAC,” Hoeckel says. “I’m quite literally going to the art store right now! I’m also sharing a booth at Artscape this summer with a fellow ‘Works on Paper’ winner, Alyssa Dennis — and I’ll be using some of the funds towards that.”

“The MSAC’s competitive Individual Artists Award (IAA) is a program administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation that recognizes the value of artists and their work to the cultural vitality of Maryland,” according to press materials. “In determining the awards, an out-of-state jury reviews unidentified IAA submissions and recommends grant awards solely on the basis of artistic ability.

“The IAA Program reviews a total of 18 artistic disciplines, which are separated into three competition groups that are awarded once every three years. The 2014 Individual Artist Award will open to applications around June 1, with a deadline of July 26, 2013.  Eligible categories include: Choreography; Classical Music Composition; Classical Music Solo Performance; Poetry; Sculpture; Solo Dance Performance; World Music Composition; and World Music Solo Performance.”

A ceremony for Maryland’s 2013 Individual Artist Award winners will be held in May.

2 replies on “Baltimore’s Got Talent: Maryland State Arts Council Honors 87”

  1. I was so disturbed by the photograph that I almost couldn’t read the article. Once I discovered that it was a painting, I was able to move on — I love hearing positive news about Baltimore, and we do have quite the arts scene, including a more and more interesting and diverse culinary environment. Oh, and we won the Super Bowl…..yes, Tom Brady, it’s time to put down your pacifier and blankie and accept that you are AFRAID of the Ravens!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Millicent. Katie Miller’s paintings do provoke and disturb — the realism heightens the complex satire for sure. They’re so darn amusing as well! Check out her artist site to see a real range.

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