Artspace today announced the recipients of the first Artspace Artist Awards, which will be presented on May 19 at Breaking Ground – The Artspace Celebration at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis. The Awards honor three Artspace-affiliated artists, each of whom will receive a $5,000 grant, and one arts supporter. Tabatha Mudra, a resident of the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts in Fort Lauderdale, will receive the Dejunius Hughes Award for Activism; Linda Cover of the Artspace Tannery Lofts in Santa Cruz will receive the Su Job Award for Education; Quest Skinner from the Brookland Artspace Lofts in Washington, D.C., will receive the Steve Kramer Award for Community Service. The Paul Brawner Award for Support of the Arts will be presented to Catherine Jordan of the Twin Cities.
“By establishing the Artspace Artist Awards, we celebrate just a few of the outstanding artists who give so much to their communities,” said Artspace President Kelley Lindquist. “Inspired by four unique individuals who made an impact on Artspace during their lifetimes – Dejunius Hughes, Su Job, Steve Kramer and Paul Brawner – these awards are our way of shining a light on some of the unsung heroes of the Artspace community.”
ABOUT THE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Tabatha Mudra – Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Recipient of the Dejunius Hughes Award for Activism
Despite her young age, Tabatha Mudra has built a career in photography and a lifetime commitment to social justice and community activism.
Tabatha feels that her personal work is her social responsibility. Through her photography, her projects range from portraits to essays chronicling themes that include but are not limited to individual struggle and perseverance, intimacy and relationships and gender identity and self-expression. Her projects have focused on racial stereotyping, gender roles and androgyny and poverty.
In 2009, Tabatha founded Drag it Out, Inc. a nonprofit organization that supports and empowers youth and adult members of the LGBTQ community and allies. She designed and created her own “school” of workshops that generate self-esteem and build leadership skills. The workshops inspire individuals to explore gender identity and self-expression through performance art and community activism. Tabatha is highly respected as a leader in South Florida, serving askeynote speaker, panelist, facilitator or organizer at numerous conferences on gender and women’s issues.
Currently, Tabatha is an artist in residence with the Broward County Schools Diversity Department, for which she is workingto create an installation called Broward Talks, utilizing photography, video and illustration to capture conversations on topics like bullying, same-sex marriage and HIV positive youth, among others, for public viewing and commentary.
Linda Cover – Artspace Tannery Lofts, Santa Cruz, California
Recipient of the Su Job Award for Education
Linda Cover, a long-time artist, community organizer, naturalist and educator, uses visual art and poetry to teach kids to be stewards of the environment. She has inspired her students to create award-winning artwork and poetry as a SPECTRA teaching artist in Santa Cruz County. Following her example, Linda’s students have become a part of the community through exhibits and events. They've cleaned the sloughs, rivers, and neighborhoods; taken pictures of dirty rivers for shows; participated in gallery events as equals with adult artists; and had their art and poetry displayed at libraries, government centers and on local buses and walls everywhere... inside and outside.
As one of the founding residents of Artspace Tannery Lofts, Linda saw both need and opportunity at the Tannery. She founded Camp Tannery Arts, which brings kids to the Tannery campus each summer for hands-on, interactive arts education. Linda brings together the entire Tannery Arts Campus through the Camp, with Tannery Lofts resident artists and Working Studio tenants teaching, donating time, materials or space to the Campers each summer, including the more than 50 kids who live at Artspace Tannery Lofts. By utilizing the community in which she lives, Linda has created a simple, cost-effective model for arts education that can be easily replicated and is one of the crowning jewels of the Tannery Arts Center.
Quest Skinner – Brookland Artspace Lofts, Washington, D.C.
Recipient of the Steve Kramer Award for Community Service
Quest Skinner loves sharing her creativity and talents as a tool for building communities. Cultivating public spaces that are inviting and lively reflect the energy and vibrancy that she brings to her work. Even before becoming one of the original residents of Washington D.C.’s Brookland Artspace Lofts she was an integral part of the greater Brookland/Edgewood community. For several years she has lent her artistic talent to the Beacon House project in the adjacent Edgewood Terrace community by teaching fall and summer art classes to kids from pre-school age to high school. Since moving into Brookland Artspace Lofts she has collaborated with Dance Place to provide free summer art classes in the Selman Gallery and Dance Place 2.
Quest’s work can be seen on projects large and small all over D.C. She has produced commissioned murals for the Metropolitan Branch Trail, and the famous “Edgewood 2 the Edge of the World” mural at the Rhode Island Plaza, which is D.C.’s largest. The Quest-mobile, her butterfly festooned art van, is itself both a work of art and a slice of D.C. life. Her booth at Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market has become a touchstone for the community. There, she dispenses fantastic art, words of wisdom, and advice on where to find the best lunch, all with a smile that exemplifies her open heart and colorful style! Within the Brookland Artspace Lofts, Quest is the heart and soul of the community and a driving force in making Brookland one of the most active Artspace projects. Her rich and colorfully vibrant works are showcased often in the gallery, and hallways of the Brookland Lofts. Quest draws the residents of the building together by arranging mixers, workshops, communal meals, and summertime cookouts, and always reaches out to the surrounding neighbors to join in the backyard barbecues.
Catherine Jordan – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Recipient of the Paul Brawner Award for Support of the Arts
Catherine Jordan, a founding member of the Artspace Board of Directors, is an entrepreneurial executive with successful experience founding and leading non-profit organizations. Growing up in a family immersed in the arts and creativity, Catherine directed her creativity toward producing and organizing artists, educating teenagers, creating artistic events and leading arts organizations.
Catherine got her start as an arts administrator at the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota, better known as the WARM Art Gallery, and she credits WARM with providing her on-the-job training in arts administration. Over the years, she has provided leadership to organizations and initiatives throughout the state of Minnesota, including the Bush Foundation, United Arts Council, the Northwest Area Foundation, the Cultural Star Fund of St. Paul, Firststar Capital New Year Festival, At The Foot of the Mountain theater company, Intermedia Arts, Circus Juventas and the Artist Fellowship Program for the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, among many others.
Throughout her career, she has used art for social change. As a health educator, she used theater and video techniques to help teenagers talk about sexual health and drug abuse prevention, producing an award-winning film on adolescent contemporary rites of passage, Some Of The Things That Go On Out There, and an award-winning adolescent HIV/AIDS prevention video, All Of Us And AIDS. She toured the state of Minnesota in the child sexual abuse prevention productions Touch and No Easy Answers. Collaborating with other artists, Catherine formed Arts Over AIDS to encourage the Minnesota arts community to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic with life affirming activities, education and World AIDS Day events.
Catherine has served on the boards of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, the National Coalition of United Arts Funds, New Day Films, and the Alliance for Cultural Democracy. She currently serves on the board of the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary. Her service to the Artspace Board includes the hiring of Kelley Lindquist as Executive Director.