Monday, November 19, 2007

United States Artists - Unapologetic in LA (Los Angeles)

Our Mission, with no apologies:
To nurture, support,
and strengthen the
work of America's
finest living artists
[emphasis added]

On Thursday, November 15, the United States Artists Fellows for 2007 were announced with an award ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 17.
This unique organization is dedicated to providing significant funding and recognition to individual artists across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Following are quotations from some of the primary individuals who are intimately involved in making this resource for artists a reality:

"Bold vision and leadership are an irresistible combination for social investors. We hope this program acknowleges performance, helps sustain our artists, and inspires others to follow their creative instincts."
Douglas K. Freeman, USA National Leadership Committee; Chairman, Rose Foundation

“I am unapologetic about the unerring commitment to spanning this country, seeking the most innovative artists who represent the best of their medium, watching their excitement at the recognition, the network they are now part of, and the benefit they will derive from these resources.”
Judith Rodin, USA Board Member; President, Rockefeller Foundation

“It is important to nurture and honor the work of contemporary artists who take great personal risk to explore the outer edges of conventional thinking. They create an atmosphere in which we all can be more creative.”
Eli Broad, USA National Leadership Committee; Founder of the Broad Art Foundation

“I am unapologetic about rallying for recognition that our artists are indispensable resources for the life, economy, and legacy of the United States. I am unapologetic about enabling the support of USA Fellows, who represent the finest of American Creative practitioners, and about helping to bring them to the forefront of American awareness and appreciation.”
Samuel Hoi, USA Board Member; President, Otis college of Art and Design

“I am unapologetic about giving such talented artists the freedom to use USA’s support with no strings attached. If we want to foster artists’ creativity, we should allow creativity in the use of funds.”
Susan Berresford, Chair, USA Board of Directors; President, Ford Foundation

“I have learned how difficult it is to maintain financial security as an artist, even for some of our most celebrated, successful artists, and how few Americans appreciate that art comes from artists.”
Diane Kaplan, USA Board Member; President, Rasmuson Foundation

“We are unapologetic about going straight to the source in supporting individual artists rather than the circuitous route of supporting institutions.”
Arthur D. and Anne B. Collins, USA National Leadership Committee; Co-Chairs, Collins Family Foundation

“'Art comes from artists.’ This rallying cry from USA, I have really taken to heart. What has become clear to me is how complex it is to achieve the goal of making the public aware of this simple equation. I am part of the dream that is to have the contributions of artists and art making become part of the fabric of our society.”
Mark Bradford, USA Board Member; USA Broad Fellow 2006 in Visual Arts

“We are unapologetic about supporting excellence, originality, and the profound – uncoupling the need for deep thought and artistic innovation from the needs of commerce.”
Amada Cruz, USA Program Director

“With so many important causes to support in this country – such as poverty, medical research, and education – the arts are often ‘low man on the totem pole.’ I often feel the burden of having to justify supporting the arts. USA just does it: Here’s the money. Take it. Do what you must. USA puts into context why creativity, expression, imagination, and innovation are crucial to the health and prosperity of our country and the human spirit.”
Gillian Early, USA Board Member

“We are unapologetic about respecting and valuing the work of artists – both their external products, which bring us enjoyment, as well as the intrinsic process that produces the work.”
Susan and Pat Stevens, USA National Leadership Committee

“Contemporary art has often been controversial and difficult to support. United States Artists has made a powerful commitment to supporting living artists and, through its example, makes the rest of us wonder if we shouldn’t be doing the same.”
Paul Ha, USA Panelist 2006, Visual Arts; Director, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

“Being an artist is hard. Being creative is hard. Being original is hard. The artists I have met approach their work with the same rigor, dedication, discipline, and intellectual honesty that any scientist, inventor, academic, or philosopher does. Heck, these artists are, among other things, scientists, academics, inventors, and philosophers!”
Todd Simon, USA Board Member; Senior Vice President, Omaha Steaks


arlee said...

And congrats to you for your award!!!!!

jette Clover said...

Congratulations Gwen! You must be walking on a cloud. And thank you so much for all the information you supply the rest of us through your Textile Arts Resource Guide.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Gwen, you acted as my mentor when I took up the challenge of becoming SAQA MA/RI's representative. It was then that I also got to know your work. You stand out as someone who confidentially shares her knowledge, passion and creativity. You are not scared to tackle the hard subjects. I am thrilled that you were selected as one of the USA artists this year. Congratulations!!

Gwen Magee (Gwendolyn) said...

Thank you everyone. I'm deeply honored to receive this award but am continually pinching myself and hoping I don't wake up if it all turns out to just be a dream (smile).

As you can well imagine, the monetary gift attached to the honor is very much appreciated and I already have a thousand different ways to use it. However, I'm still processing the fact that my work is now exposed to a much broader audience than I ever really thought to be possible. It brings with it a great responsibility.

Sonji Hunt said...

We were all missing you at the Baltimore opening but were happy as could be to shout out "Gwen's in LA receiving her gigantic USA Ford Fellowship Award!" You deserve it, Gwen over and over and over! I'm proud to know you (with or without the award)

PaMdora said...

Nice post, Gwen, but you could have unapologetically announced your award on the blog. But you didn't. I was wondering if you would, seeing that you have named this Textile Arts Resource Guide. Could I interview about your work and the award for my blog?

Gwen Magee (Gwendolyn) said...

Sonji, I wish I could have also attended the Baltimore opening - its such a great opportunity to renew old friendships.

Pam, I consider myself beat with a wet noodle for not making a formal announcement - I'm not sure why I didn't, but it was not from a false sense of modesty. And yes, you certainly can interview me about it.