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|Drag queen embroidery project and other Atlanta gay artists awarded funding grants|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|January 10, 2013 18:19|
A man working on an extensive embroidery project detailing the faces of some of Atlanta's drag queens is just one of several gay and gay-popular artists receiving funding from a grassroots group that celebrates "creative risk takers."
Idea Capital, an Atlanta independent arts funding group, selected Aubrey Longley-Cook, who is gay, as one of its recipients this year for his work in combining embroidery and animation to document Atlanta drag queens.
Also receiving a grant is lesbian-fave Elise Witt, whose project is described as, "Prefaced with opportunities for vocal workshops, Witt’s 'Improv Flash Mob' will bring impromptu, 'pop up' singing to unexpected locations around the city from Lenox Mall to Little Five Points."
Melanie Hammet, a lesbian musician, also received a grant for a project series titled, "Life Sentence: A Series of Listen-Ins" that will "incorporate music and narrative to tell the story of a man imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and then exonerated through the Georgia Innocence Project. The project will take place in living rooms throughout the metro Atlanta area."
Aubre Longley-Cook's project will "document and celebrate Atlanta's storied, colorful drag queens."
In a November story in Mr X Stitch, Longley-Cook discusses being a male working in a traditionally female art form, how he took up embroidery as a way to stay close to his mother who died in 2001, coming out at 15 and his new portrait series of local drag queens.
In all, $10,000 in grants were awarded to nine projects, with each artist receiving between $1,000-$2,000.
Other artists receiving grants:
• Helen Hale — Atlanta dancer and choreographer Hale will create a theatrical dance performance examining human rituals and everyday behaviors.
• Marcia Vaitsman and Seana Reilly — A large-scale installation “Heisenberg Boulevard” will focus on the chaos and explosive energy of natural phenomena including volcanoes, tsunamis, geysers and tornadoes. Recipients of Idea Capital’s first Travel Grant.
• Rachel and Trevor Reese — Already recognized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the free publication “Possible Press” is composed of writing by artists -- both emerging and mid-career -- which allows them to express themselves in a different arena.
• Sheila Pree Bright — Tapping into the profound contributions of ordinary Americans in creating the Civil Rights movement, the public art photography project “1960 What 1960 Who?” will document these unsung heroes of American history.
• Tricia Hersey — Taking art to the people and focusing on Atlanta neighborhoods plagued by poverty and unemployment, guerrilla performance artist Hersey will engage passersby, offering them a bullhorn and the opportunity for catharsis through poetry.
Image: “Lavonia,” from the “Serving Face” series by Aubrey Longley-Cook. (Courtesy Idea Capital)
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