CalArtians Win 2024 Creative Capital Awards

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In January, Creative Capital announced the 2024 “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact” Awards in Visual Arts and Film/Moving Image, with CalArts alums Carmen Amengual (Art MFA 16) and Elisa Harkins (Art MFA 15) among the awardees.

Selected from 5,600 applications, the 50 winning projects were chosen via a democratic process of external peer review, and were awarded unrestricted funding up to $50,000, professional development services, and community-building opportunities.

Amengual was awarded for her documentary film installation project, A Non Coincidental Mirror. This project blends experimental and political filmmaking to resurrect a forgotten event: the first and second Third World Filmmakers Meetings in Algiers (1973) and Buenos Aires (1974).

Exploring the anti-colonial struggles discussed at these gatherings, A Non Coincidental Mirror utilizes an archive from the artist’s mother, who collaborated on a film about African anti-colonial struggles. Through historical research and oral accounts, the project recontextualizes the 1974 documentary project, experimenting with storytelling, documentary forms, and installation strategies. The final output, an experimental documentary film installation, will be showcased in an exhibition space with associated programming, projections, and a publication. Simultaneously, a feature-length format will be developed to broaden project access and circulation.

Harkins was awarded for her documentary Ekvnv (Land), The Sacred Mother From Which We Came. This project explores an investigation by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation on the origins of artifacts discovered at Angel Mounds in Evansville, Indiana. More about the film from Creative Capital:

During Harkins’ visit to Angel Mounds in 2022, she observed that the artifacts there bore a resemblance to those in the southeast. Following her visit, Angel Mounds updated its website to state that Mississippian people once inhabited the area. However, The Muscogee Nation has since refuted this claim, stating that there is no evidence to support the presence of Mississippian people in Indiana. The implications of this investigation are significant, as the Muscogee Nation may be entitled to reclaim over 1 million artifacts and 700 ancestors associated with the site if their findings are proven true.

Harkins’ documentary weaves together interviews with experts and members of the Muscogee Nation to shed light on this important and complex issue.

“Creative Capital’s open call process continues to astound us with the compelling new ideas burgeoning across the country—from environmental conservation to community voices embedded in outdoor sculpture to women’s rights,” Creative Capital President and Executive Director Christine Kuan noted in the official release. “We’re committed to not only helping these brilliant artists realize their projects, but to also creating the conditions that will enable their artistic practices to thrive.”

Check out the full list of winning artists and projects on Creative Capital’s official site.

PUBLISHED BY Elizabeth Liang

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