$175 – $2,000

2018 BADASS ART WOMAN AWARDS & AUCTION

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Project for Empty Space

2 Gateway Center

Newark, NJ 07102

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Tiana Webb Evans and Shari Loeffler are thrilled to host the second annual Badass Art Woman Awards presented by Project for Empty Space on October 15th, 2018 from 7 - 11pm! This year PES is excited to honor four very special women in the art world: Gladys Barker Grauer (Artist/Artist Advocate), Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels (We Buy Gold/Jack Shainman Gallery), Kemi Ilesanmi (The Laundromat Project), and Peggy Cooper Cafritz (Co-Founder, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Civil Rights Activist, Educator, Philanthropist and avid Art Collector.) (Posthumus).

Recipients of the Badass Art Woman Awards are all women who, through their commitment to culture and community, have created space and opportunity for artists and creatives. These four women have impact that far surpasses their own immediate reach; the work that they have done and continue to do sets a precedence for how artistic communities should be nurtured.

This year’s Badass Art Woman Awards program features an autumnal dinner with a colorful palette, a vibrant cocktail bar, and some very special performances and happenings. The evening is also accompanied by our annual visual art auction, which supports our residency programs at Project for Empty Space. Guests will have the opportunity to take home original works of art donated by PES artists.

About our Honorees:

Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels is the founder of We Buy Gold, a roving gallery presenting exhibitions, commissioned projects, and public events and a Director at the Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. She is on the curatorial team of The Racial Imaginary Institute, which seeks to change the way we imagine race in the U.S. and internationally by lifting up and connecting the work of artists, writers, knowledge-producers, and activists with audiences seeking thoughtful, innovative conversations and experiences. Joeonna was a founding Director of For Freedoms, the first artist-run Super PAC which uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on the American political landscape.

Peggy Cooper Cafritz is remembered as a phenomenally accomplished leader, civil rights activist, educator, policy maker, and artist advocate/patron. Amongst her many accomplishments, she is well known for Co-Founding the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, serving as the President of the District of Columbia Board of Education, chairing the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and servicing as Vice Chair of the President’s Committee in the Arts and Humanities under President Bill Clinton. Peggy Cooper Cafritz had a profound impact on creating opportunity, visibility, and patronage around Black artists through her continued patronage. Her book, Fired Up! Ready to Go!: Finding Beauty, Demanding Equity: An African American Life in Art. The Collections of Peggy Cooper Cafritz, was released in early 2018, and is a fantastic example not only of her brilliant collection; but also, of her dedication to creating equitable and de-segregated space for Artists of Color. Peggy Cooper Cafritz passed away in February of this year.

Gladys Barker Grauer is a retired art educator who received her art education at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1971, she opened the AARD Studio Gallery on Bergen Street in Newark, New Jersey’s South Ward. This Gallery was the first and only art establishment in Newark that addressed the needs of artists of color by providing a forum for mutual support, professional networking, exhibiting and selling their art work. Gladys is one of the founding members of the Black Woman In Visual Perspective, the New Jersey Chapter of the National Conference of Artists, the Newark Arts Council, and for many years served on the board of Theater of Universal Images; City Without Walls; and the Newark Arts Council. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally from the Newark Museum to Dakar, Senegal. She won 1st prize for watercolor in the James Street Commons exhibit; received Rutgers Innovative Printmaking Fellowship; New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship; Artist in Residence at the Newark Museum Workshop; and commission for the Morris Museum Little Houses. Her work is included in the permanent collection of museums, libraries, private institutions, universities, and numerous private collectors. Her bio is included in numerous publications. Since 2006 she has completed five murals in Newark: one on the route 280 underpass on Broad Street, another at the entrance of Arts High School, one at the Marion Bolden Student Center, and Tribute to Newark Jazz Clubs on Hawthorne Avenue and Clinton Place and most recently Music Unites Us All on the PSE&G Fairmount Heights Art Wall.

Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project, which brings art, artists, and arts programming into everyday spaces, to amplify the creativity that already exists within communities. With nearly two decades experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and justice at the intersection of arts and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation where she supported American artists making adventurous new work. From 1998-2004, she was Visual Arts Curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, Kemi organized several exhibitions, including The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, and ran the visual arts residency program. In 2015, she was appointed by the Mayor of New York City to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, and in 2017, she was honored by The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Multicultural Audience Development Initiative. She also serves on the boards of EmcArts and NOCD-NY. She is a graduate of Smith College, New York University, and Coro Leadership New York.

About the 2018 Design and Theme:

This year’s Badass Art Woman Awards theme is inspired by the work of artist and educator Alma Thomas (1891- 1978). A trailblazer on so many fronts, Thomas paved the way for so many artists, curators, and educators (and more) who are working today. She was the first person to graduate from the Fine Arts department at Howard University in 1924, and the first African American woman to exhibit her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art. While cultivating her own painting career, she simultaneously gave much of herself to being an educator- working in a Washington DC junior high school for 35 years. Alma Thomas’ work was defiantly beautiful, and triumphantly present in a time when both her race and gender identities stacked the odds against her success as an artist. She endured in her own humble, yet steadfast manner, creating array after array of brilliantly hued paintings, and setting a very high bar for those who have come after her.

Of her own work, Alma Thomas said The use of color in my paintings is of paramount importance to me. Through color I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.

In line with this year’s design inspiration, requested attire for the 2018 Badass Art Woman Award is Homage to Alma: semi formal and/or vibrantly colorful.


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Date and Time

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Project for Empty Space

2 Gateway Center

Newark, NJ 07102

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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