Art News & Notes: $50K goes to local artist, application openings and closings

Atlanta tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis is a 2011 USA Windgate Fellow, and $50,000 richer

Greed Tapestry Coat, 2007, woven metallic thread
Atlanta tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis has been named a 2011 USA Windgate Fellow in the area of Crafts and Traditional Arts by United States Artists (USA). Riis' work is currently on display at the Museum of Design Atlanta's The Opulent Object in Wood, Metal, and Fiber through Jan. 1. From USA Fellows:

Informed by his research into the historical textiles of Pre-Columbian Peru, Imperial China, and Russian ecclesiastical vestments, tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis produces tapestries that are imbued with social content. One of his main forms is a "universal coat," which he meticulously creates with metallic thread, silk, beads, and semi-precious stones. He often addresses socio-political content within the hidden, equally detailed interior of each piece.

Riis is the first Atlanta artist to be awarded the $50,000 unrestricted grant since it was introduced six years ago. An artist must be nominated to be considered for the award - 50 fellows were named for a total $2.5 million. Members of the panel that selected Riis included Fabio Fernandez, Exhibitions Director, the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston; Jeremy Frey, Basketmaker and USA Ford Fellow, Indian Township, Maine; Lowery Sims, Curator, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Rob Sidner, Director, Mingei International Museum, San Diego; Suzanne Ramljak, Editor, Metalsmith, Bethel, Connecticut.

Spelman professor and artist Arturo Lindsay is one of 15 American artists chosen to participate in smART Power, a new initiative from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Bronx Museum of the Arts to engage in international relations via the visual arts. Lindsay will visit Cairo for 45 days to address fraught relationships between the Western and Arab worlds. He discusses the cultural diplomacy initiative in this YouTube video:

Applications for FLUX 2012 are now open.

Finally, the deadline for OCA's public art registry is fast approaching. Artists have until Jan. 3 to apply for the city's "preferred vendor" list of artists, an opportunity that comes around every two years.