The Pittsburgh Foundation

Exposure Artist Program awards grants totaling $300,000

PITTSBURGH, May 17, 2024… The Exposure Artists Program, sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation and Opportunity Fund, has awarded a total of $300,000 in grants to 17 artists and collectives. 

Launched in 2021, the program funds artists from varying backgrounds to support creative practice and elevate their work. In total, the Exposure Artists Program has awarded $515,000 in grants to 29 artists. 

Grants support individuals and collectives with experience in the field, transformative justice grants to BIPOC artists working at the intersection of art and activism, and artists who are first-time funding recipients.

The grantees were selected by a panel of regionally and nationally known artists. 

First-time grantee awards totaling $20,000 went to:

  • RaiZArts (Ray's Arts), visual artist, $5,000 to support publicizing his anime art, a distinctive style of animation originating in Japan, to the greater anime community through conventions in Pittsburgh and across the United States.
  • TACUMBA, multidisciplinary artist, $5,000 to support “The Future Is Black,” a project to create high-quality, meaningful experiences with and for local artists and creatives.
  • Tresa Murphy-Green, multidisciplinary artist, $5,000 to support their work as a DJ, including recording and sharing of mixes to a national audience and to support development in metal smithing and writing. 
  • Tyra Jamison, musician, $5,000 to support an official entrance to the local and regional music scene in a way that is authentic to the artist.

Individual/Collective awards totaling $150,000 went to:

  • Sobia Ahmad, multidisciplinary artist, $20,000 to create a series of four (6 ft. x 3 ft. each) mixed media experimental, abstract weavings titled “On Tender Ground.” Guided by the artist’s interest and research in spiritual ecology, everyday materials and the domestic space, these weavings will be made from recycled and repurposed materials such as scraps of paper, fabric and natural dyes.
  • Jaime Guerrero, craft, $20,000 to expand his artistic practice, primarily centered around glass sculpting. 
  • Ifeoma, visual artist, $20,000 to support work on the series “We All Carry Our Own World.” The purpose of this series is to literally express what those around us may be carrying, whether it is heavy or light, joyful or harmful. If we could literally see the world each of us is carrying when we interact, how would we see it? How would it affect our interactions?
  • Erika Denae J, multidisciplinary artist, $10,000 to support the development of her artistic practice that combines singing, songwriting, producing, writing and creating spaces that engage artists and young adults in her community. 
  • DS Kinsel, visual artist, $20,000 to further develop "Brain Bone Blood," a collection of mixed media paintings and artifacts. 
  • José Pérez IV, theater and performance, $20,000 to facilitate rehearsal processes which support the mental health of artists from marginalized communities; to create original plays which feature both spectacle and depth; and to launch, at a national level, a new genre called “fight theatre.”
  • Ricardo Iamurri Robinson, conceptual sound artist, $20,000 to support field recordings, sound installations, music releases, films and sculptures that push the boundaries of sound art.
  • Caroline Yoo, theater and performance, $20,000 to support “Fury|Fate|Fly,” a 90-minute narrative performance and art installation on silenced Korean and Korean American women, projected to debut next year. Spotlighting eight mythical and historical women and their stories that have been erased from history for being too rebellious, “Fury|Fate|Fly” will be an experimental theater spectacle.

Transformative Justice awards totaling $130,000 went to:

  • Michele P. Ellison, literary arts, $20,000 to support development opportunities in writing. 
  • Sahara Harrington, visual arts, $20,000 to create a collection of paintings that shed light on the extreme oppression of women in other countries. 
  • JADED, multidisciplinary, $35,000 to support operating costs of transitioning JADED to a sustainable creative hub for catalyzing Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community arts, history and cultural practice in Pittsburgh.
  • Sibyls Shrine, multidisciplinary, $35,000 to support programs of the residency collective of Black artists who are mothers. The residencies offer a space to live and create artworks and provide stipends and materials, enabling artists to fully focus their time and energy on creating. 
  • Elina Zhang, literary arts, $20,000 to continue developing a manuscript project, “THE WRECK ITSELF,” a book-length intellectual memoir. The project is an exploration of Zhang’s sexual coming-of-age and an intervention in the way stories about sexual violence are told.

More information about the program, including complete application guidelines, is also available on the Foundation’s website.