The Pittsburgh Foundation

Pittsburgh "Artivist" Jasmine Green chosen for Exposure Tongue River Residency in Wyoming

The experiences of Black women, girls and femmes with mental health will be the focus

PITTSBURGH, PA, May 24, 2022 – The first person to be awarded the Exposure Tongue River Artist/Activist Residency, a program of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Exposure Artists Program, is Jasmine Green. The 28-year-old, who describes herself as an “artivist” (a portmanteau of artist and activist) from Pittsburgh, is a gifted painter who draws from on lived experience for her artwork under the moniker Black Girl Absolute. During her stay in Dayton, Wyoming, she plans to work on her book, “A Field Guide for Blue Girls.”

“It’s a mix of art and poetry centering on how Black girls navigate mental health,” Green says. “I want to pass along my own experiences as a survivor of mental illness and, it being a field guide, I hope it will give insight to others who are navigating unfamiliar areas.”

Sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation and Tongue River Residency, the Exposure Tongue River Artist/Activist Residency is a partnership guided by a shared belief in the need to support artists from varying backgrounds and to advocate for racial justice in the arts community.

"This residency is an opportunity for us to inspire positive change while also elevating the work of artists and activists,” says Jeanette Schubert, who is an artist herself and co-founded the Tongue River Residency with her husband, Doug Gouge, in 2019. “The arts make such a huge impact in communities but, historically, the arts and artists have not been well-funded, especially artists of color. We want to address that lack of equity.”

Schubert and Gouge split their time between Pittsburgh’s East End, where they have lived most of their lives, and Wyoming.

Green will head to Dayton, Wyoming in July. Schubert and Gouge provide the quiet, comfortable living and studio space, living expenses and support for the artistic process. The residency does not require the presentation of a fully realized work, instead providing artists an opportunity for rest, reflection, creation and exploration of their artistic vision. The residency will award one $10,000 grant for artistic work and provide a quiet, comfortable living and studio working space for three to four weeks in Dayton, Wyoming in the month of July, where artists can reenergize, experience the natural beauty of the American West and develop their work. 

Green has never been out west and will be heading to a place nothing like Pittsburgh. Dayton has a population of approximately 1,000 and is at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains in northeastern Wyoming. The largest town, Sheridan, population 18,000, is 21 miles away. Schubert and Gouge will be nearby and will provide any support that might be needed. The residency itself is in its fourth year, but this is its first year in partnership with The Pittsburgh Foundation.

“If the artists want to venture out, there is public art to enjoy as well as museums, galleries and other artists living in the area who are supportive,” says Schubert, with Gouge adding “it’s a different world out here and I can imagine this experience will change Jasmine’s life.”

Having worked with other artists, the couple said they have noticed that the residency has brought about healing. The fresh air, open space, privacy and complete creative freedom have had that impact, which even the artists themselves didn’t anticipate.  

And healing is something Green knows about.

“This experience will give me insight into what it means to be a guide in someone else’s journey. Everyone has their own trek as they work toward mental wellness, but I can pass along what I’ve learned.”

The Exposure Tongue River Artist/ Activist Residency is part of the Foundation’s Exposure Artists Program, in partnership with The Opportunity Fund. Exposure is a new arts funding initiative at The Pittsburgh Foundation. The multiple-part program aims to elevate the work of artists through activities that create/generate/enhance visibility for the creative process, artwork and societal issues of our time. Residency nominations were accepted through an invitation-only process open to Pittsburgh-based artists from a variety of disciplines. Green was selected by a panel of Foundation staff and residency founders.

Earlier this year, Exposure awarded its first round of grants. The 12 awards total $215,000 and include support for individual artists and collectives, transformative justice grants to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists working at the intersection of art and activism, and to artists who have never received foundation funding before.

Images of Jasmine Green and her artwork are available here for media use. Image credit: Kitoko Chargois, 2022, for The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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