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Announcing 2024 Interlace Project Grant Recipients 

Interlace Grant Fund is proud to announce the inaugural nine recipients of Project Grants for visual arts projects produced and presented in Providence. The grants, totaling more than $50,000, support new and experimental work by local artists who have visions for projects that might otherwise fall outside of traditional arts funding opportunities. 

Awarded Artists & Projects

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Bhen Alan

Interwoven Crossroads: Celebrations, Dreams, Sacrifices, and Struggles of Filipinos in Providence

Project description:
Bhen Alan will engage with Filipino-American communities, families, and individuals to share personal narratives and promote cultural awareness to foster connections between the past, present, and future Filipino immigrants in Providence. Bhen's project aims to create a series of “banig” (woven mats) as ways to honor shared experiences and aspirations that resonate with both Filipino immigrants and the broader American society, resulting in a visually captivating representation of Filipino celebrations, utopic pursuits, sacrifices, and struggles.


Artist biography:

Bhen Alan (b.1993) was raised in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Philippines. He grew up dancing traditional folk and cultural dances to preserve their culture. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada when he was 17 years old before settling in the United States.

 

Bhen is a visual artist, dancer, and educator. In 2019, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where he was a full scholar. In the same year, he pursued a Business Accelerator Certificate from the Entrepreneurship For-All in SouthCoast Massachusetts. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Certificate in Collegiate Teaching in Art and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a U.S. Fulbright scholar of 2022-2023 in the Philippines, where he researched and worked alongside master weavers of indigenous tribes in 14 different islands.

 

He has exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Praise Shadow Gallery in Brookline, Massachusetts, 808 Gallery at Boston University, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Hunter Gallery in Middletown, Rhode Island, EIK Gallery at Yale University, Culture Lab LIC in New York, the Providence Public Art Library, St. Botolph Club Foundation in Boston, John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, Canada, Shockboxx Gallery in California, Providence Art Club, Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the New Bedford National Historical Park and many more. He organized the first Filipino Heritage Festival during the 2022 PVD Fest in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

He has received awards such as the Emerging Artist Award and Mary Shannon Award for Public Art at St. Botolph Club Foundation, Boston, MA, Emerging Artist Award from Real Arts Award, 2021-2022 RISD Graduate Commons Grant, and UMass Dartmouth Summer Research Grant.

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Janice Lardey

Sculpting Silent Narratives

Project description:
Janice Lardey will create six abstract depictions of women on fabric, utilizing her distinct textural and dynamic artistic style. The pieces will be displayed in a gallery setting, which will be set up as an immersive maze. The fabric artworks will blend with the immersive maze built within the architectural frame of the gallery space. These abstract portrayals represent women from various generations in Janice's family based on their visual likeness and narratives.

Artist biography:

Janice Lardey is an experimental artist from Ghana and a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), USA, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Janice was a recipient of the Society of Presidential Fellows Award during her graduate studies. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Sculpture from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
 

Janice’s profound interest in surfaces, color, patterns, and textures has been pivotal in shaping her artistic practice and her research into textiles and print cultures. Her works explore various media, including printmaking, painting, drawing, applique, dyeing, sewing, and papermaking. Her work examines themes such as societal gender roles, patriarchy, the everyday, sustainability, domesticity, loss, the transient nature of life, and material effects. Lardey’s art serves as a catalyst for challenging traditional norms, empowering herself, and other women around her to embrace their identities and forge their paths.
 

Janice received the 2023 West Bay Foundation Material Award and also the 2022 Graduate Common Grants Fellowship at RISD. Janice was awarded the winner of the  North American Hand Papermakers' 8th Annual Paper Art Triennial juried show.

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Rafael Taveras

In The Mood For Love

Project description:

Rafael Taveras will produce a series of portraits and video interviews depicting what love looks like in the modern day. Rafael wants to shed a light on Providence BIPOC lovers, friends and families; exploring the unique journeys that people go through together and how love (in all its forms) is the glue that holds them together.
 
Artist biography:

Rafael Taveras is a visual artist from Providence, Rhode Island working in photography, graphic design, and painting. His photo-work revolves around the portrait, and the importance of archiving the beauty, fragility, and spontaneity of the human condition. Using a range of tools from: analog photography, analog collage, digital manipulation, and traditional drawing/painting techniques; he is able to create a diverse collection of work that encompasses each person being photographed. Rafael makes images with the intent to give the viewer a glimpse into the lives of his subjects, and how casual and fragile moments look like in the 21st century. Rafael’s work has led to several collaborative freelance assignments for: The New Yorker, Crack Magazine, Billboard, Paper Magazine, The Guardian, and OFF-WHITE.
 

@ultravviolence
rafaeltaveras.com

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DJ Chappel

African American Paradise

Project description:
Textile artist DJ Chappel reveals his design evolution through his latest collection "African American Paradise." Known for his ability to manipulate unconventional materials into couture garments, Chappel will be presenting his first fashion show. He'll be focusing on materials that are considered stereotypes of African Americans. This will be a public performance using elements of dance, theater and music to engage the audience with the local designer.

Artist biography:
DJ Chappel is interested in the relationship between clothing and movement and its influence on our character. He envisions himself as a future ancestor creating primary resources for following generations of black men. His training in dance and pattern making diversifies his work, ranging from handmade garments and artifacts to interactive performances and installations. While studying at Point Park University's dance conservatory and working at the campus costume shop, DJ was developing a balance between the two mediums. The release of his ready to wear brand, DualityJunkie (2018), has allowed him to combine his creative techniques. DJ recently has been expanding to solo exhibitions, with his debut at World Fair Gallery and most recently at Larrie nyc. DJ has interviews published by Cultured, Essence, Interview and Paper Magazine.


@dauanjacari
DualityJunkie.com

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JooHee Yoon

Collaborator:
Marie Otsuka


Rhode Island Bird Guide

Project description:
JooHee Yoon will produce an illustrated guide of birds observed in Rhode Island. A meditation on place encouraging everyday appreciation of the local environment, the artist will collaborate with the designer Marie Otsuka to create an engaging and easily accessible risograph printed pocket guide. Using the East Bay Bike Path as the main frame of reference for observation and research, a variety of birds that live or pass through the Ocean State will be featured.
 

Artist biographies:

JooHee Yoon is a Providence based artist whose practice spans illustration, design, and printmaking. As an immigrant from South Korea, her formative years were a mix of two cultures and languages, leading to a lifelong interest in the ways people communicate. Creating connections through visual communication is at the core of her practice, and her work can be seen in various formats, including periodicals such as The New York Times, picture books and zines, along with exhibitions in galleries. Much of her work is informed by experiences with traditional printmaking techniques,

separating color layers and breaking down the image making process. She has been

featured in Communication Arts, the Art Directors Club, and Forbes 30 under 30. From 2021 - 2023 JooHee was the assistant professor in residence in the illustration department at RISD, teaching courses related to editorial illustration, publishing, and printmaking.

 

Marie Otsuka is a Brooklyn based designer and programmer working on fonts, books, websites, and tools. She currently draws typefaces and develops type-oriented tools at Occupant Fonts, while working with a range of organizations and artists as an independent graphic designer and web developer. Marie teaches typography-focused web courses and workshops and has presented at conferences globally. Her work has been featured on Walker Arts Center’s The Gradient, AIGA Eye on Design, Fast Company, Communication Arts, Motherboard, and Hacker News. She holds an MFA in Graphic Design from RISD and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago.

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Leiyana Simone Pereira

GOD’S PROVIDENCE

Project description:

Leiyana Simone seeks to create a portrait-based photo series on the definition of Providence. Across dictionaries, Providence is defined by the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power. Leiyana Simone’s “GOD’S PROVIDENCE,” explores the intersection of divinity and diversity. GOD’S PROVIDENCE captures the cultures of BIPOC communities while subverting image stereotypes by directing photo subjects in an angelic style. These portraits reveal the complexity within identities and power of the people.

Artist biography:

Leiyana Simone is a photo artist born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island with a focus on portraiture of subjects of color, her community, and the culture. Her work aims to simultaneously highlight the extraordinary within the ordinary and give positive representation to people of color through capturing their vulnerability in an ethereal light. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Providence Art Club, RISD Museum’s Black Biennial, and published in Vogue Italia via Photo Vogue. Leiyana is currently a member of the 2023-2024 WaterFire Accelerate Cohort.

Leiyana grew up experimenting with  various mediums including drawing, acting, screen printing, dancing, acrylic + oil painting, and eventually photography. Starting out with digital photography as a hobby in 2017 after dropping out of college, eventually she would find that this was part of her artistic purpose. In 2020 she moved into analog photography through capturing events like the Black Lives Matter protests with 35mm film. And currently in 2023 she is now learning and practicing mainly medium format film photography. Her style is influenced by other artists such as Deana Lawson, Tyler Mitchell, and Kennedi Carter. Leiyana is currently producing her first compilation of images in print as a photobook, entitled “GODS PROVIDENCE.
 

@leiyanasimone
leiyanasimone.squarespace.com

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Eliza Squibb

Collaborator:
Selam Bedada


Tree of Life for Breast and Chest Health: Self-Exam and Early Detection Save Lives

Project description:
Building on the history of textile art as a channel for communication and storytelling, Eliza Squibb and Selam Chale Bedada are creating a contemporary visual story about health and prevention with a printed fabric design that blends historical references and scientific imagery. By working with community leaders and medical experts, their aim is to educate about the signs of breast/chest cancer and share best practices for self-monitoring with imagery that is gender-inclusive and culturally appropriate.
 

Artist biographies:

Eliza Squibb uses textile design to bridge the worlds of art and science. Collaborating with healthcare providers, artists, and artisans, Eliza creates textile patterns that communicate health information for populations with low literacy or language barriers that prevent equitable healthcare access. Eliza’s designs have been funded by two Grand Challenge Exploration grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and used for communication and public outreach during community-based public health campaigns in West Africa, including cervical cancer prevention in Mali and infant vaccination in Niger. Eliza received a BFA in Textiles at RISD and she is an Atlantic Fellow for US + Global Health Equity, a program of George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health. Originally from Camden, Maine, Eliza has called Providence home since 2009. 

Selam Bedada, MPH, is an Ethiopian-American public health advocate based in Virginia. With over ten years experience in public health research and health systems strengthening in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, and the United States, her passion lies at the intersection of health equity, immigration, and gender-based violence. Selam is a co-founder of Temsalet, a women’s rights organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence, and the Rahma Women’s group, a community-based organization for the Ethiopian Muslim population in Virginia, where she facilitates events and discussions on gender-based violence and health equity.

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Kannetha Brown

Cambodian Photography Project

Project description:
Kannetha Brown will produce a series of environmental portraits of her mother and grandmother in Rhode Island and New York that pay homage to the Cambodian legacy after the Khmer Rouge Genocide. This project will be photographed from a 1st generation perspective and explores memory. Pulling from a memoir her mother wrote at URI, the project will reference her journey from Cambodia to RI.

Artist biography:

Kannetha Brown is a Cambodian American photo-based artist, archivist, and educator born and raised in Rhode Island. With a distinctly contemporary and first-generation perspective, her artwork is a meditation on identity, history, memory and cultural renaissance within her Cambodian community and family in Rhode Island.

 

Kannetha received a BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she graduated with the Morton R. Godine Fellowship, as well as departmental and academic honors for her work elevating Asian American history. Her photographs have been recognized by The Library of Congress, Diversify Photo, and Women Photograph, among others, and she was also named “6 of The Best Asian American Photographers in 2022” by the Phoblographer. Her project Two Oceans is held in private and public collections and is currently featured in a large-scale portrait installation in downtown Providence.

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Linda Ford

Bodies of Water, Bodies of Land, Bodies

Project description:

Linda Ford will create a series of public installations left for passersby to experience outside of art world spaces and institutions. She will fill sidewalk cracks with eco-resin, creating miniature rivers in the urban landscape that draw attention to global and local issues around water contamination. QR codes will be placed near each installation, directing interested passersby to eco-journalism links that alert the public to serious environmental issues. The codes will link to ecori.org, a watchdog that reports on environmental issues across southern New England. At the conclusion of the project, Joanna Detz and Frank Carini, the founders of ecoRI News will give a free public lecture on these issues.

Artist biography:

Linda Ford is an interdisciplinary artist whose performance, video, installation, drawing and sculpture work out a preoccupation with the body’s traumatic inheritance and positioning as powerless. Early experiences of visiting the Worcester State Mental Hospital, where her father worked as an orderly, precipitated her lifetime fascination with bodies that transgress. Her past research and work has been informed by her employment in mental health and domestic violence shelters, as well as the sex industry. Ford’s recent projects take up the earth as a body that has been silenced, controlled and violated and whose continued ravaging will further perpetuate the cycle of trauma, upon the most vulnerable of its inhabitants. 
 

Ford earned her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2002. She has exhibited internationally at venues including El Museo del Barrio Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Costa Rican Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, San Jose, Costa Rica; Untitled Art Fair, Miami Beach, Florida; Sarah Doyle Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI; Samson Projects, Boston, MA; Takt Kunstprojekttraum, Berlin, Germany; Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA. She has been awarded numerous residencies and honors including the Showhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship, Headlands Center for the Arts Close Calls, the Master Workshop in Art Fellowship at Long Island University, Southampton, NY, and The Richard and Marianne Martin Award for the Arts, Boston, MA. Ford was born and raised in Worcester, MA, lived in San Francisco for 25 years, and currently resides in Providence, RI.

2024 Project Grant Jurors

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Jamilee Lacy

Jamilee Lacy is an art museum leader, curator and writer committed to today's art and artists.

As of March 2023, she is also the Executive Director of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. She was previously the inaugural Director and Chief Curator of Providence College Galleries, where she oversaw contemporary art exhibitions, collections, publications, educational programs, public art, and more. She is a commissioning curator of The Trustees’ Art & Landscape program, for which she organized “Counterculture,” a public art installation by Rose B. Simpson on the ancestral lands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans; “Counterculture” is traveling to sights across the country through 2025. In 2020, Lacy received a curatorial research fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in support of her forthcoming exhibition project Digital River, Burning Mountain: Shanshui Art Now. Her curatorial projects have been discussed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Artnet.com, The Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New York Times, and Hyperallergic, among other publications.
On behalf of Providence College Galleries, Lacy also co-founded two cooperative organizations: Interlace Grant Fund and My HomeCourt. She serves on the executive committee for Interlace, which annually funds nearly $100,000 of emergency and project grants for Providence visual artists. For My HomeCourt, a public art initiative produced in collaboration with City of Providence Parks and Providence College alums, she sits on the board of directors and leads the curation of court mural projects. In late 2023, Lacy will curate a court mural for Providence’s Ninth Street Courts designed by Sanford Biggers.


Lacy previously held positions in curatorial and education departments at Northwestern University and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City; and DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic. She was managing editor at Bad at Sports and founding director of Twelve Galleries Project (2008 - 2013). She co-produced (with Meg Onli) Remaking the Black Metropolis: Contemporary Art, Urbanism and Blackness in America, a research survey and digital archive with support provided by the Graham Foundation for the Advancement of Fine Arts. In addition to authoring and editing numerous catalogue essays and exhibition publications, she has written for Flash Art, Umelec Magazine, Art 21 Magazine and Art in America. Lacy holds a dual-degree BFA in Studio Art and Art History, Theory & Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MA in Comparative Art & Literature from Northwestern University, and was a Class of 2022 Fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.

She lives in Seattle with her husband, the conceptual artist Stephen Lacy of Academy Records, and their two cats Judy and Sweety.

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Victoria Gao

Victoria Gao has been serving as the Director of the Bannister Gallery and Exhibitions at Rhode Island College since 2018. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island, to Chinese immigrant parents and grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She received her PhD and MA in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester and her BA in Physics and in Art History from Cornell University. Victoria has always had a longstanding interest in curating and in art exhibition spaces and has previously interned at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In addition to managing the Bannister Art Gallery, she also oversees the Rhode Island College Permanent Artwork Collection and adjunct teaches art history courses.

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Ryan Cardoso

Ryan Cardoso is a visual artist exploring portraiture through photography and filmmaking and its importance in archiving the elegance, domesticity, and relationships of life. Cardoso uses analogue photography and social media culture practices as a means to exhibit the influence of black swagger.

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Conor Moynihan

Conor Moynihan is the Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the RISD Museum, where he specializes in modern and contemporary art. He is interested in identity-based practices, especially art related to the LGBTQ+ and disability communities. His recent exhibitions at the RISD Museum include: Perception and Presence in Contemporary Drawing, Variance: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Disability, and The Performative Self-Portrait.

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Alexandra Zsigmond

Alexandra Zsigmond is a New York-based art director and curator working at the intersection of fine art, illustration and editorial design. Her core interest lies in the use of metaphor and symbolism in visual art, as a tool to represent complex ideas and visualize the invisible realms of mind, thought, and emotion. Since writing her honors thesis on visual metaphor at Stanford University in 2004, she has explored this interest through multiple roles and media: as art director, curator, and designer of metaphoric imagery for newspapers, books and exhibitions. 

From 2010-17 she was an art director for the New York Times’ Opinion section, commissioning original illustration for articles, curating art-driven features, and designing for both print and digital. She has collaborated with a roster of over 1000 artists worldwide and art directed over 4000 editorial illustrations. She is known for greatly expanding the range of visual contributors to the Times, drawing equally from the worlds of contemporary illustration, fine art, animation, and comics. Currently she is senior art director at The New Yorker. 

 

She is a frequent public speaker and has given talks at universities, conferences, and museums throughout Europe, South America, Canada and the United States. Originally from San Francisco, Alexandra has a background in classical and modern dance, and has worked for a variety of notable art organizations, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Cabinet Magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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