New $150k Calligram Falcon Fellowship names its first six fellows

Fellowship winner Stephanie Buer's "Sunrise From the Roof of the Packard Plant"

Calligram, a new foundation dedicated to supporting artists, and the Falcon Art Community have joined forces to fund the $150,000 Calligram Falcon Fellowship program. The five fellows in this year’s class will divide $110,000 in direct cash stipends.

From the press release:

“The 2012 Fellows—Alexander Rokoff, Samir Khurshid, Stephanie Buer, Molly Maine and Nathaniel Praska—will receive a monthly stipend, a studio at the Falcon Art Community’s state-of-the-art facilities, as well as support in gallery shows, sales, reproduction and marketing of their work.  The program culminates with an end-of-the-year show of the work completed during the Fellowship.

“The fellowship stipends are offered at a level that is game-changing for the artist, allowing them to quit doing odd jobs and focus full time on creating artwork,” says Allie Furlotti, the Founder and Executive Director of Calligram.  “The money should allow the artist to refocus and dedicate their time to the pursuit of their craft, while supporting them at a level that still motivates them,” adds Brian Wannamaker, the Founder and Executive Director of the Falcon Art Community.”

And the release told us a little more about this year’s fellows:

  • Alexander Rokoff, a figure painter who is currently apprenticing through the beginning of next year at Odd Nerdrum’s studio in Paris
  • Samir Khurshid, an Iraqi refugee who escaped to Portland after working first as Saddam Hussein’s portrait painter and then as a portraitist of American military families
  • Stephanie Buer, a new Portland resident from Detroit whose work examines degraded urban landscapes in photo-realistic detail
  • Molly Maine, an emerging Portland artist whose Dutch Masters-influenced paintings caught the committee’s eye at a recent show at Northwest Coffeehouse
  • Nathaniel Praska, a West Coast impressionist who paints figures in landscapes.

Read the full press release after the jump.

The Falcon Art Community and the Calligram Foundation Announce Oregon Visual Artists’ Largest Fellowship Program and 2012 Fellowship Winners

Portland, Oregon (December 8, 2011) The Falcon Art Community and Calligram have created a partnership to offer a new fellowship program to Portland artists from January-December of 2012. With annual funding of $150,000, including $110,000 in direct cash stipends, the Calligram Falcon Fellowship becomes the state of Oregon’s largest visual arts fellowship and aims to support Portland artists’ living expenses, in order to free them to focus exclusively on their art. The 2012 Fellows—Alexander Rokoff, Samir Khurshid, Stephanie Buer, Molly Maine and Nathaniel Praska—will receive a monthly stipend, a studio at the Falcon Art Community’s state-of-the-art facilities, as well as support in gallery shows, sales, reproduction and marketing of their work. The program culminates with an end-of-the-year show of the work completed during the Fellowship.

“The fellowship stipends are offered at a level that is game-changing for the artist, allowing them to quit doing odd jobs and focus full time on creating artwork,” says Allie Furlotti, the Founder and Executive Director of Calligram. “The money should allow the artist to refocus and dedicate their time to the pursuit of their craft, while supporting them at a level that still motivates them,” adds Brian Wannamaker, the Founder and Executive Director of the Falcon Art Community.

The first year of the Fellowship has a budget of $150,000 to grant stipends, studio space, and marketing support to five artists. The selection committee, which found this year’s Fellows through a nomination process, chose to focus on the work of oil painters, though they imagine that over time the program will open up to other media. Calligram Falcon Fellows were selected for the quality of their craft, their dedication to their careers, their artistic vision, and their financial need.

This year’s fellows include:
Alexander Rokoff, a figure painter who is currently apprenticing through the beginning of next year at Odd Nerdrum’s studio in Paris
Samir Khurshid, an Iraqi refugee who escaped to Portland after working first as Saddam Hussein’s portrait painter and then as a portraitist of American military families
Stephanie Buer, a new Portland resident from Detroit whose work examines degraded urban landscapes in photo-realistic detail
Molly Maine, an emerging Portland artist whose Dutch Masters-influenced paintings caught the committee’s eye at a recent show at Northwest Coffeehouse
Nathaniel Praska, a West Coast impressionist who paints figures in landscapes.

Artists chosen for the program may be at different stages in their art careers, from emerging to more established artists, and the program hopes to cross-pollinate their energy, dedication, and skills through dialog at the Falcon Art Community studios where they share gallery space and classroom facilities. “Falcon artists consistently remark that being around a group of dedicated professionals has brought their own work and focus on their craft to a new level,” says Capra J’neva, Managing Director of the Falcon Art Community. Artists in the fellowship program will also have opportunities to receive mentorship from visiting artists to the Falcon Art Community. This news comes on the heels of other similar music Fellowships granted to artists-in-residence at the Falcon Art Community, Ben Darwish, who has a $3000 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship for 2011, and Holcombe Waller, who was awarded a $50,000 United States Artists award on December 5th, underwritten by a $22 million fund created by large foundations, including Ford, Rockefeller, Prudential and Rasmuson foundations.

Brian Wannamaker sums up the program, “The Calligram Falcon Fellowships fulfill a need for direct support of artists at a time when much of the funding in the arts is focused on arts organizations or specific projects. Calligram Falcon Fellowships help artists concentrate on their careers without the constraints of pre-conceived projects and grants.” Both organizations focus on a Medici-style patronage of the arts, hoping to reinvigorate the ancient model of cultural influence through direct support to individual artists and by bringing together quality artists to inspire and mentor one another. Allie Furlotti talks about the importance of patronage in a time when gallery sales of original work is difficult for artists, “We hope to inspire other arts patrons with a model that allows for artists to continue creating work and to focus on expanding their careers.” Satya Byock, Calligram’s Managing Director adds, “It would be wonderful if more foundations were able to support really talented individuals in this way; amazing things can happen when we invest in people directly, in their own skills, visions, and dreams.”

About Calligram
The Calligram Foundation was founded in 2011 to offer direct support to skilled and visionary artists in order that they may focus their time and efforts on their craft. In addition to funding the Calligram Falcon Fellowship, Calligram will hold a series of art salons to expose emerging artists to patrons and to stimulate cross media art dialogues. Calligram’s mission is to foster a cultural renaissance by engaging the spectator with art and supporting the direct patronage of artists.

About Falcon Art Community
The Falcon Art Community was founded in 1999 by real estate developer Brian Wannamaker with a business model that would use a for-profit business to subsidize and fund activities in the arts and provide direct support to artists. The concept culminated in the creation of a artist’s studios to provide an intentional community in which experienced and emerging artists inspire each other in an atmosphere of beauty and elegance. In collaboration with artists and musicians, Wannamaker designed 14,000 s.f. of state-of-the-art studio facilities in an unused space in one of his large historic 1909 apartment buildings in North Portland. The Falcon Art Community provides more than simply studio space, with artists participating in group shows, in the Falcon’s extensive and expanding museum-quality permanent collection, art rental and sales with financing programs, art loan programs that place works in prominent locations such as the Portland Mayor’s Office, where several works currently reside, and new programs such as international mentoring exchanges, residency programs, mini-galleries that show Falcon artist’s work at street level in various locations throughout the city The Falcon Art Community is focused on promoting a return to figurative painting and using old master techniques to create beautiful work that resonates with people of all walks of life.

2 Responses.

  1. Inquiring Mind says:

    Who is Calligram and how did they select these artists, many of whom seem to be newcomers to the area? How is the Falcon Community involved, are the recipients artists who live there? Thanks.

  2. Capra J'neva says:

    Hi “inquiring mind,” to clarify your question, The Falcon Art Community is an art community and studios supported by a for-profit real estate venture that makes it economically sustainable and can help to fund and provide administrative support to these kinds of programs through a system of private patronage similar to that which has existed throughout history to support the arts, but which has in recent times been replaced by reliance on arts organizations and government funding. Calligram is a new foundation that was formed in part to offer the fellowships and has a similar philosophy and would like to encourage more patrons to step forward in direct funding of artists’ careers.

    The two organizations put together a recommendation committee that combed local galleries and showings for potential candidates and considered the portfolios of dozens of Portland artists. The fellowship is unique in supporting the careers of emerging artists as well as more established ones, and the criteria were as described above, based on the artists’ commitment to their craft, their dedication to their careers, and their financial need. Artists need not have a prior affiliation with the Falcon to participate in the program.

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