Art Fund Brings New Visions To Light

BY Katrina Kufer / Apr 13 2017 / 13:23 PM

Naomi Beckwith announced as inaugural Visionary Initiatives in Art (VIA) Art Fund Curatorial Fellow

Art Fund Brings New Visions To Light
Photography by Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago
Naomi Beckwith

Since it was established in 2013 as a philanthropic, non-profit organisation, VIA Art Fund has awarded over US$1.85 million to support “visionary artists, organisations and initiatives in contemporary art” in its mission states. It works via two main channels; Artistic Production, aiding production, exhibition installations and institutional acquisitions for the public realm, and Incubator Support, offering support to small- to medium-sized non-profits with experimental programmes and publications.

Driven by the desire to champion diversity and cultivate the artistic landscape, VIA is predominantly active in the USA but has also reached as far as Puerto Rico, Italy and South Korea. Awarded artists include Ai Weiwei, Jenny Holzer, Ugo Rondinone and Danh Vo, spaces such as Cambridge Arts Council, Dia Art Foundation, LACMA, Performa and Walker Art Center, and events like the 55th, 56th and 57th Venice Biennales

It emphasises direct engagement with and of innovative artistic endeavours that surpass traditional approaches. With this in mind, VIA Art Fund has created a new section, the Curatorial Fellowship, which as of 2017 will annually back ambitious curatorial research, travel and concept development. Naomi Beckwith was announced as the first grantee, and has also received a 2017 appointment as curatorial fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York. This announcement follows her most recent position as the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and recognition as one of the most influential curators in the USA. Beckwith’s interest lies in international art and the Black Arts Movement, which she will pursue with her fellowship by visiting Senegal and North Africa, as well as the 2018 Dakar Biennial.

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