As we prepare for our IdeaFestival session on October 2, we connected with 21c’s Museum Director, Alice Gray Stites, to look back on the long partnership between Creative Capital and 21c and learn more about the Creative Capital exhibition.
Jenny Gill: You have been such an amazing champion of Creative Capital’s work and the artists we support. How do you see Creative Capital’s mission aligning with that of 21c?
Alice Gray Stites: A commitment to supporting adventurous and innovative art shapes the missions of both Creative Capital and 21c. The collection built by 21c founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson includes works by over two dozen Creative Capital grantees—a testament to their interest in acquiring art that reflects and engages the human experience. 21c’s stated mission is to integrate art into everyday life—to expand opportunities for more people to experience how contemporary art can shape perspective and perception. Many, if not most, of the projects supported by Creative Capital address compelling current issues in ways that inspire new perceptions, and potentially activate change. Creative Capital’s awards are given to projects at their inception, when artists are closer to the idea stage than to the finish line, and the staff and others offer a lot of counsel along the way, challenging artists to expand or refine their work. Similarly, when 21c commissions either site- or exhibition-specific installations, artists are often challenged to try something new in terms of scale, material, site. Like Creative Capital, 21c invests in the vision of the artist, and we look to support, present and share with the public ambitious, dynamic projects.
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