VALENCIA, Calif. – Most artists buy paper, but CalArts student Jennie E. Park prefers to make it. Since COVID-19 hit, it’s been difficult to access materials like paints and canvas, so it’s a useful skill she picked up while growing up in public housing.

“At the time, there was really no materials that were available to me other than paper that my dad brought home from his office that we were to recycle to use as napkins or to use in making crafts and I think that kind of improvisational habit or necessity was a survival mechanism that I developed early on,” said Park.

What You Need To Know

  • MOZAIK Philanthropy announced the Future Art Awards competition

  • Program invites artists to share work that reimagines pandemic and alternative futures

  • CalArts student was one of 10 winners selected from 1,100 artists

  • The prize was $2,000 and inclusion in a virtual exhibition

A conceptual artist, COVID-19 forced Park to think about her choices. Not only did galleries and museums close in mid-March, but CalArts closed as well too. This left her few choices.

“Not having access to studios, to labs, to all of that stuff that we were accustomed to and so suddenly you know, couldn’t access anymore, really put a lot of us in the position of questioning the utility or the value of pursuing art during a time like this,” said Park.

When nonessential bias impeded relief for artists while many were out of work, MOZAIK Philanthropy announced the Future Art Awards, a competition inviting artists to share work that reimagines the pandemic and alternative futures. Park applied right away. 

“Culturally, we’re so wired to think that only the things that we can grasp tangibly with our hands you know are the things that are necessary,” said Park. “But I think it's just recalibrating society to recognize that the arts and creativity and being in that energy of imagination is just as essential and vital to health.”

Out of 1,100 artists, Jennie was selected as one of the 10 winners. Dawn Mendelson was one of the judges.

“When the world shut down, everyone turned to art so it’s obviously essential,” said Dawn Mendelson, Managing Director of the arts organization Piece By Piece. “It’s always very frustrating to me that it’s one of the first things cut, but it’s also one of the first things that people turn to in times of crisis.”  



The prize was $2,000 and inclusion in a virtual exhibition, enough to keep Park motivated and to stay creative.

“As an art student, I just felt completely kind of overwhelmed and surprised that an opportunity like this could even exist or that my work could resonate in this way,” said Park.

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THE CREATIVE REIMAGINING Thank you to each and all of the talented artists who submitted to our open call for the #MOZAIKFuture Art Awards. We stand in admiration and celebration of your works, representing a diverse array of lived experiences and creative expressions in the arts. As part of our emergency rapid relief response, MOZAIK invited artists across the country to share an art piece inspired by times of crisis and social upheaval that can shed light on the current global pandemic and help us imagine alternative futures. The inclusive contest was open to all professional and amateur U.S. artists, and entries were submitted over the course of five weeks between April 10th through May 17th, 2020. All mediums were welcome, including visual/media arts, sound arts, performance, and social practice. People of Color, Native people, Queer people, Women, and other historically marginalized or underrepresented people were encouraged to submit their art. 🎭 More than 1,100 artists from across the country responded with submissions. To deepen MOZAIK’s commitment to Flow Funding as a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy, the organization invited its 2019 Flow Funders and Grantees in the arts to serve as judges for a blind review of the submitted works. Winners were announced on May 31st, 2020, with artist honorariums of $2,000 awarded to each of the ten featured artists. Equitable honorariums were also awarded to the judges for their time and expertise. On June 20th, @mozaikphilanthropy announced $1,000 artist honorariums to an additional 40 special mention artists in respect for the caliber of their submitted art and in support of the continued hardships placed on artists nationwide by the #COVID19 pandemic. . . The Future Art Awards Virtual Exhibition, showcasing the works of the 10 featured artists as well as the 40 special mention artists, is set to open free to the public on June 30th, 2020. Please visit the 🔗in our bio for additional updates. . . #FutureArtAwards #artistsupport #awards #exhibition #gallery #virtualexhibition #artcompetition #creativityincrisis #strongertogether

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