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Three Contemporary Visual Artists Are Named Bellagio Creative Arts Fellows

For the past six years, the Bellagio Creative Arts Fellowship (BCAF) has annually recognized three visual artists whose bold, socially engaged, and frequently interdisciplinary work is inspired by global or social issues, and demonstrates exceptional originality. The BCAF program—with the support of a distinguished international panel—has helped to advance the work of some of the most innovative, contemporary visual artists from all corners of the globe and has raised their visibility in international arts, policy, and academic circles.

The Bellagio team is excited to announce the final cohort of Bellagio Creative Arts fellows: Milumbe Haimbe from Zambia, Emily Jacir from Palestine, and Suzanne Lacy from the United States. Here’s a look at the 2015 BCAF fellows and their work:

The Revolutionist - Milumbe Haimbe
Milumbe Haimbe The Revolutionist, 2014. Page from the graphic novel The Revolutionist, Digital Illustration/Print (29.7 x 42 cm). Image credit: Milumbe Haimbe.

Milumbe Haimbe was born in 1974 in Lusaka, Zambia where currently she lives and works. Her work often explores the idea of the collective psyche—it investigates the ebb and flow of psycho-socio trends and systems in order to unseat stereotypes and raise questions about the status quo. With a strong background in painting, Haimbe’s current art practice often employs digital illustration in the medium of the graphic novel. She advances the sequential nature of this medium to build narratives that integrate illustration with written texts that address intercultural issues within the context of popular media. She is currently working on a graphic novel project entitled The Revolutionist. The story takes place in the future and centers on the life of a young black female protagonist who has fallen in love with a robot, and must cope with the scrutiny and ostracizing that often goes along with defying a cultural norm.

Haimbe’s work has been shown in Zambia, South Africa, Norway, and the U.S. Parts of The Revolutionist were featured in the Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal, which opened in the spring of 2014.

Emily Jacir is an artist living in the Mediterranean and a full-time professor at the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah. As the recipient of several awards, including a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); a Prince Claus Award (2007); the Hugo Boss Prize (2008); and the Herb Alpert Award (2011), Jacir is renowned for works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance, and the logic of the archive. She uncovers silenced historical narratives, and explores concerns such as movement and migration through a diverse range of media and strategies including film, photography, social interventions, installation, performance, video, writing, and sound. Her work investigates personal and collective movement through public space and its implications on the physical and social experience of trans-Mediterranean space and time—in particular between Italy and Palestine. The largest survey to date of Jacir’s work, A star is as far as the eye can see, and as near as my eye is to me, was recently at Darat il Funun in Amman, Jordan (closed April 23, 2015). Future solo exhibitions include the Whitechapel Gallery, London opening in September 2015.

Suzanne Lacy is an artist, based in Los Angeles, whose career includes performance, video and photographic installation and participatory public practice. Over the past four decades, Lacy has combined modes of activism and conceptual art to advance public practice as an art form. A leading proponent of artist-led audience engagement and a founding member of the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, Lacy is internationally recognized as a pioneer of social practice art, a potent force to stimulate action and awareness in communities and within the media.

Recent work includes Between the Door and the Street, for Creative Time NYC; Drawing Lessons, with Andrea Bowers for The Drawing Center, NYC; Cleaning Conditions: An Homage to Allan Kaprow for the Manchester Art Gallery; The Tattooed Skeleton, at the Museo Nacional Centro Reina Sofia; Anyang Women’s Agenda, in Korea; The Skin of Memory Revisited at the Medellin Biennale; Three Weeks in January for The Getty Pacific Standard Time; and Silver Action for Tate Modern. Also known for her writing, Lacy edited the influential Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, published in 1995, and has recently released Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974-2007. Lacy is the Founding Chair of the Graduate Public Practice Program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She received her PhD from Gray’s College of Art at the Robert Gordon University in 2013.

Though 2015 will mark the final year of the BCAF program, The Rockefeller Foundation will spend this year and next initiating new partnerships with arts organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the U.S. With these partnerships, the Bellagio Center will strengthen its capacity to incorporate leading contemporary artists into the regular, multi-disciplinary residential program that serves artists, scholars, and practitioners.

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