MEET THE 2016 FOLK ARTS FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS
Dominique Estevez, Grants + Capacity Building Coordinator
Angel Quesada, Folklife + Civic Engagement Manager
Houston Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the 2016 Individual Artist Grant Folk Arts Fellowship recipients. The Individual Artists Folk Arts Fellowship (IAG – FAF) supports master artists in their efforts to preserve an artistic tradition as a living legacy for their community by helping them to pass their knowledge and skills on to a qualified and competent apprentice/s.
The Folk Arts Fellowship grant enables master artists to set aside time for intensive teaching of the tradition and/or purchase of materials for the work at hand. Folk Arts Fellowship grants are awarded by a peer review panel process in recognition of exemplary artistic merit in a traditional art form. Folk Arts Fellowship Grants must result in a demonstration, presentation or exhibition in an accessible location open to the general public. The project must be of substantial work completed by the master artist and apprentice over the course of the grant term and is open to established master folk artists living in the city of Houston working in all traditional arts genres. The apprentice or apprentices must apply with the master artist and show a degree of competence in the traditional art form in question that will be honed by the fellowship experience.
The panel for the grant review was made up of a diverse group of individuals with broad cultural expertise. We sincerely thank all of our Folk Arts Fellowship review panelists:
- Linda Ho Peché, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist, lecturer,
- Chatwara Suwannamai Duran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociolinguistics, Department of English, University of Houston
- Mary Manning, MA, MLIS, University Archivist, Curator of Performing and Visual Arts Collections, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.
For a look at the awardees, see below.
Terrence Gasper “The Mardi Gras Indian” – The Mardi Gras Indian is an African-American dance, costumery and oral tradition based in the New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration. Master Artist Terrance Gasper is the designated leader, also known as “Big Chief” of the White Eagles “tribe.” After Hurricane Katrina, Terrence moved to Houston, but continues his activities as Big Chief of this legendary New Orleans group. The objective of this project is to share all of the traditional artistic concepts with three young apprentices who themselves have roots in New Orleans and the tradition, but, like Terrence, now reside here. Terrence has been involved in the Mardi Gras Indian community for over 25 years and is also currently playing music with the Hustlers Brass Band. He will teach beading and sewing, traditional chants and rhythms, and the important history that unites the Mardi Gras tribes. Award Amount: $5,000
Roland De La Garza “The Artistry of Ice Carving” - Roland’s (a.k.a. Reverend Butter) project goal is to teach the art of sculpting ice by hand to his apprentice Christopher Barnes. This one-on-one training ensures that knowledge accumulated from his mentor, with whom he worked for two years, and his almost 20 years of experience are passed down to an apprentice. There are many strategies and techniques involved in carving ice by hand, including working with a chainsaw, dremels, chisels, hammers, and fire torches. Only about eight percent of all ice sculptures are still made by hand. This grant ensures that a new generation of ice carvers can continue the tradition. Award Amount: $5,000