Greg Allen on Artists of the Americas in 2005

An artist becomes obsessed with low-rider culture, a filmmaker receives audio recordings of her grandmother talking about her father, an organizer decides to help people connect across the Americas—these are simple beginnings of what have become important and powerful works of art. Greg Allen wrote about the development of these Creative Capital Projects, by artists Liz Cohen, Natalia Almada, and Pablo Helguera.

When artists receive a Creative Capital Award, the concepts and ideas driving the project can sound simple, but with the organization’s help, their work can become vehicles to connect and illuminate unrecognized voices across the world. Referring to the three artists, Allen writes,

Besides their individual experiences within Latin American, immigrant, and US cultures, these artists resolutely pursued projects that were not only significant in themselves, but which had formative influences on the subsequent arc of their artistic practices. They are three among the 48 artists who received support from Creative Capital that year, artists from many backgrounds, working across the United States in many disciplines, whose work dealt with gender experience and identity; racial, immigrant, and cross-border acculturation; economic and political demagoguery and oligarchy; and community-building and finding common ground in shared experience.

Read the essay

This article is part of a series of 12 essays by arts writers to explore key moments in the history of the Creative Capital Award in celebration of our 20th anniversary in collaboration with the Los Angeles Review of Books. Read past essays by Yxta Murray, Eunsong Kim, and Johanna Fateman.

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