Artists’ Projects That Came To Life This Year

What a year! As 2022 comes to a close,  we’re taking a look back at the 13 unforgettable Creative Capital Projects that made their debut. Offering chances for healing, fighting for human rights, and reflecting on our modern world, these artworks provided inspiration and hope for these turbulent times. With each premiere, the artists gave us an inside look at their artistic practice, hardships they faced, and favorite moments throughout the process.

Rediscover these Creative Capital Projects below!

Learn more about Creative Capital’s tremendous year in our 2022 Impact Report.

Polly Apfelbaum working in the ceramics studio at Arcadia University. Polly Apfelbaum working in the ceramics studio at Arcadia University.

Polly Apfelbaum (2019 Awardee)
For the Love of Una Hale (Cards of Identity)

“Have a fluidity of mindset. Don’t set your ideas in stone and let the process guide you.”

Created during an extended residency at Arcadia University, For the Love of Una Hale is an installation using ceramics, wallpaper, and immersive color. The key visual influence originates from a 20th-century painting of a faceless woman in the symbolic Pennsylvania German style by the artist David Ellinger, relating it to contemporary ideas surrounding craft, gender and identity.

It premiered at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, February 3 – April 17.

Read our interview with Polly Apfelbaum.

Film still from Daresha Kyi’s Mama Bears of Sara Cunningham at Atlanta Pride. Photo by Cameron Mitchell. Film still from Daresha Kyi’s Mama Bears of Sara Cunningham at Atlanta Pride. Photo by Cameron Mitchell.

Daresha Kyi (2019 Awardee)
Mama Bears

“I knew instinctively that these had to be some brave, badass women and I wanted to tell their story.”

Mama Bears is the story of women who have allowed nearly every aspect of their lives to be completely reshaped by love. Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.

It premiered at SXSW in Austin on March 13, 14 & 18.

Read our interview with Daresha Kyi.

Samora PinderhughesPhoto by Ray Neutron

Samora Pinderhughes (2019 Awardee)
The Healing Project

“So many people poured their hearts and souls into this project, telling truths both about the systems that create structural violence and about what it really means to cope and to heal from the trauma that the prison industrial complex creates.”

The Healing Project explores the daily realities of violence, incarceration, detention, and policing in communities across the United States and highlights healing and care strategies that emerge from these same communities. Taking multiple forms—musical songs, films, an exhibition, community gatherings, live performances, and a digital library of audio interviews—the work features stories of intergenerational voices of individuals across the country.

It premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, March 24–June 19, 2022. An iteration of the project is currently showing in New York City at The Kitchen through January 24, 2023, and The Healing Project will be performed at Carnegie Hall on February 10, 2023.

Read an interview with Samora Pinderhughes.

The book cover for AMANDA PARADISE, CAConrad's book. AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021), photo of CAConrad by Augusto Cascales.

CAConrad (2019 Awardee)
Resurrect Extinct Vibration

“Rituals can lead us to see the creative viability in everything around us.”

Resurrect Extinct Vibration is a (Soma)tic poetry ritual in nine maneuvers, in which CAConrad flooded their body with the field recordings of recently extinct animals. Foundational here are the memories of loved ones who died of AIDS, the daily struggle of existing through the Coronavirus pandemic, and the effort to arrive at a new way of falling in love with the world as it is, not as it was.

They premiered the book at the Poetry Project in New York City, May 18. Available now through Wave Books.

Read CAConrad’s Artist Diary.

Two people standing in a field holding flowers. Creative Capital artists Cassils & jackie sumell at Solitary Gardens. Photo: jackie sumell

jackie sumell (2020 Awardee)
The Abolitionist’s Apothecary & Tea Party

“I am pumped about all the ways the natural world teaches us about abolition and liberation. Plants teach us to be better people.”

jackie sumell worked with Lower Eastside Girls Club, community gardens, and incarcerated individuals to grow plant medicine and distribute them to affected communities nationally. A greenhouse built in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 offered a space to grow and learn through plantings, conversations, and workshops.

An offshoot of the project, Growing Abolition, premiered at MoMA PS1 in New York City on April 23, and an iteration of the project is on view through April 3, 2023.

Read jackie sumell’s Artist Diary.

Hands working next to a pile of gloves. ©2022 Daniel Eisenberg, The Unstable Object II

Daniel Eisenberg (2012 Grantee)
The Unstable Object

“As the nature of work changes, it’s increasingly important to document what will imminently disappear, aware of the aspects of labor that have defined our own historical moment.”

The Unstable Object is a film that investigates the relationships—both sensual and political—between factory workers and the objects they produce. Shot on several continents, the film reveals the conditions of labor in a world of extreme change. The factories include one of the world’s largest prosthetics factories, far removed in the mountains of Germany; a small haute-couture glove atelier in southern France, where each glove is made by hand; and a distressed jeans factory in central Turkey, where about 2000 pairs of jeans are produced daily. It is a portrait of both healthy and alienated labor.

It premiered in FIDMarseille in Marseille, France on July 8, 10 & 11.

Read Daniel Eisenberg’s Artist Diary.

Photo: SuttonBeresCuller.

SuttonBeresCuller (2008 Grantees)
Mini Mart City Park

“Our work is rooted in the belief that it is vital to create community hubs for people to build power and a voice in decisions being made to develop their neighborhoods.”

The Mini Mart City Park is a community-focused, brownfield revitalization project that transforms and re-purposes a former gas station into a pocket park, public sculpture and community center. This multifaceted project blurs the boundaries between public art, architecture, environmental activism and green design. The structure, while keeping the aesthetic of a corner convenience store, will be converted into not only a truly “green” building, but also a living work of art.

It opened in Seattle on July 9.

Read SuttonBeresCuller’s Artist Diary.

Held by my mother Sandra in our family home in Baja California. Film still: Super 8 footage from Silent Beauty, courtesy Jasmín Mara López

Jasmin Mara López (2020 Grantee)
Silent Beauty

“The idea behind Silent Beauty was clear from the start: to highlight the beauty that so clearly existed within my family but that was overshadowed by the trauma of child sexual abuse.”

Silent Beauty is a personal documentary about Jasmin López’s family’s history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence. The work extends as an audio-visual installation that features the voices of dozens of survivors—adults and older children with parents—that have reached out to the artist to share their stories.

It premiered at BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia on August 5.

Read Jasmin Mara López’s Artist Diary.

Wes Hurley and John Waters posing together. Wes Hurley and John Waters. Photo by Lance Terlep
Wes Hurley (2019 Grantee)
Potato Dreams of America

“First and foremost, Potato Dreams of America is an ode to my mom and all the amazing immigrant parents in the US.”

Potato Dreams of America is an autobiographical narrative feature film chronicling the artist’s childhood as a closeted gay kid in the disintegrating U.S.S.R., and his adventurous journey to the United States with his mother, a prison doctor turned mail-order bride. (note awardee chose to hold his premiere promotion, though he had world premiere at SXSW).

It was released on Blu-Ray via Dark Star Pictures and Vinegar Syndrome on September 7.

Read Wes Hurley’s Artist Diary.

Faye Driscoll onstage, looking up, with microphones pointed toward her face from the top, bottom, left, and right.Performance still of Thank You For Coming: Space in Berlin. Photo courtesy Faye Driscoll.

Faye Driscoll (2013 Grantee)
Thank You for Coming

“My choreographic practice has evolved to bridge the spaces between gallery, stage, and social sphere, between viewer and viewed.”

Thank You For Coming is a series of works which heighten how we experience ourselves in relation to other bodies, other stories, and the spaces we all inhabit. Together, the iterations of Thank You For Coming—Attendance, Play, and Space—form a contemporary ritual in which we experience and inhabit the interconnectivity and culpability of ourselves in a heightened arena, in an irreverent and rigorous effort to create new bodies, new stories and new forms.

The Creative Capital Premiere took place at REDCAT in Los Angeles, September 15–17.

Read Faye Driscoll’s Artist Diary.

A white man sitting in an electric wheelchair with sunglasses on smiles at the camera in front of a lake on a sunny day.ID: A white man sitting in an electric wheelchair with sunglasses on smiles at the camera in front of a lake on a sunny day. Photo by Daniel Chávez Ontiveros

Reid Davenport (2021 Grantee)
I Didn’t See You There

“I wanted to make a film about how I saw the world, as a disabled person.”

Spurred by a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker connects the ostensibly antiquated institution of the Freak Show with his own life. Shot from a camera held by Davenport or mounted to his wheelchair, the film serves as an unequivocal rebuke to the norm of disabled people being seen and not heard.

It premiered at DCTV in New York City, September 30–October 6.

Read Reid Davenport’s Artist Diary.

A person walking through a lush green landscape with a mirrored mask on her head.Kryztal Rodríguez wearing a mask made by Agnes Anna Szabo in Aguas Buenas during filming of Oriana in 2020. Production Still Bleue Liverpool.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (2015 Grantee)

“…the work presented itself to me as an open experiment. One that I do not think has reached a resolution though this film is finished. I could not have imagined all the ways in which it would force me to rethink myself.”

Oriana, is a feature-length film about band of feminist militants that take refuge in a thriving Puerto Rican landscape. The film relocates Monique Wittig’s infamous novel Les Guérillères to the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria, where its protagonists work and cook, dance and rest, and prepare for battle amidst the abundant tropical vegetation.

It premiered at EMPAC in Troy, New York on October 14.

Read Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s Artist Diary.

Poster for Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny.Poster for Nikyatu Jusu’s Nanny. Photo by Carlyle Routh.

Nikyatu Jusu (2020 Grantee)

“Creative Capital support entered early in our development process for Nanny, my first feature film—before the industry laurels, before the buzz…”

Nanny follows Aisha, an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in West Africa, a violent presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.

It was the first horror film ever to win Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, and only the second time that award had gone to a Black woman director. The New York Times Critics’ Pick is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video!

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