For those of you who live outside of Alaska, I think of the Rasmuson family as our state’s Rockfellers. The Rasmuson Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to improving the lives of all Alaskans by supporting Alaska non-profits in arts, culture, health, and social services.
Ten years ago, the Rasmuson Foundation began to fund artists directly with project awards and fellowships.
In 2009, I received a project award to go to Ohio and study for three weeks with one of the godmothers of the art quilt movement Nancy Crow. I am not sure I will ever be able to adequately describe what a life transforming experience that was. I wrote about my first week of study with Nancy, and I hope to eventually write about all of my weeks of study with her. Receiving that project award completely changed my life and my art for the better. I am eternally grateful for the Rasmuson Foundation’s continued generosity to artists of all media.
This year, the Rasmuson Foundation received 366 grant applications and awarded 36 artists. I was one of 10 Alaskans who received a fellowship to continue to pursue my craft.
Jayson Smart of the Rasmuson Foundation called me on April 22nd to let me know I had received this recognition. Of course, I started crying.
Receiving a check from the Rasmuson Foundation to fund a year of exploring new ideas in fiber is a truly amazing thing.
But what is equally good, and maybe even better, is knowing that my art has been recognized, is thinking for just the briefest of moments that I am not totally crazy for spending all my time stitching, is feeling that my work has value for the larger community of Alaska.
For all of these things I thank the Rasmuson Foundation. I could not be doing the work I do without their generous support.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
If you want to view the complete list of Rasmuson Award recepients and see what they are going to do in the upcoming year, you can by going here. I hope to write many posts about these artists and the works they are doing here in Alaska.
And if you are wondering what I’ll be doing with my fellowship, I will tell you.
I’ve spent the last decade moving my craft from the bed to the wall. Now, I will be spending the next year focused on moving it from the wall to the body. I will be learning how to adapt patchwork techniques to repurposed fibers with the goal of creating three dimensional canvases. Which is a fancy way to say that I will be making some seriously wild sweaters.