The third annual Todd Samara Art Fund Award is now accepting proposals from artists in all genres of art practice, including not just visual arts but also music, performance, and literary arts. Applicants must reside or work in the city of Kingston. The award of $1,200 was designed for proposals from emerging and established contemporary artists, art educators, and/or curators for a project to take place in the city of Kingston, but, given the hardship inflicted on the creative community by the pandemic, we will also consider the financial need of artists of merit in deciding the winner. The amount of funding is flexible, and multiple awards may be considered.
Applicants need to send a short description of their project or describe a need related to their art practice they deem worthy of funding, along with a one-page CV and up to eight images or links to videos. In judging creative work of merit, factors that will be considered by the committee include: originality of conception, quality of execution and/or craft, professionalism of presentation, and visibility and/or engagement with the community, particularly as it pertains to under-served communities and the education of under-resourced youth. Given the reliance on remote communication options during the pandemic, works or a project that can be shared digitally in innovative ways will also be a consideration. Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15, 2021. The award will be announced at Celebration of the Arts, the annual event sponsored by Kingston’s Midtown Arts District, on August 7.
About the Todd Samara Art Fund Award The Todd Samara Art Fund Award was created by the family and friends of Todd Samara in 2018 to preserve his legacy as an artist. For over 30 years, Todd lived and painted in Kingston’s Rondout neighborhood, translating its hilly streets, tight rows of 19th-century gable-roofed houses, bridges and panoramic river views into poetic visions characterized by simplified, textured forms and rich, glowing color. In 2017 Todd was diagnosed with dementia and placed in long-term care. In deciding how to deal with the hundreds of paintings and drawings Todd left behind, the Samara family arranged for an auction to be held to raise funds that would then be used to benefit other artists in Kingston. The family felt this would be a great way to keep Todd’s presence alive in the community, which played such an important part in his work. The auction was held in November 2018 and raised over $30,000, which has been invested with the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. The fund is administered by the Midtown Arts District, and a committee was formed to oversee an annual arts award generated from the fund’s interest. Previous award winners are The Matter Digest (2019) and visual artist Patti Gibbons (2020). A website posting an online catalog of Todd’s Work, along with prints for sale, a description of ongoing projects and events, and a donation button, will be posted over the summer.