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On April 6, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 173 Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists, including Creative Alliance resident artist Paul Rucker. Currently in his third year as a resident artist at the Creative Alliance, Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician. His work combines and integrates media, live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art, and is the product of a rich interactive process. Much of his current work focuses on the prison industrial complex, incarceration and its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration, including recent performances at the Creative Alliance.
His largest and most recent installation, REWIND, premiered at the Creative Alliance in 2015, and he has garnered praise as “Best Artist 2015” from Baltimore Magazine, “Best Solo Show 2015” and “#1 Art Show of 2015” from Baltimore City Paper, as well reviews by The Huffington Post, Artnet News, The Washington Post, The Root, and The Real News Network. Rucker has received numerous grants, awards, and residencies for visual art and music. He is a 2012 Creative Capital Grantee in visual art, as well as a 2014 MAP (Multi-Arts Production) Fund Grantee for performance. In 2015, he received a prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, as well as the Mary Sawyer Baker Award. In 2016 Paul received the Rauschenberg Artist as Activist fellowship, the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and he is the first artist in residence at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
This year the Guggenheim Fellowship Program represents forty-nine scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, sixty-four different academic institutions, twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces. Successful candidates are selected for prior achievement and exceptional promise from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-third competition. Guggenheim Fellows in 2017 range in age from twenty-seven to seventy-nine. Sixty-eight Fellows have no academic affiliation or hold adjunct or part-time positions at universities.
The Guggenheim Fellowship program remains a significant source of support for artists, scholars in the humanities and social sciences, and scientific researchers. The award places Rucker in the company of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and other important, internationally recognized honors. Rucker will remain in residence at Creative Alliance until summer of 2018, and will premiere his next interactive project, LIVEMORE, at Creative Alliance this coming November.
Photo by Mike Morgan