$20,000 awarded to Grounds For Sculpture

The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) recently awarded $184,000 in Action Grant funding to thirteen organizations. Included in this announcement is an Action Grant award of $20,000 to Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) to support the creation of in-gallery programming space in conjunction with the exhibition, Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths. This community space will explore the narratives of African American women, supported by a scholar-in- residence, which will serve as a platform for facilitated discussion, making, reflecting, and sharing.

Action grants support the implementation of a wide variety of humanities-based projects, including public programs, exhibitions, installations, tours, and discussion groups. Grantee projects will reach diverse audiences throughout the state and ensure access to public humanities programming.

“The projects that were selected to receive funding present exciting opportunities for New Jerseyans to explore history and values,” said NJCH Executive Director Dr. Briann G. Greenfield. “Each initiative includes elements of dialogue and connection. NJCH is proud to support efforts that spark conversations between community members about topics and ideas that affect all of us.”

“Grounds For Sculpture is honored to be recommended by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities for this grant,” said GFS Executive Director Gary Garrido Schneider. This community space represents a new and experimental approach to exhibition design, interpretation, and programming for GFS and will serve as a platform for facilitated discussion, making, reflecting and sharing. In addition, this project will utilize for the first time in GFS history, a scholar-in-residence, Cassandra Jackson, an author, Professor at The College of New Jersey, and Visiting Professor at Princeton University, who will help to develop programming which will invite response to the exhibition from the community at large.

The exhibition is a departure from the work which has traditionally been shown at GFS and affords the institution the opportunity to undertake new approaches to community-led programming and interpretive strategies. “Our decision to present Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths comes at a unique time in our organizational history, and reflects a thoughtful commitment to further expand the scope of our work to more accurately reflect and serve the larger audiences we seek to attract,” commented Schneider.

Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths opens to the public at GFS on October 22, 2017 and is on view through April 1, 2018. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Awardee, Scott’s 30+ year career as an artist shows mastery over a broad range of materials, and explores subject matter that fuses the autobiographical with the historical. The exhibition presents a survey of Scott’s glass and textile work, in which these deeply personal themes are heightened by inclusion of quilts made by Elizabeth Talford Scott, Joyce’s mother and a textile artist in her own right. Harriet’s Closet, a new installation created for the exhibition at GFS, offers a meditation on the public persona and imagined private life of Harriet Tubman. Using a variety of media, including textiles, beaded glass, and found objects, Scott will explore these twin aspects of Tubman’s life through the creation of monumental and life-sized figurative representations. This survey of Scott’s work, Talford Scott’s textiles, and the new installation piece create an arc of intergenerational, continuous yet differently refracted histories of African American women made manifest through art. This exhibition is guest curated by Lowery Stokes Sims and Patterson Sims.

GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE (GFS), celebrating its 25 th anniversary in 2017, is located in Hamilton, New Jersey, and is a forty-two acre not-for- profit sculpture park, arboretum, and museum founded by Seward Johnson. Its collection features over 270 contemporary sculptures by renowned and emerging artists. Exhibitions change seasonally in six indoor galleries. Offering rich educational programs, a robust schedule of performing arts, and family events, it is open year-round, with extended hours in the summer season. Shopping and dining options complement every visit. For hours, admission prices, and a calendar of events, visit www.groundsforsculpture.org. Stay up to date at facebook.com/groundsforsculpture.