The foundation, which was established in 1996 after Nancy Graves’s death, has given out awards to artists since 2001. About the program, Christina Hunter, the foundation’s director, told ARTnews, “In her last will and testament, [Graves] was absolutely firm in giving grants directly to deserving artists.” The goal is to give artists the ability to experiment in a different medium or technique than they are most recognized for. “She was constantly being criticized for jumping from one medium to another, from abstraction to representation,” Hunter said of Graves. “Today, many artists work interdisciplinarily, but at the time Nancy felt that [work of the kind] needed support.”
Sam Contis, who currently has a solo show in New York at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, is based in Oakland, California, and works primarily in photography, often employing traditional printing practices. Her grant will be used to explore creating work in HD video. Brooklyn-based artist Myeongsoo Kim often creates sculptural installations with a range of found and specially fabricated objects. With the grant, he’ll look to create work using a CNC router, a high-powered computer-controlled machine used to cut hard materials.