Our mission at NOT REAL ART has always been to support the creative community in a variety of ways. Founded in 2019, the annual grant is one of our flagship programs and a true cornerstone of our work in the creative industry. Once again, we are delighted to offer financial backing to six self-driven artists with a no-strings-attached award package of $2,000.
Applications for the 2022 NOT REAL ART grant are open to artists 21+ working in any 2D or 3D medium. Applicants must live and work in either Canada or the United States and may not apply if a recipient of the 2021 NOT REAL ART grant. We welcome impactful ideas from marginalized communities, underrepresented voices, and work that operates outside the standard gallery or museum system.
Along with financial support, each winner receives a full-length feature published on NOT REAL ART. “The money is great, but the grant is also about audience and promotion,” says Scott “Sourdough” Power, NOT REAL ART’s founder and panel judge. “We want to give artists a platform for their work, let them tell their stories, and make them feel seen.”
Last year’s panel judges include, among others, Cheyanne Sauter, Executive Director of Art Share LA and MonaLisa Whitaker, a working artist and grant writer. We recently spoke to the two industry leaders to get a sense of what they’re looking for in this year’s crop of applications. Read on for their advice and then apply here—the grant closes on May 1, 2022 at midnight. Bonne chance!
“We want to give artists a platform for their work, let them tell their stories.” — Scott “Sourdough” Power, founder, NOT REAL ART
What Are You Looking For in a NOT REAL ART Grant Submission?
“I love reading about an artist's inspiration in their bio. Oftentimes, I read the bio before looking at the works and when I can match the bio to the works I feel that is a win. I get that it is so hard to describe your work and share where the ideas come from. Be honest – share your story and how you got to the project you are presenting. Be literal – tell me why you include the imagery you do. I understand that the public's perception is an important part of the artistic process, but hearing the motivation and inspiration from the artist helps to fill in the gaps and round out the story.” — Cheyanne Sauter, Executive Director, Art Share LA
“For any narrative portion—be yourself! I'd like to know more about you, what inspires and influences you personally. I'd also like to know what inspired a particular artwork or series: a dream? A hug from a child? Current events? A strong emotion? Artworks should be well-lit and photographed so I can see all elements clearly.” — MonaLisa Whitaker, artist, grant writer
What Mistakes Do You Often See on an Artist’s Grant?
“Photos of your work. I understand that it's an investment to get your artwork professionally shot, but it is so helpful when we have so little to vote on.” — CS
“Whenever there is a narrative portion required, not answering the question or using narrative from another grant. Artists submitting snapshots of their work and out of focus photos of artwork. These mistakes make the panelists work harder to review materials that don't follow the requirements.” — MW
How Can Artists Avoid Mistakes This Year?
“Once you decide to apply, start the process ASAP and try to get it in early—this will make it less stressful and easier for you. When you've gathered everything together and have a reasonable idea of what you plan to submit, have someone else (or two people, even better) review. Another pair of eyes will catch things you may not because you're too close to it.
Making sure that their artwork is well lit and photographed. Even for folks who don't have access to a professional photographer or even a camera, most of the artists who will be applying either have a smartphone with a camera feature or know someone has one and can help them take clear photos. When there's a video, make sure to keep it to the specified length.” — MonaLisa Whitaker
Click here to apply. NOT REAL ART’s annual grant closes May 1, 2022 at midnight PST.