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2015 DAC MicroGrants2017-10-11T23:20:27+00:00

2015 AWARDEES – $250 Level

Paige Elliott

Paige Elliott, a Durango native who returned home after receiving a BA in English from Dartmouth College, will further develop her writing process by embarking on a backpacking excursion into the Weminuche Wilderness.  The project focuses on revisiting childhood, examining the natural landscape and throwing the past into conversation with the present.

This upcoming summer, I would like to revisit those scenes of my childhood and explore the relationship that forms when the past and present, memory and investigation, and youth and later life converge.  I plan to examine the raw material that is born of the experimental process and compile my words and scribbled thoughts into a polished piece.

Emily Haefner

Emily Haefner will employ a MicroGrant to offset material costs and travel expenses in her pursuit of creating 12 medium-scale mixed-media works in 2015.  Emily will create one piece per month, each inspired by different environments she relates in some way as home.  The series will be exhibited in 2016 as culmination of the project.

Jerry McElroy

Jerry McElroy, a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography (Santa Barbara, CA), is embarking on an ambitious yearlong project to complete two paintings per week for the entire year, and 50 additional paintings of lighthouses of the United States.  As a veteran of the US Coast Guard, Jerry identifies with lighthouses as an iconic symbol and important piece of American history.  A MicroGrant will fund Jerry’s canvas and paint supplies.

Visit Jerry McElroy Website

Deborah Sussex

Deborah Sussex will transition her prolific creative practice from photography to an aspiring body of work in pastel painting.  This grant will enable her to purchase materials necessary to deepen her experience in this new medium.

Visit Deborah Sussex Website

2015 AWARDEES – $500 Level

Adreana Cerda

Adreana Cerda will complete a BA in Studio Art from Fort Lewis College this spring, and has been awarded a $500 MicroGrant as an investment towards her body of work in painting as she navigates her career as a professional artist post-graduation.

By building my portfolio and having the tools to accomplish this, it would enable me to fulfill my long-term goal of applying to a graduate program focused in painting…so that I may find supporting opportunities that give back to our community here in the Southwest.

Esther Greenfield

Esther Greenfield, a freelance writer and artist, recently completed a book of hand-drawn and hand-tinted images of aspen tree carvings (“arbor glyphs”) native to our region.  Each drawing is accompanied with a short story relating to the history of arbor glyphs and the herding traditions of 20th Century pioneers.  Esther will utilize a MicroGrant to fund a graphic designer to format the content of Reading the Trees: A Curious Hiker’s Field Journal of Long-Hidden Messages Found in the Woods.

Visit Ester Greenfield Website

Devon Parson

Devon Parson will apply his passion as a professional river guide in Northern New Mexico to a series of steel paintings reflecting the Four Corners region.  Devon’s evolving body of work involves applying numerous chemicals to thin gauge steel sheets, permanently rusting the surface.  He then applies layers of patina, paint, grind patterns and graphite to complete a landscape.  With the support of a MicroGrant, Devon will be able to pursue work on a much larger scale than he has before – 5 x 4 ft metal sheets that will result in a triptych of the La Plata Mountain Range.

Visit Devon Parson Website

Kevin Dean Ramler

Kevin Dean Ramler of Aztec, NM has been selected by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) as one of three artists to present a participatory performance piece at the 2015 annual conference in April.  NCECA is a national, premiere convening for ceramic artists that draws upwards of 5000 attendees.  Kevin’s piece, A Very Serious Game, is framed as an experimental public engagement project revolving around a reversal of traditional expectations of victory.  A $500 MicroGrant will support Kevin’s materials and travel costs to Providence, RI, and he hopes to travel the A Very Serious Game nationally as well as in the Southwest region upon return.

Visit Kevin Dean Ramler Website

2015 AWARDEES – $1000 Level

Arista Slater-Sandoval

Arista Slater-Sandoval earned a MFA in Photography from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University and describes her work as existing “at the intersection of alternative photographic processes and contemporary media.”  In the pursuit of her career as a contemporary artist, Arista has been awarded a $1000 MicroGrant to produce large-scale image transfers of new imagery inspired by her recent move to the Southwest.  Arista shoots in 35mm, 120 and 4×5 film camera formats before transferring imagery to a substrate that is then hand-sewn to a final surface and coated in wax.  Arista’s work has been featured at Open Shutter Gallery and will appear at The Steaming Bean Coffee House in July 2014.

Using what materials are at arms length, found and collected, the objects take on a deconstructed cultural memory while reconstructing my personal history.  The use of alternative photographic processes and nontraditional image presentation are as important as the index of the image itself in conveying layered human experiences.


The Sugar Rockets

The Sugar Rockets are an “emerging cosmic love-pop duo combining the imaginations of singer/songwriter, Jaime Becktel (Mancos) and musician/songwriter/producer, Brian Arens (Durango).”  Executing on a long-standing obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and space, the Sugar Rockets are in the process of releasing their first album, ETHER, and masterminding a community performance that will draw on the talent of several individuals between La Plata and Montezuma Counties.  A $1000 MicroGrant will fund the mixing and mastering of 13 songs on the forthcoming ETHER with a professional recording studio.

It has been said that if Cher (circa 1975) and C-3PO had love twins, they would be The Sugar Rockets.  With the long-awaited unveiling of ETHER and our breakout performance planned for later this year, we are gearing up for a full multimedia explosion.