San Antonio Ethnic Art Society  Abaraka Awards Committee  19141 Stone Oak Parkway Box #104  San Antonio, Texas 78232
210/863-3497 * Saeas.Tx@gmail.com      

September 2019


Louisiana Fiber Artist and OSU Doctoral Dissertation selected for 2019 Abaraka Award


The San Antonio Ethnic Art Society (SAEAS) has selected Sharbreon Plummer’s doctoral research into fiber arts as both a fine art and a community-building practice among African American women as the 2019 recipient of its Abaraka Award. The Abaraka Award, a biennial art grant, was launched in 2017 to assist African American women in the visual arts in three areas: visual arts creation; curatorial projects; and research and academic endeavors related to visual arts. 


SAEAS partners with art collectors Aissatou Sidime-Blanton and Stewart Blanton to provide Abaraka Award grants up to $3,000 to early- to mid-career applicants nationwide.


Winning projects are selected partly based on whether the recipient is at a critical stage in her career where this funding will have a significant impact. 


Plummer, a Baton Rouge, LA. native and fiber artist, currently is a doctoral candidate in Arts Administration, Education and Policy at Ohio State University. Her research specializes in material culture, the art-craft discourse, Black feminist theory and African American visual arts. Her winning project is titled "Haptic Memory: Understanding the Black Female Experience Through Fiber Art Narratives." Plummer has completed the Tate Intensive at Tate Modern in London, was a research fellow with The Embroiders’ Guild of America, and had an archival conservation project funded by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.  


​​“Our guest juror, curator and arts administrator Michelle Barnes (co-founder and Executive Director) of The Community Artists’ Collective, did a fabulous job on the initial screening of all applicants,” said Sidime-Blanton, SAEAS Vice President. “Ultimately, the Selection Committee was most compelled by Plummer’s desire to reexamine a medium and its related artistic practices - quilting, crocheting, weaving, etc. - that have historically been relegated to second-class status, and to do it through a lens that highlights the unique aesthetics that have been created through communal practices by women. 


"Plus, the final project will include new art works, as well as chapbooks and other publications accessible to the general public.” 


Other finalists included Tammie Rubin in Austin, TX; Sanah Brown of New York City currently in the Fort Worth, TX area; Chesley Antoinette Williams in Dallas; and Irene Reece of Houston and currently in Paris. 



​​ September 2017

Inaugural Abaraka Award honors "(Kind of) Blubonnets" by Lauren Woods 
 
The San Antonio Ethnic Art Society (SAEAS) has selected a project by Lauren Woods, a multimedia artist who grew up in Dallas and now lives in San Francisco, to be the Inaugural recipient of its Abaraka Award. The Abaraka Award, a biennial art grant, was launched in 2017 to assist African American women in the visual arts in three areas: visual arts creation; curatorial projects; and research and academic endeavors related to visual arts.

SAEAS partners with art collectors Aissatou Sidime-Blanton and Stewart Blanton to provide Abaraka Award grants up to $3,000 to early- to mid-career applicants nationwide.

Winning projects are selected partly based on whether the recipient is at a critical stage in her career where this funding will have significant impact. 

The inaugural recipient is Lauren Woods's "(Kind of) Bluebonnets" project. Woods is a conceptual artist who works in photography, film, video and sound installations.  Woods has been a lecturer at Southern Methodist University and artist-in-residence at University of Texas at Dallas’ CentralTrack.  Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, United States and internationally, including Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Miami as well as Puerto Rico, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Mali and France. She has been the recipient of grants and awards from numerous institutions, including Creative Capital Foundation, The Tribeca Film Foundation, Art Matters, College Art Association, Alliance of Artists Communities and the Nasher Sculpture Center The SAEAS Abaraka Award will allow Woods to explore a common Texas practice, bluebonnet portraiture, in relation to images of African-Americans.

“We had four strong finalists – Lauren, Dr. Kinitra Brooks of San Antonio, Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville in New Orleans, and Omawu Diane Enobabor in Philadelphia," said Gracie Poe SAEAS President. “Our guest juror, Austin artist Deborah Roberts, did a fabulous job screening all applicants. Ultimately, the Selection Committee was most captivated by Lauren’s compelling visual reinterpretations and photographic juxtapositions that address historical and contemporary issues pertinent to the African-American community – in this case how the world views ‘Black bodies’.”



May 2017


Past Sidime Blanton Arts Underwriting Activities include exhibitions, art conservation assistance, curatorial projects


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Exhibition Underwritten, curated by Deborah Roberts and featuring Nadia Blas, Christine Coleman, and James Maurelle, George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center, Austin, Texas, September 15- November 5, 2016


Familiar Institutions: B(l)ack Talk -  Curated exhibit that featured artwork selected from 6 Contemporary African American women artists (Bernice Appelin-Williams, Lauren Cross, Tonya Engel, Letitia Huckaby, Love Olivia, Deborah Roberts) in response to poems by award-winning African-American poet Khadijah Queen, Southwest School of Art (pop up exhibit) September 11-14, 2015 and Gemini Ink gallery September 15-November 4, 2015

LaStarsha McGarity - Curatorial Studies Graduate School Application Funding, 2016 

Valerie Maynard, John T. Scott-  Partial Exhibition Underwritten, StoneMetal Press, 2006

Deborah Roberts - "What's Up with Black Chicks?" Screenprinting Project Underwritten, StoneMetal Press, 2005