William H. Johnson Foundation Accepting Applications for 2015 Johnson Prize

Last time we visited the William H. Johnson Foundation, we examined how it helps to reduce barriers to entry for "early career" African-American artists through their annual William H. Johnson Prize.

Last year's winner of the $25,000 prize was Deanna Bowen. Bowen is a descendant of the Alabama and Kentucky-born African American pioneers of the Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta, Canada. She holds a Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2008) and a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (1994).

According to the foundation's website, Bowen's practice revolves around "historical research of American slavery, migration and diaspora studies. This research informs the production of a range of interdisciplinary conceptual works that incorporate genealogical and historical research, writing, storytelling, blogging, film and video production, computer-based animation, performance for stage and camera, photography, sculpture, experimental audio composition, and drawing."

That, in a nutshell, is the kind of artist that the foundation is looking to fund. In fact, the foundation just issued a call for applications for its 2015 William H. Johnson prize, and a few additional caveats are in order.

First, the foundation wants to fund "early career" African-American artists in the areas of painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and/or a new genre. The foundation notes that "early career," while a flexible term, has nothing to do with age. The term "should be interpreted liberally to include artists who have finished their academic work within the last dozen years." Additionally, artists who have not earned BFAs or MFAs are still eligible so long as they have not been working as an artist for more than twelve years. For example, a person who finished their studies in 1999 is eligible to apply in 2011, but not in 2012.

To apply, click here. The application asks for an artist's statement, CV, work samples, annotation for work samples, and two letters of recommendation. All application materials must be submitted by 5 pm on Friday, September 18, 2015.

The winner of the $25,000 award will be announced in December of 2015.