Forty-three artists were recently awarded more than $100,000 combined in grant money for their artwork reflecting life in Fort Worth during the pandemic.
The initiative is called: “The New Normal: An Artist’s Response to COVID-19.”
For Fort Worth artist, Sarah Ayala, art is storytelling.
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From protests to the pandemic to headlines that gripped hearts, like fallen Fort Hood soldier, Vanessa Guillen.
Sarah helped create Guillen’s mural in Fort Worth.
“That was a very long, emotional day. Being out in the heat, wearing masks for 10 hours straight, it was rough, but every time you look at the wall, it’s like, this is why we’re doing this,” Ayala said.
“When that mural of Vanessa was made, and what artists Sedrick Huckaby and Letitia Huckaby did with the ‘End Racism Now’ mural on the streets of downtown, those were things that made national news,” art gallery owner and artist Lauren Saba Childs said.
Saba Childs helped organize the program that awarded artists grant money.
The group submitted an idea on art they planned to create and a proposal explaining what they’d do with the money.
“What we’re really looking for is, 'How does that contribute and give back to our community?'” Childs said.
Ayala said she hoped her art would continue to inspire her community.
“It is important to keep small businesses alive and afloat right now with loans and grants. I mean, we’re kind of like the storytellers right now. We’re not going to keep the economy afloat, but we’re going to keep everyone’s spirits afloat,” Ayala said.
Saba Childs said the plan is to exhibit the grant recipients’ work at a later date.