SAMA member, Jennifer Kuhns, has been awarded a $2,500 grant from Jordan Schnitzer, in a partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Museums of Art at the University of Oregon, Washington State University, and Portland State University, as part of a $150,000 Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program. Each of the 20 artists awarded uses their voice, experience, and artistic expression to reflect on social justice efforts in response to systemic racism. Jennifer Kuhns has been selected for the WSU location, and will be creating a mosaic portrait to honor Nat and Thelma Jackson, an Olympia couple who have spent their lives advocating for racial equity and social justice. This portrait will be included in a fall exhibition at the museum.
“The proposal that I submitted for this grant was to create a portrait depicting Thelma and Nat Jackson. This is a powerhouse couple who have spent their lives advocating for racial equity. Please take a moment to read more about them here: https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/sixty-eight/nat-and-thelma-jackson/ The couple are in their 70s, living in Lacey. I had a great conversation with Nat after receiving notice of my selection, and I am very excited to start working on this piece. My ultimate goal is to turn it into a larger public art installation in Olympia, WA that links to information about the Jacksons. FYI: Nat Jackson, at age 77, is “the Jump Rope King”! He advocates for fitness and health and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. It’s going to be a joy to celebrate their legacy with a mosaic portrait.”
Jennifer only recently received the news and will begin working on her project of Nat and Thelma in the coming months.
The work below was submitted to the grant committee for consideration of Jennifer as an artist. “Edmonia Lewis” will be included in a fall exhibition at the museum.