The inaugural 12-week CARD Fellowship, a collaboration among the Phillips, the Nicholson Project, and the DC Public Library to support the local art community, concluded in December. Multimedia artist Paloma Vianey from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, reflects on her experience.
Reflecting on your fellowship journey, how have you grown professionally and personally?
As an immigrant and a new artist in Washington, DC, before this fellowship, I felt like an artist operating alone. The CARD fellowship changed that and I now feel that I have a community to rely on. It also helped me appreciate the richness of the DC area and its vibrant community. Through the fellowship, I met with curators, artists, and organizations that are relevant to my practice. These are connections that I will carry with me, and that will also lead me to other connections.
In what ways were you able to collaborate with the other CARD fellows and partner organizations, and how may these collaborations/partnerships influence your future projects?
The other two fellows, Tina Valladolid and Anne Smith, have become influential and supportive people in my art career. I genuinely value the amount of thought from the partners when selecting the CARD fellows, as the three of us began bonding very naturally. We are all linked by our wish for community and we have met periodically to discuss our goals, artistic beliefs, and personal matters. I am also grateful for how much I have learned from The Phillips Collection, the DCPL, and the Nicholson Project, and its associated partners. It is a privilege to have access to these networks and institutions– and I am looking forward to how these connections will evolve in the future.
How has this fellowship changed your views about the intersections of art and community?
Before moving to DC I had an itinerant life– moving constantly on a yearly basis. I did not have a moment to establish a community, and now that I am here, this fellowship has shown me how valuable it is to have a network of art directors, artists, and curators to guide you and help you. No artist should operate alone, and the most successful artists have been helped. This fellowship gave me a community, friends, and access to a plethora of resources I will continue to use.
What advice would you give to artists looking for fellowships or other opportunities to grow their careers?
Do not feel intimidated to reach out to anyone, regardless of their status or success. Do not feel afraid to apply to opportunities that might seem out of your reach. Create as much work as you can and learn from your work– take your time to process it and meditate about what you are making. Go to exhibitions and openings, and read as much as you can about art that is being made. But most prominently, believe in your work and what you are making.