News

Alabama State Council on the Arts Offer Design Fellowships

February 13, 2018

Advancement in the design arts requires not only creativity, skill and determination but also money. So, the Alabama State Council on the Arts awards $5,000 through its Design Fellowship. Giving financial assistance to artists who work in architecture, fashion design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, as well as urban design and planning.

Applicants specify how the cash award will be used and provide samples of work completed within the last five years. Applications are submitted electronically. Work samples, resume and supporting materials are mailed and must be received within three days after the March 1 online application deadline. Applicants must be legal residents of Alabama for at least two years before the application deadline.

The ASCA Design Fellowship is meant to advance the artist’s career and that’s what happened for past recipient Jerry Johnson, a professor of design at Troy University. Johnson is also principal and art director of Sienna Cloud Solutions, which provides art and design consultation and services for print and web.

“With my eclectic and busy schedule, this grant allowed me to reduce my extraneous, paid client work for a season,” explains Johnson, who, thanks to the fellowship was able to focus on completing digital design pieces and exhibit them at various venues.

The work will ultimately appear in his upcoming book, The Joyous Exchange: The Art of Collaboration. These design pieces are illuminations that will illustrate the book’s meditations, written by Diane Orlofsky, professor of music and director of choirs at Troy University.

“About half of the grant funds were used on materials, printing and equipment for immediate presentation of this expanding body in exhibit form,” Johnson continues. “The other half is being used to assist with production costs for the first-run of the book which I am still designing—but very close to completing.”

Johnson and Orlofsky are producing a prototype, first-edition of the book before they pitch it to publishing sources. The book, he says, will not only be an example of their co-creation process, but serve as a primer for others interested in the co-designing process.

At the onset of the grant project, Johnson completed about 13 illuminations. As a result of the grant and the grant period, he has the completed 27 primary illuminations that correspond with Orlofsky’s meditations. About 24 to 27 illuminations will be included in the book.

“This ASCA fellowship did nothing but propel me into a greater exploration and understanding of collaboration in design,” says Johnson. “No doubt, without this fellowship my progress in bringing this body of work into fruition would either not materialized or would have been greatly delayed. Focus—that is what this fellowship offered me and I took advantage of it.”

Image 1: Johnson with a copy of The Joyous Exchange: The Art of Collaboration, which has one of his illuminations on the cover.

Image 2: “Grief Expressed,” a triptych-illumination created by Jerry Johnson, professor of design and Troy University and a past recipient of the ASCA Design Fellowship.

Image 3: A single “illumination” created by Johnson, who, along with teaching at Troy University, is principal and art director of Sienna Cloud Solutions, which provides art and design consultation and services for print and web.

Image 4: Johnson’s triptych-illuminations that will appear in his upcoming book, The Joyous Exchange: The Art of Collaboration. His illuminations will illustrate the book – a collaborative effort with a Troy University colleague.

Image 5: A detail in one of Johnson’s triptychs that are designed to complement the meditations in The Joyous Exchange: The Art of Collaboration. The design fellowship allowed Johnson to focus on this book project.

Article By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Jerry Johnson (please note that images may appear different in different browsers or on different devices)