Over the course of a five-week series, LN is profiling the 10 artists recently announced as the Regional Arts Commission’s (RAC) 2015 Artist Fellowships, who each received $20,000 to further his or her work. These are the seventh and eighth profiles. To read the previous profiles, click here.
When Denise Ward-Brown was awarded the Fulbright Senior Scholarship in 1997, she was an internationally exhibited sculptor, with no idea that she was about to embark on a journey that would change the trajectory of the rest of her career. For her Fulbright fellowship, Ward-Brown traveled to Ghana for research. “I picked up a video camera – and I’ve not been able to put it down,” she says.
During her fellowship, Ward-Brown filmed her travels and research of African history in Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and South Africa. “I’ve absolutely found that film is an excellent way to create narratives,” Ward-Brown says. Her narratives often explore African and African-American themes and history, sharing the behind-the-scenes stories that have been forgotten or overlooked.
“I started in music,” Dwayne Bosman says – an introductory statement that carries immeasurable weight in legacy. For Bosman, an award-winning jazz musician and composer, music has always been an intrinsic part of who he is.
The son of nationally renowned jazz artist Lloyd A. Smith, music was all around him. “We always had jazz around the house,” he recalls. Bosman’s father played with the big bands of the era, like Eddie Randle and the Blue Devils, and was a sideman with jazz legends Count Basie and Duke Ellington. His boyhood St. Louis home was a revolving door of legendary musicians including Jonah Jones and Louis Armstrong.
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