D. DelReverda-Jennings is an artist of many mediums. She moves fluidly through a number of arts disciplines as an arts administrator, facilitator, regional arts editor/journalist, poet, author and visual artist.
"Art is intrinsically integral in the spectrum of my day, and has always been a constant passion and drive throughout my life," says D. "It is compulsory and I must admit that I create the majority of what I do for purely selfish reasons. To please myself and my inner child, bringing my spirit great joy and amazement, then on to share with others, where I acquire yet another marvelous blessing whenever a piece touches someone."
D. has received more than one Individual Artist Program (IAP) grant, most recently for "HORIZONS: Contemporary Indiana Artists of Color" a literary concept created to bring about greater awareness and appreciation for Indiana native or resident artists of African descent practicing visual art disciplines. Here is her story.
Indiana Arts Commission (IAC): Besides the funding, what are the benefits of receiving an IAP Grant?
DelReverda-Jennings: Let me first say that the IAC IAP grant is an invaluable artist resource. I am so very grateful to have received support through the years for a number of projects and each has had a positive definitive impact on my creative life and practice. The awards have encouraged pursuit of professional goals, helped to open doors, provided new direction as well as empowered a greater voice within my work. The IAP grant offers acknowledgement, validation, and recognition of an artist's work by a panel of art professionals. The value of receiving an IAP grant is immeasurable in that it offers a means for further growth, examination of opportunities sometimes outside of our reach, the ability to push boundaries, discover new artistic paths and a shot of monetary nourishment for an artist's creative mind, process and practice. The ongoing availability of the grant says to me that the State of Indiana believes in and supports artists of all disciplines and the marvelous diverse work that we do.
My experience has been wonderful! Being awarded an IAP grant is an absolute blessing and an honor. It has given me gifts of financial support and the time it allows implementation of projects that I might ordinarily not have had the opportunity to execute.
IAC: Why did you initially apply for an IAP grant?
DelReverda-Jennings: Funding in 2012 enabled realization of a concept that I have had in mind for years, bestowing the opportunity to take the work from a shelved, although developmental stage and turn it into a viable publication. It fulfilled my mission in the importance of preserving art heritage, bringing awareness to it and has created on ongoing initiative. I wanted to bring this long-held literary concept of mine to fruition, as a result of many years of research, interaction and writing about little-known and emergent visual artists that I had met, worked with, or showcased in my exhibitions. I found there was a crucial lack of information in regard to contemporary Artists of African descent/African American available, documented or archived in major arts-related institutions in Indiana and wanted to bring information and images forth from my own archives as a journalist/regional arts editor of seventeen years, to the public in a tangible context. The project grant and the resulting creation of the book has positively impacted my credibility as an author and journalistic documentarian, broadened my skills as a writer, helping establish my work to a greater extent in the literary field.