Writer & Photographer / Megan Jefferson
Corey Jefferson is currently a ceramic artist and Senior Lecturer at Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI. Jefferson had been yearning to explore new imagery in the form of boats and learn techniques that would deepen his understanding of design and clay, inspire his future work, and pass this knowledge onto his students.
The support he needed to study and explore his new ideas and gain new skills came from a fellowship. He was awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship.
The Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program is a two-year grant program that awards $10,000 to 30 selected artists and arts administrators. The fellowship program was established in 1999 by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, with generous support from the Lilly Endowment. It was created to provide a renewal opportunity similar to an academic sabbatical. This program celebrates the work of artists and arts administrators and gives them the chance to renew and refresh their creativity.
Jefferson grew up in Delaware, New York and Maryland.
“Being close to the coast influenced me in many ways that I did not realize at the time,” Jefferson says. “Seeing the vast landscape, hearing the ocean, seeing boats and collecting driftwood were things that shaped my aesthetic sensibility and gave me a sense of wonder about our connection with sea and self. The boat — its form, its design, its role in humanity — influences my art. In books, in poems, in film, the boat is a vessel for physical, mental and spiritual travel. I enjoy kayaking on the White River and marvel how easy it is to be at one with nature. Nature gives us everything we need and asks so little from us but to be respected and taken care of. I wanted to create a body of work that addresses that concept.”
By spending time visiting maritime museums, and exploring bodies of water along the seacoast, Jefferson was able to expand his research and get a deep and much needed experience of creative renewal.
“This fellowship allowed me to gather information firsthand as well as collect found items to incorporate into my sculptures,” he says. “My work has developed in personal expression and concept. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to immerse myself in renewal.”
You can see Corey’s new work at The Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Retrospective Exhibition at the Indianapolis Art Center. This exhibit serves as a retrospective for the current round of Fellows, allowing them to gather, share stories, show their artwork and results of their fellowship period. It is also a time to celebrate the newest round of fellows as the next 30 artists and arts administrators to receive the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowships will be announced.
The exhibition dates are April 14 to May 31. The opening reception and announcement date is Friday, April 28, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
To learn more about the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program visit indyarts.org/grants/individuals/creative-renewal-arts-fellowship.