Q: How did you use your 2007 Artist Trust Fellowship?
A: Unrestricted career support through a fellowship and the acknowledgment of accomplishments are invaluable gifts for the generative artist. The 2007 award provided time to create, explore, make mistakes, learn, grow, and take chances.
Q: What was the impact of this award and Artist Trust on your art career/life?
A: This award gave me the funds and support to create some of my most impactful work to date. It gave me permission and resources to be bold and fearless with the unknown.
Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding particular subject matter. Much of his current work focuses on the Prison Industrial Complex and the many issues accompanying incarceration in its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration. Presentations have taken place in schools, active prisons and also inactive prisons such as Alcatraz.
In one of his largest installations, REWIND, he addresses social, and cultural issues in race, class and power by re-envisioning historical events, and connecting their relationships with current issues of power and injustice in America. His work is intended to be a powerful catalyst for community dialogue. After winning the prestigious Mary Sawyer Baker Award in 2015, the cash award also came with a show at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The two 2015 showings of REWIND have garnered praise from Baltimore Magazine
“Best Artist 2015”, Baltimore City Paper “Best Solo Show 2015”, Huffington Post, Artnet News, Washington Post, The Root, and Real News Network.