Artist Profile - Paul Rucker

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Paul Rucker

Paul Rucker Profile Photo
2018 Arts Innovator Award2012 Grants for Artist Projects2012 Conductive Garboil Grant2007 Fellowship Awards
King County



Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. 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 schools, active prisons, and also inactive prisons such as Alcatraz. His work is intended to be a powerful catalyst for community dialogue.

In one of his largest installations, REWIND, Paul addresses social and cultural issues in race, class, and power by re-envisioning historical events and connecting them to current issues of power and injustice in America. Showings of REWIND across the country have garnered critical praise, including coverage by Huffington Post, Artnet News, Washington Post, The Root, and Real News Network.

Paul is a 2012 Creative Capital grantee, a 2014 MAP Fund grantee, a 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant recipient, 2016 Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship recipient, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, and was named a 2018 TED Fellow.

Paul received 2012 GAP Award funding to help defray the costs of producing the Assassin Series, which parallels lynching of the past with what many would consider lynching of the present by way of shootings that go unprosecuted, or through trials that are dismissed. Specifically, Paul will be looking at victims of police violence and/or inequity in the justice system.

As part of his 2007 Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Paul performed a solo concert demonstrating improvised/spontaneous compositions and extended technique, to a group of 80 at Highline Big Picture High School in SeaTac. Following the performance, he talked about his career path to being a musician and visual artist, and what his hopes are for the future.

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