Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Christopher Paul Jordan (Tacoma) integrates virtual and physical public space to form infrastructures for dialogue and self-determination among dislocated people. Jordan's paintings and sculptures are artifacts from his work in community and time-capsules for expanding inquiry. Christopher is recipient of the 2017 Neddy Artists Award for painting, the Jon Imber Painting Fellowship, and the GTCF Foundation of Art Award. Follow him on Instagram at @CHRISSSJORDAN

Christopher received a 2017 James W. Ray Venture Project Award for Mission Black Satellite, a framework for collaboration across space and time, harnessing mediated-reality, social media, and public art to create permanent public portals for dialogue between Afro-diasporic communities which have been separated by external forces. "Much of the infrastructure that exists for Black communities to be in dialogue across diaspora is colonized. In other words, it is rare that we have opportunities to create, collaborate, exchange witness and support one another across boundaries of the state without relying on white museums or other white-centric media infrastructures to connect," says the artist. Mission Black Satellite will launch with a series of permanent public murals across the island of Trinidad and Tobago in conjunction with the call and response exhibitions #COLORED2017 and #NEGRO2018 curated by Christopher and collaborator Arnaldo James.

A curator from Trinidad and Tobago, Arnaldo is also a photographer, educator, project strategist, and product designer with a focus on cultural preservation and sustainable development. His photography traces genealogies of indigenous African ritual practices in the west and his imaging meets product design through his development of eco-effective augmented-reality motion capture systems. Arnaldo is a 2015-16 Erasmus Dream ACP scholar holding an MSc in Product Design from Cardiff Metropolitan in Wales. Follow him on Instagram at @ARNALDOJJ

In 2015, Christopher received GAP Award funding to support his public project "OPEN AIR" an extension of his project "COLORED" and "COLORED2015," which was exhibited during Art Basel Miami. He sees public art as "a vehicle for protest against the exclusive culture of formal fine art galleries and institutions" and this series as one that "reclaims and reimagines the gallery as a powerful context to address critical social issues." Through this project, which included a large scale mural, Christopher began freeing works from the body of "#COLORED2015" to exist as physical public artifacts and to reside in public as living monuments of Black authorship.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

As artists who are fundamentally focused on Black audiences, this James W. Ray Venture Project Award deeply affirms our focus on our local communities and skyrockets our momentum towards a global creative dialog that centers Black audiences. For Arnaldo, this represents a pivotal opportunity to escalate his documentation of Black ritual practices internationally. For me, this represents an opportunity to return to and invest in the community that springboarded my career as a painter. If it weren't for my students at Richmond Street Boys School, I would have never taken the step to paint with brushes, or received the recognition that I have today. This grant is an opportunity to bring things full circle.

Christopher Paul Jordan