Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Announces Creative Stimulus Awardees

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Announces Creative Stimulus Awardees

Media Contact: Meridith McKinley, Critical Mass for the Visual Arts, 314-735-9268 or 314-324-3278 (cell)

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 12th annual Creative Stimulus Award. This year’s selected artists are José Guadalupe Garza, Simiya Sudduth, and Chloe West.

José Guadalupe Garza is an artist, educator and veteran working in new and traditional media, utilizing cinema and popular culture as theoretical frameworks to explore the changing demographic and cultural landscape of the U.S. with significance to the Latinx experience. Garza has exhibited in museums nationally and internationally. He earned a BFA in Drawing from the University of Florida, an MFA in Visual Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, and currently serves as the Academic Programs Coordinator for the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Garza is also a founding member of Monaco, an artist-run cooperative in St. Louis and serves on the boards of several non-profit and artist organizations.

Simiya Sudduth is a mother, multidisciplinary artist and healing arts practitioner. She maintains a fluid creative practice that explores the intersections of social practice, health, wellness, ecology, social justice and spirituality. Sudduth’s expansive creative practice ranges from creating illustrations to artist-farming and experimental sound healing performances. Sudduth holds several wellness credentials as an Usui Reiki Master, full spectrum birth worker, and yoga and meditation teacher in addition to her formal visual arts background in sculpture and studies in landscape architecture. Her current studio practice is centered on several public art projects. She is the founder of Tha Muthaship Mobile Wellness Studio + Urban Farm and the co-founder of the Afrofuturist Farm Collaborative. Sudduth is a 2021 Teaching Artist in Residence at CAMSTL, and attending a residency at ACRE this summer. Her recent awards include a 2021 Future’s Fund Grant, a Women’s Studio Workshop Artist Relief Grant and ACRE’s Artist-Parent Scholarship.

Chloe West is a visual artist born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. West’s installations combine images of the observed body with mundane objects in the spaces that surround her, investigating the body and its relationship to inhabited space. Objects such as windows and linoleum tiles are presented with works that show fragmented views of the body: contrasting materials of banality with moments of intimacy. West earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 and her BFA from the University of Wyoming in 2015. West’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at No Place, Projects+Gallery, Monaco, Practise, GCADD, and Millitzer Gallery. West is the recipient of the Director’s Fellowship at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University (2017-18) and has been featured in Booooooom.

Creative Stimulus awards unrestricted funding to support artists to pursue special projects, experiment with new techniques, and deepen their understanding of their working processes. The artists were selected by a jury that included Terry Suhre, former director at Gallery 210; Gavin Kroeber, Studio for Art and Urbanism; and artist Asma Kazmi. Each artist receives an award of $1,500 for their use as creative operating capital.

The Creative Stimulus Award is supported by individuals in the St. Louis community who believe that supporting and promoting local artists makes St. Louis a better place to live.

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and initiating contemporary visual art in the St. Louis region.