Clark Hulings Fund: A New Grants-Awarding Foundation for Working Artists to Accept Applications September 1-20, 2013
There is good news for all early-career, professional artists who need a financial helping hand. Making a recent announcement about the trail-blazing goal of The Clark Hulings Fund For Burgeoning Visual Artists was Elizabeth Hulings, daughter of its namesake, Clark Hulings, and her mother, Mary Hulings.
Explains Ms. Hulings: “My mother and I felt compelled to answer a need that we saw woefully unaddressed. We want to support talented artists who are audacious just like my late father. He was fortunate to have been able to finance a midlife transformation from commercial illustration to easel painting, thanks to some savings. The Clark Hulings Fund recognizes that, for most artists, that option does not exist.”
That is, until now. From September 1 through 30, 2013, The Fund will accept applications from early-career painters and sculptors to pursue the same course of success that Clark Hulings enjoyed. “Many working artists have tangible prospects for advancing their careers but lack financial resources to capitalize fully on those opportunities,” says Ms. Hulings. According to Ms. Hulings, the first two grant winners, who will each receive up to $5,000, will be announced in November 2013.
Observes Elizabeth Hulings: “Most grant money targeted to artists is for education and training, some of it is for residencies and the rest winds up going to exhibiting institutions. Almost no one is supporting the working artist. My mother and I recognized this deficiency and came up with the mission of The Clark Hulings Fund: to empower burgeoning artists to follow in Clark’s footsteps so that the world can enjoy their art work, as we do his.”
The guiding principle of The Fund is to aid emerging talents in ways other programs do not. “Perhaps a gallery has offered to mount a one-person show but the artist cannot afford the plane ticket or to take unpaid time off from a day-job to attend it, or to ship the art in the first place—where can this artist turn?” asks Elizabeth Hulings. “By providing responsive support at these fateful junctures in an artist’s career, The Fund will improve the prospects of promising artists and thus ensure that a larger audience will encounter and be enriched by their work.”
About Clark Hulings
Clark Hulings’ ascendency in the art realm began in 1945 with a one-man show in Santa Fe, NM, the first of two-dozen gallery presentations he would have over the course of a peripatetic 65-year career. The capstone show took place at New York City’s esteemed Forbes Gallery in 2011, just seven weeks after his death. Writing about this solo exhibition, “Clark Hulings: An American Master,” in a lengthy article about it in the March/April 2011 Fine Art Connoisseur, Peter Trippi called Hulings’ vividly realistic tableaux of village and farm life in Europe, Mexico and the United States “superb.” Even though Hulings’ representational works stand in stark contradistinction to the Expressionistic, Pop and Minimalist creations of his peers, Trippi noted that he relished “enormous success among private collectors and commercial galleries, yet never became familiar to [the] mainstream,” a circumstance that produced no resentment on Hulings’ part. “I enjoyed what I was doing so much that there was no point in trying to be somebody else,” he said genially. “I decided to be the best I could be in painting conventional subjects in a traditional style.” Hulings took a keen interest in colleagues who appreciated his self-assured approach, sharing his expertise with them at institutions like the New York City’s venerable Art Students League. Following Hulings’ death, at age 88, his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth considered ways for them to carry on his collaborative spirit, leading them to establish The Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists. “My mother and I are thrilled that The Fund will make it possible for succeeding artists to say yes to opportunities that they would otherwise have to forego.”