Widening Circles: Andrea Chung

To celebrate the Joan Mitchell Foundation's 25th anniversary, we invited 25 artists to reflect on the impact of receiving support from the Foundation over the years, and to share how they activated the resources provided by the Foundation. We collected their stories, along with studio portraits of the artists by photographer Reginald Eldridge, Jr., into an exhibition and book entitled Widening Circles: Portraits from the Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Community at 25 Years. Here is the 20th story in our series, from Andrea Chung:

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has given me the ability to maintain my practice, providing me with my first studio and the time to focus.

In 2014, I got the call that I had received the Painters & Sculptors Grant while I was in my car, having left the zoo with my screaming toddler. I remember bursting into tears on the phone with whomever it was that called me. It had been such a hard year. My father had stopped speaking to me because he didn’t believe in my career. The award meant so much more than money. It meant that my practice was going in the right direction and all my years of hard work were noticed and appreciated.

Since receiving the award, I applied for and was accepted to attend the Joan Mitchell Center residency in 2016, I am proud to say that I keep in touch with my fellow residents and staff members from the Center who have continued to support me. As an artist based in Southern California, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time in New Orleans, which is considered by many to be the northernmost Caribbean city. Given that my work focuses on the Caribbean, New Orleans feels like home and the city encapsulates a piece of my history. I was recently included in Prospect.4, curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, and the Center supported me throughout the exhibition providing housing during site visits and the opening weekend.

Andrea Chung explores themes of labor and materials and their relationships with postcolonial countries in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. She lives in San Diego, CA.

Read more about Widening Circles and download the full book here.

All photos © 2018 Reginald Eldridge, Jr.

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