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Johnathan Payne Selected for First Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency

in Press Releases March 31, 2020 3 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Memphis, Tennessee-based artist Johnathan Payne was selected for the first Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency, one of two new programs created by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, in partnership with Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), to support African American, professional visual artists and honor the legacy of the beloved Columbus artist. Payne was selected out of 50 applications from 24 states.

Earlier this year, the Arts Council and the Columbus Museum of Art, with support from community leaders, launched both a fellowship and the residency in Robinson’s home in the Shepard neighborhood. In 2020 both programs are made possible with the financial support of Loann Crane.

Payne, a Houston native, earned a BA in art from Rhodes College and an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Yale School of Art. He describes himself as a Southern, African American queer artist working in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and weaving. Payne engages with themes of self-concept, tribalism, mental health, semiotics and the complexities of being a marginal identity, and works with the traditions of geometric abstraction, post-minimalism and fiber sculpture. He has exhibited widely in New York City; Memphis, TN; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and New Haven, CT.

“Being the first recipient of the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency is nothing short of a tremendous honor,” said Payne. “To live and work in Robinson’s home and studio is to be a part of a rich artistic legacy. While in residency, I plan to continue an ongoing series in my practice called Constructions, where I create geometrically patterned collages and paintings out of shredded paper. Additionally, I will embark on a new series of large-scale, abstract mixed-media works incorporating techniques of hand-sewing, collage and stencil painting. I am inspired by the subject matter, materiality and tactility of Aminah Robinson’s work, and I hope to learn more about her during my time in Columbus.”

The residency is nationally focused and provides an African American professional visual artist residing in the United States the opportunity to live and work in Robinson’s soon-to-be-restored Shepard community home, and to devote dedicated time to creating art within Robinson’s home studio.

In 2020, the 90-day residency is currently planned to begin in late summer or early fall and will include a $2,500 award and a stipend up to $5,500; lodging and studio access is provided free as part of the residency. Community outreach activities (facilitated by Arts Council staff) are required and the artist will have the opportunity for a public presentation and/or exhibition.

Jurors for the residency included:

  • Loann Crane, civic leader, arts supporter and program underwriter
  • Kellie Jones, professor of Art History and Archaeology, Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University
  • Carole Genshaft, curator, Columbus Museum of Art
  • Deidre Hamlar, associate director, The Ohio State University African American and African Studies Community Extension Center
  • Curlee Holton, director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, University of Maryland
  • Faith Ringgold, artist and professor emeritus of Art at the University of California in San Diego
  • Toni Smith, adjunct professor of African American Studies at Columbus State Community College and Shepard neighborhood resident
  • Julie Taggart, provost, Columbus College of Art & Design and Arts Council board member

Earlier this month, the fellowship was awarded to Columbus-artist Don “DonCee” Coulter. Read more about Coulter and the fellowship here.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

Mission of the Columbus Museum of Art: To create great experiences with great art for everyone.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492