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Herberger Institute alum receives 2019 Arts Writers Grant


Photo of Sean J. Patrick Carney
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December 20, 2019

The Arts Writers Grant Program recently announced its 2019 recipients, which include an alumnus from the School of Art in Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. 

Sean J. Patrick Carney, who received his BFA in art education in 2004, was selected as one of 19 writers for the program, which supports writing about contemporary art and aims to ensure that critical writing remains a valued mode of engaging the visual arts.

This year, the Arts Writers Grant Program has awarded a total of $680,000, ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 grants in four categories — articles, blogs, books and short-form writing. 

Carney received a grant for short-form writing, and he plans to produce a series of short-form articles examining the state of DIY artist warehouse collectives in the Western United States following the 2016 fire at Ghost Ship in Oakland, California, and the birth of the legalized recreational marijuana industry. The pieces will further look at the relationships between these artist groups, gentrification, the commercial real estate market and the creative tech industry. While artist collectives are important breeding grounds for anarchic, experimental culture, Carney said he will explore how the makeup of their participants, and the influence of capital, can sometimes instead reinforce existing power structures.

Carney is a frequent contributor to Art in America and his writing has also appeared in VICE, artnet News, Glasstire and FOUNDATIONS, among others. Previously, he was a co-director and faculty member at The Bruce High Quality Foundation University. Since 2009, he has operated an independent artist book distribution label, Social Malpractice Publishing. His podcast on contemporary art and comedy, Humor and the Abject, has received a Net Art Grant from Rhizome and a Creators Residency at Kickstarter.

The Arts Writers Grant Program was founded in recognition of both the financially precarious situation of arts writers and their indispensable contribution to a vital artistic culture. It is funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by Creative Capital.

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