Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: Women’s Studio Workshop 2020 Studio Residency Grant

The Women’s Studio Workshop 2020 Studio Residency Grant received about 231 applications for 3 awards.

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Selected artists comprise 1:77, or ~1.3% of applicants.

See WSW’s 2017 odds for this program.

See WSW’s 2015 odds for this program.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: Center for Craft’s Craft Research Fund Artist Fellowship

The Center for Craft’s Craft Research Fund Artist Fellowship received nearly 127 applications for 2 fellowships.

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Selected artists comprise 1:63.5 or less than 1.5%, of applicants.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: Harpo Foundation’s 2020 Grants for Visual Artists

The Harpo Foundation’s 2020 Grants for Visual Artists received nearly 1,300 applications for 10 grants.

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Selected artists comprise 1:130, or less than 0.7%, of applicants.

See all the 2017 odds.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Impressions

On Fear, Responsibility, and Intelligence

“Perhaps [Dorothea] Lange’s fears came from a deep consciousness of her responsibility. After documenting nearly a half-century of crises and the lives of those most deeply affected by them, Lange understood, possibly too well, the enormous responsibility that comes with telling any story, but especially the story of other people’s struggles. Fear is an embodied knowledge, an almost physical intuition of possible outcomes learned through past experience. It can spin into paranoia, paralyze us, shock us into impassivity. But it can also be a powerful drive, as I suppose it was for Lange, who with all her “darkroom terrors” was still able to document what many others had not yet seen or wanted to see. Fear allows us to give shape to things that we were unwilling to see or unable to name. Fear is a specific form of intelligence that comes when hindsight, insight, and foresight collide.”

—Valeria Luiselli’s profile of photographer Dorothea Lange, “Things as They Are” in the NY Review of Books (November 19, 2020). 
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Impressions

On Aging and the Perils of Perfectionism

“I was not quite 40 but felt, in many ways, older. My hair, once as heroically thick as the David’s, had begun to thin visibly, and I felt sad about this, and I also considered my sadness to be its own failure, because I wanted to be the kind of person who didn’t care about superficial, middle-age things….

“My youthful pursuit of David-like perfection had gone, shall we say, not terribly well. I had turned out to be a strange person, not anything like an ideal. My life was littered with awkwardnesses, estrangements, mutual disillusionments, abandoned projects….

“Perfection, it turns out, is no way to try to live. It is a child’s idea, a cartoon — this desire not to be merely good, not to do merely well, but to be faultless, to transcend everything, including the limits of yourself. It is less heroic than neurotic, and it doesn’t take much analysis to get to its ugly side: a lust for control, pseudofascist purity, self-destruction. Perfection makes you flinch at yourself, flinch at the world, flinch at any contact between the two. Soon what you want, above all, is escape: to be gone, elsewhere, annihilated.”

Sam Anderson, “David’s Ankles,” NY Times, August 17, 2016
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Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: NYFA’s 2020 Fellowship Program

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)/New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) 2020 Fellowship program received 3,536 applications for 84 grants awarded.

• = awards     ° = applications

••••••••••|••••••••••|••••••••••|••••••••••|••••••••••|
••••••••••|••••••••••|••••••••••|••••°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 100
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 200
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 300
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 400
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 500
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 600
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 700
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 800
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 900
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,000
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,100
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,200
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,300
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,400
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,500
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,600
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,700
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,800
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 1,900
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,000
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,100
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,200
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,300
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,400
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,500
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,600
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,700
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,800
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 2,900
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,000
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,100
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,200
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,300
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,400
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°| 3,500
°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°°°°°°|°°°°°° 3,536

Selected artists comprise about 1:42, or 2.4% of applicants.

Comparative Odds
———-|———-|———-|———-|–  2020 = 1:42
———-|———-|———-|—–  2018 = 1:35
———-|———-|——-  2017 = 1:27
———-|———-|———-|———-|—–  2014 = 1:45

Comparative Percent Awarded

•••••••••••|•••••••••••|••••  2.4% in 2020
•••••••••••|•••••••••••|••••••••  2.8% in 2018
•••••••••••|•••••••••••|•••••••••••|••••••  3.6% in 2017
•••••••••••|•••••••••••|••  2.1% in 2014

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Research

Brené Brown on Shame, Racism, Accountability, and Armoring Up

Shame and belonging researcher Brené Brown spoke specifically to white people confronting racism and their own feelings of shame in a terrific podcast episode (“Brené on Shame and Accountability,” Unlocking Us, July 1, 2020).

There’s a lot in here that resonates with the current moment—resistance to antiracism and white racial resentment—as well and a central question in my art and life: “How do you keep your heart open?”

Racism and Shame

“…being held accountable for racism and feeling shame is not the same thing as being shamed…. We need to understand the difference between being held accountable for racism and experiencing shame as a result of that accountability, and how that’s different than actually being shamed for being a racist.”

Shame vs Guilt (focus on personal flaw vs behavior)

“We think that shaming is this great moral compass, that we can shame people into being better. But that’s not true. …everyone needs a platform of self-worth from which to see change. You can’t shame people into being better, and in fact, when we see people apologizing, making amends, changing their behavior, that is always around guilt…. We feel guilt when we hold something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values, they don’t match up, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s helpful. It’s a positive, socially adaptive experience [which] motivates meaningful change. It’s as powerful as shame, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive.”

Shame as a Social Justice Tool

“…shame is not an effective social justice tool. … Shame is a tool of oppression. Shame is a tool of white supremacy. Humiliation, belittling, those are tools of injustice; they’re not tools for justice. First, shame corrodes the belief that we can be better and do better, and it’s much more likely to be the cause of dangerous and destructive behaviors than the cure. … Shame itself is inherently dehumanizing.”

Self-regulation and Antiracism

“…there’s a huge difference between being shamed for being a racist and feeling shame. And it’s our responsibility for experiencing and regulating our own emotions. It’s my job to regulate my emotion, move through shame in a productive way, without defensiveness, without doubling down, without rationalizing, without demanding to be taught, demanding absolution, demanding comfort from the person who’s holding us accountable, which is often a Black person or a person of color. I’m responsible for that emotional regulation.”

Armor Is the Greatest Barrier to Courage

“…the greatest barrier to courage is not fear. The greatest barrier to courage is armor, is how we self-protect when we’re afraid. And I studied the arming-up process and just in preparation for this podcast, did I realize that this armoring-up process is so applicable to white supremacy.

So let me go through the six stages of armoring-up…

So number one … building the armor: “I’m not enough.” Number two: If I’m honest with them about what’s happening, they’ll think less of me, or maybe even use it against me. … Number three: “No way am I going to be honest about this. No one else does it. Why do I have to put myself out there?” Number four: “Yeah, you know what, screw them. I don’t see them being honest about what scares them…” Number five: “You know what? This is actually their problem. This is their shortcomings that make them act this way, this is their ultra-sensitivity…” Number six: “In fact, now that I think about this, I’m actually better than them.”

…“I’m better than people” and “I’m not enough” is the exact same standing still position of pain and shame.”

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Research, Values

On Empathy, Belonging, Interconnectedness, and Race

A recent podcast episode on empathy resonates me, since I’ve been thinking about interdependence and interconnectedness, especially in regards to racial justice, polarization, fear, and white racial resentment. This all also relates to a central question in my art practice—“How do you keep your heart open?”—which is part of a forthcoming art project.

Jamil Zaki, author of “The War For Kindness: Building Empathy In A Fractured World,” and empathy research at Stanford University, speaks directly to this on Hidden Brain (“You 2.0: Empathy Gym,” August 31, 2020).

[I planned to just share one to two quotes but so many passages from the podcast are resonant.]

On how to keep your heart open, or how support in trauma can lead to becoming links in a chain of support

VEDANTAM: Jamil, people who have been through terrible suffering can respond in different ways. Some people turn inward to avoid future pain, while others turn outward. They show empathy for the suffering of other people. I feel like I’ve seen research studies that show both these things. Can you talk about these studies and why people might go in one direction or another after they experience trauma?

JAMIL ZAKI: …We often hear about cycles of violence or the idea that hurt people hurt people. And that’s certainly true in some cases.

But there’s a lot of research that’s actually much more hopeful on what psychologists call altruism born of suffering. This is the idea that sometimes when we’ve gone through great pain, that actually sort of opens us up to caring more about other people and their suffering….

Psychologists don’t really know that much about sort of what causes people, when they experience suffering, to go in one direction or another. But one important factor that they have identified is the support that we receive from other people. So if after a trauma, an individual is able to find a community of others who support them, well, then they’re more likely to recover from their own trauma, and they might also be more likely to turn around and provide that support to others….

Threats and fear-mongering foster cruelty towards out-groups and unity within in-groups

ZAKI: …reminding people of a collective trauma, for instance, can make them more weary of outsiders and sort of more … willing to even endorse violence or aggression towards outsiders. But thinking of a common threat is also one way to bring people within a group closer together. I remember after 9/11 the way that Americans really felt like we were all one because we were facing this really deep trauma together. And likewise, there’s all sorts of evidence that when people feel that they have a common threat that they’re facing, they band together.

[CWY: If we can’t agree that COVID is a real, common threat to us all, that might account for why there’s so much disunity in taking necessary precautions.]

[Note: This is followed by insights on how police are so over-empathetic with fellow cops that they can’t understand civilians’ perspectives on police misconduct.]

On belonging, and how over-emphasizing with one’s in-group correlates to othering

VEDANTAM: …Empathy, in some ways, has this double-edged sword quality to it, which is, on the one hand, it’s prompting us to be outward-looking, but it’s also driven in some ways by factors about who’s in our in-group and who’s not in our in-group. The psychologist Paul Bloom, who wrote the book “Against Empathy: The Case For Rational Compassion,” he argues that empathy tends to be parochial, and it tends to be biased. …

ZAKI: …Our instinctive empathy might be more driven towards people in our tribe than outside of it….

…I think that that’s a problem with how empathy tends to operate, but I try to focus us on the fact that we can control how we empathize and make choices about the way that we deploy our caring. And if we recognize that, hey, I’m empathizing in a parochial way, in a tribal way, we can try to make a different choice and broaden our empathy even towards people who are different from ourselves.

And, in fact, this is consistent with research by my friend Emile Bruneau. He’s studied sort of parochial empathy in a lot of different intergroup contexts. And what he finds is that sometimes if you want to predict when someone will be willing to be aggressive towards outsiders or unwilling to compromise with someone on the other side of a conflict, it’s not enough to measure whether they empathize with the people on the outside. You have to also measure how empathic they are to their own group. And it turns out that people who are extraordinarily empathic towards people in their group, even if they’re also empathic towards outsiders, are unwilling to compromise, unwilling to do anything that could threaten their own tribe.

…what this suggests is that sometimes, if we want to open ourselves up to other cultures, to people on the other side of a political or racial divide, maybe what we should start out doing is not just trying to get to know them and empathize more with them, but to recognize if we’re empathizing so much with our group that we’ll be unable to be flexible emotionally.

Dehumanization as avoidance of negative emotions such as guilt

VEDANTAM: …White Americans asked to read about the suffering of Native Americans become more likely to say that Native Americans are unable to feel complex emotions such as hope and shame. So in other words, empathy not only can produce pain, pain can not only produce disengagement, but we can actually almost dehumanize other people because we’re so, in some ways, reluctant to accept the pain that comes with actually empathizing with them.

ZAKI: Yeah, absolutely, especially if you or a group that you belong to is responsible for that pain because then, empathy can twist into a sense of guilt or even self-loathing. There are a lot of studies like this. In one classic set of studies from the 1950s, psychologists asked people to repeatedly shock – electrically shock – another person. And what they found was that when people had to shock someone else, they ended up saying that they liked that person less, almost as though they were defensively, again, turning down their empathy for that individual.

Why our multi-dimensionality matters and how identifying as human can conquer tribalism

ZAKI: …yes, it’s easier to empathize with people who are like us than unlike us, but all of us have many different selves inside us at any given moment, and each self carries with it a different group, maybe of a different size.

So if I think of myself, for instance, as a Stanford person, well, then people at UC Berkeley are my mortal enemy, especially during the big game. But if I think of myself as a Californian, then my in-group, the people who deserve my empathy and who it’s easy to empathize with, that group grows. And if I can think of myself as – I don’t know – an American or a human being, then that group will grow even further.

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