James Biederman, the Martha Beach Distinguished Professor of Art at UNC Pembroke, was awarded a 2008 Joan Mitchell Foundation Sculptors and Painters Grant.
The purpose of the grant is to further the art careers of outstanding painters and sculptors nationwide. The foundation issues $25,000 grants to 25 artists annually. The foundation selected nominees among “under-recognized” artists whose careers would benefit from the grant.
The candidates’ images were viewed for consideration through an anonymous process by a jury panel. Nominators included prominent visual artists, curators and art educators.
Biederman, a Brooklyn-based abstract painter who joined UNCP’s art faculty in 2007, said the grant will allow him to purchase materials and develop his career. The artist lives in Laurinburg, N.C.
“It was an honor to be nominated for this grant,” Biederman said. “I’m in the company of some really great artists.
“I have always created new work with the grants I have received,” he said. “I will be able to work on bigger scale projects.”
The artist will also seek to expand the exhibition possibilities of his work, and he will upgrade his Web site, www.jamesbiederman.com.
Biederman has received several grants over a distinguished career, including two from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Adolf Gottlieb Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, NYFA, Change Inc., UNCP Faculty Development Grant and the North Carolina Regional Arts Council.
Before receiving a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, Biederman studied at the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Study Program. He has held teaching posts at Western Wyoming Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Hofstra University and New York University among others.
His work has appeared in many one-man and group exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art, John Weber Gallery, Documenta 7 (Germany) and Arts Club of Chicago.
His work is included in public collections of the Australian National Gallery, Center Pompidou, Hirshorn, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Kroller-Mueller, Cincinnati Museum of Art, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and other museums, public and private collections.
The artist founded N3 Project Space to organize and present exhibitions of abstract painting in 1998. Biederman curated a show of 24 New York abstract artists at UNCP’s A.D. Gallery and the show traveled in Brooklyn’s Sideshow Gallery.
The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in 1993 to fulfill the ambitions of its founder to aid and assist the needs of painters and sculptors. Mitchell was an American painter who worked and died in Paris.
To further its mandate, the Foundation annually awards grants to painters and sculptors, supports outside programming such as workshops and residencies serving individual artists, and provides free art education.
Additional programs undertaken by the foundation include free art classes for urban youth and grants to art graduates with Master of Fine Arts degrees to aid them into the transition from academic to studio or other professional work.