Arts Grants | One Artist’s Story
JoEllen Reinhardt enhanced her résumé and secured funding for her favorite art project by winning a grant.
By Christopher Reinhardt
JoEllen Reinhardt (www.joellenreinhardt.com) is a recent recipient of a Worcester Arts Council (WAC) grant. A Worcester native, Reinhardt applied for and received a small grant from WAC to support the development of six separate paintings, each relating to a specific person, company or product that has made a difference in the history of Worcester, Massachusetts.
The grant was for $1,000, which helped to pay for general supplies for the project. “I’ve always been impressed with the many events of cultural and historical significance that have occurred in Worcester, my hometown,” says Reinhardt when asked about her project. “The WAC award provided the incentive to develop a project I’d always planned to do at some point in time.”
The award, which culminated in a public exhibition, generated significant local buzz in the community, including coverage on a local TV show and in newspaper articles. The signature piece of Reinhardt’s show, entitled My Secret Valentine (second image from top of article) and commemorating Esther Howland, founder of the New England Valentine Company in Worcester, was sold on opening night. There were three portraits in the show; one of them—Smiley Face (above)—depicts Charlie Ball, son of the late Harvey Ball, who is credited with the design of the iconic Smiley Face in 1963. Reinhardt received a portrait commission based upon a referral from someone who attended the show. The client was impressed with Smiley Face and hired Reinhardt to paint a posthumous portrait.
“The entire grant experience greatly exceeded my expectations,” says Reinhardt. “I had the privilege to meet some interesting people from Worcester who generously shared their interest and knowledge of the town’s history in preparation for the show. During the opening, small groups would gather around a painting, and people began to share with each other their unique memories or family stories related to the theme of the piece. It was exciting to watch!”
Christopher Reinhardt is a theoretical physicist, a portrait artist—and husband to the classically trained realist painter and grant winner JoEllen Reinhardt. Learn more about JoEllen’s still life and portrait work at www.joellenreinhardt.com.
See Christopher Reinhardt’s entire article “Granting Your Wish” in the January/February 2012 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, with tips for getting a grant or fellowship. Click here to find the digital download.
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