Pirkle Jones Fund Selects Marin’s Naomi Alessandra as the Tenth Recipient of the Visual Artist Support Program Grant

Jul 9, 2020

The Pirkle Jones Fund (PJF), established to honor Marin photographer Pirkle Jones who died in 2009, has named Naomi Alessandra, a resident of Fairfax, as the tenth recipient of a grant from its Visual Artist Support Program. The program supports promising emerging and mid-career artists living in Marin County, California. The artist will receive a grant of $25,000.

The PJF Visual Artist Support Program grant aims to recognize, encourage, and nurture artistic imagination and drive, commitment to the creative process, aesthetic standards, and artistic potential.

Naomi is a uniquely talented artist and illustrator whose work engages in provocative allegorical storytelling. With a background in literature and critical theory, she approaches her art practice with an attention to language and discourse that is as acute as her interest in visual form. Her work beckons the viewer into a color-drenched aesthetic world, offering visual clues that then unsettle the initial impression and provoke deeper engagement with the subject matter.

“It’s a deep honor and a privilege to receive this extraordinarily generous grant. At this pivotal juncture in our culture—amidst a global pandemic, a climate catastrophe, and a transformative moment in racial and social justice—Pirkle Jones’ legacy has never been more poignant and relevant. His documentary photography brilliantly centered issues and movements that continue to reverberate in our most important contemporary discussions. From his 1956 series Death of a Valley, to his photographic essay on the Black Panthers, Jones demonstrated such a clear commitment to engaging with the most germane conversations of his time.”

“I take that legacy very seriously and intend to use this grant as a springboard to continue developing paintings that question and comment on the critical issues we face now in our country, in our state, and right here in Marin. For a number of years, my work has focused on telling visual stories about individual interpersonal dynamics that may also serve as metaphors for larger social structures or conditions. Receiving this award encourages me to continue creating work that pointedly remarks upon the changing world we live in today and grapples with the issues that feel most pertinent at this time. I’m very grateful to be able to look to Pirkle Jones as a guide in this journey, and to use these funds to support that mission.”

For more information or images, contact Lani Alo at the Marin Community Foundation, at either 415.464.2531 or lalo@marincf.org

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