WASHINGTON–“The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund: Second Act” is spending the summer at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, continuing the work of its founders to reveal hidden talent in local artists.
Established in 2001 in accordance with Virginia Bader’s will, the Bader Fund provides a minimum of one grant annually to visual artists of at least age 40 living within a 150 mile radius of Washington, D.C. “Second Act” gives the public another look at the art produced by grantees over the past 13 years.
Maia Plesent, a gallery attendant, believes that the fund benefits artists’ development.
“The money goes towards the artists to expand their repertoire and explore new mediums,” Plesent said. “So I think it’s a great way to allow artists to learn and improve their art.”
The exhibit offers a variety of artwork, something that Plesent said makes it interesting.
“I enjoy how different everything is, there’s so many different mediums, so many different types of art in this exhibit,” Plesent said.
Rik Freeman is a narrative painter whose oil on canvas painting Samba na Praia is travelling with “Second Act.” His art falls on the Bader Fund’s unique spectrum due to its ability to tell stories, a skill which Freeman picked up as a child in Athens, Georgia.
“I would ‘overhear’ grown folks’ conversations and feel their emotions, read a book, listen to music, and there’s a movie going on in my head,” Freeman wrote on his website. “This fueled my artistic style as a narrative painter.”
Stories like Freeman’s can be beneficial in applying for a Bader Fund grant, a process requiring artists to provide a detailed resume and a 1,000-word proposal outlining what receiving a grant would mean for their lives and work as an artist. This process ensures that selected artists’ “ability to concentrate on their art would be enhanced by receiving a grant,” according to the Bader Fund’s website.
Olivia Whitener, 17, and a participant in a summer program at AU, was unaware of the “Second Act” exhibit at Katzen, but doesn’t think that the fund’s efforts to recognize older artists are necessarily optimum.
“These people should be established,” Whitener said.
However, she still appreciates some benefits of acknowledging a different age group.
“People often support younger artists,” Whitener said. “It’s encouraging people out of the norm.”
To find out more about the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, call 202-885-1300, or visit the museum at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.