Creatives in Quarantine: Getty Images awards US$20,000 for visual artists affected by COVID-19

Getty Images press release – 30 July, 2020.

Ten grants of $2,000 awarded to creatives around the world

Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications celebrating its 25th year, today announced the recipients of its latest Creative Bursary, designed to support the worldwide creative community as they grapple with challenges posed by COVID-19. Titled “Creatives in Quarantine,” the Bursary awarded 10 grants of US$2,000 to a diverse set of creators across the globe in Nigeria, Italy, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Creativity in times of crisis and uncertainty can be a lifeline in more ways than one,” said Guy Merrill, Getty Images Global Head of Art.

Being able to witness some of the incredible work these visual artists are bringing to life from every corner of the world has been inspiring to say the least, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide financial support that can help ensure these creators continue to focus on their art and well-being.”

With nearly 900 applicants from over 40 countries, the Getty Images Creative Bursary centered around the concept of creative resiliency during COVID-19 and was intentionally open to anyone who was using this time to break through creative boundaries and create inspiring work. The 10 recipients specialize in a variety of media from photography and documentary to illustrations, and include:

— Ajay Abalaka (Abuja, Nigeria) for “Rebound,” an ongoing project and narrative web series exploring platonic and familial relationships, gender identity and sexual orientation in Nigeria where same-sex relationships are criminalized.

— Khalik Allah (New York, USA) for “Camera Ministry,” an ongoing effort to document the homeless and destitute communities on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, New York City and share their individual stories as well.

— Federica Belli(Milan, Italy) for “The Only Living Girl in Italy,” a photography series in which the photographer first documented herself, but has evolved to photograph other “only living girls in the world,” exploring what matters to them, what they observe daily and their value system. 

— Poochie Collins(New York, USA) for “Who Heals the Healer?,” a project dedicated to black women and black healers who remain ever-focused on uplifting their communities; through this project, the photographer hopes to explore her own discovery of healing through movement and celebration of self.

— Maya Iman (Los Angeles, California) for “Don’t Forget About Us,” an ongoing effort aimed at exploring human experience and social inclusion in communities of people of color.

— DaShaunae Jackson-Lewis (Ohio, USA) for “Instax Mini Portraits,” in which the photographer creates miniature versions of different individuals by first taking a series of photographs and then assembling them into a single piece of work to detail the person and their passions.

— Julia Keil (Paris, France) for “Becoming in Isolation,” a self-portraiture series in which the photographer turns the camera upon herself to explore and reimagine past creations through current collective experiences while living in isolation in her Paris flat.

— Laurence Philomène (Montreal, Canada) for “Puberty,” a self-portrait project looking at the intimate process of undergoing hormonal replacement therapy as a non-binary transgender person.

— Ngadi Smart (London, UK) for “Little Family Illustrations,” in which the artist created a series of four panels to celebrate the release of Ishmael H Beah’s new novel “Little Family;” a novel depicting five teenagers as they struggle to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together in Sierra Leone.

— Yibing Sun (Shanghai, China) for “1,000 Meters,” in which the photographer explored and captured the area within 1,000 meters of his home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine restrictions.

Each candidate submitted a portfolio of work alongside a one-page document describing themselves, their sources of inspiration and the thinking behind their work. Recipients have been given the opportunity to license their winning work on the Getty Images and iStock websites at a 100 percent royalty rate.

Submissions were judged by an industry-leading panel including Melissa Kimble, founder of #BLKCREATIVESAshley Epping, graphic artist and contributor to The Muse by CLIO, Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art for Getty Images and Shawn Waldron, Getty Images Curator.

The Getty Images and iStock Creative Bursary is part of the Getty Images wider Grants program, which since its inception, has awarded US$1.7 million to photographers and filmmakers worldwide. Please visit Where We Stand to learn more.

Picture credit: ©Laurence Philomène/ Getty Images Creative Bursary Recipient