BTCF Blog | Grants Offer New Direction for Chatham Artist

BTCF Blog

Grants Offer New Direction for Chatham Artist

By Darryl Gangloff / March 1, 2019 / Grantee Spotlight, News & Announcements
Grants Offer New Direction for Chatham Artist

Brian Buono, a self-taught folk artist from Chatham, N.Y., received “life-changing” grants from two Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation funds that will give him the opportunity to pursue the next stage of his creative path.

He is the recipient of $10,000 from the Artist's Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Fund, which supports the work of mid-career visual artists with financial need in New England and Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties, and $5,000 from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, which provides grants to emerging artists or artists in Berkshire, Columbia, northeast Dutchess and northwest Litchfield counties experiencing a significant change of direction in their work.

Buono views art as “something universal, to be made with any tools available.” He learned how to make stencils while employed at a screen-printing shop in Chatham. Using this newfound skill, he quickly realized he could use utilitarian building materials—plywood, industrial-grade paints and stains—to create imagery that evokes his teenage love of punk rock and graffiti.

Working in his garage when it’s warm and his basement when it’s cold, he spray-paints portraits on forgotten signs and discarded pieces of metal that were lost in abandoned buildings. “With this portraiture, I attempt to shine a light on the marginalized and the forgotten,” he said. “I wish to tell their stories.”

While the free scavenged items give his work a unique aesthetic, he is thrilled that these grants will finally give him the opportunity to purchase actual canvas and take his craft in a new direction.

“To buy supplies expressly for the purpose of making art was a luxury I was not able to afford. It really has been liberating,” he said. “I’ve dreamed of pursuing projects for years, but I could never justify the expenditure. I truly am grateful.”

Those projects include creating new pieces for a solo show that will be held at the Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham this summer, and painting a mural on a retired freight train boxcar that sits off Route 66 in the village. He will once again breathe new life into a forgotten object, but this time on a much grander scale.


Artist’s Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Fund Awards $130,760 in 2018

Grants to individual artists

  • Betty Vera of North Adams, Mass.
  • Brian Buono of Chatham, N.Y.
  • Cat Balco of Hamden, Conn.
  • Vanessa Compton of Greensboro, Vt.
  • Chuck Holtzman of Boston, Mass.
  • Debra Olin of Somerville, Mass.
  • Donald Saaf of Brattleboro, Vt.    
  • Gil Scullion of Middletown, Conn.
  • Gin Stone of East Harwich, Mass.
  • Jeff Warmouth of Groton, Mass.
  • John Belardo of Pine Plains, N.Y.    
  • Ken Morgan of Coventry, Conn.
  • Lindsey Fyfe of Hartford, Conn.

Grants to arts organizations

  • Art Shape Mammoth in Burlington, Vt.
  • Basilica Hudson in Hudson, N.Y.
  • Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Mass.
  • deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass.
  • MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass.
  • Real Art Ways in Harford, Conn.

Martha Boschen Porter Fund Awards $57,950 in 2018

Grants to individual artists

  • Grisha Alexiev of Amenia, N.Y.
  • Zia Anger of Hudson, N.Y.
  • Brian Buono of Chatham, N.Y.
  • Kathline Carr of North Adams, Mass.
  • Kim Faler of North Adams, Mass.
  • Jill Gibbons of Lakeville, Conn.
  • Mark Hohlstein of Egremont, Mass.
  • James Hussey of Sharon, Conn.
  • Justin Kaye of Great Barrington, Mass.
  • Joan Taylor of Stockbridge, Mass.
  • Jeremy Winchester of North Adams, Mass.
  • Hannah Wilken of Stockbridge, Mass.

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