Project-Based Grants from Tri-Star Arts

From Tri-Star Arts –

Tri-Star Arts will award Current Art Fund grants of $7,500 each to 9 Tennessee-based contemporary visual artists this year ($60,000 total). 


The Current Art Fund granting program is organized and administered by Tri-Star Arts as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Current Art Fund seeks to support visual artists and artist collectives in creating independent, non-traditional, public-facing projects that contribute to the rich dialogue within contemporary visual art scenes across the state of Tennessee.

The fund annually disburses grants totaling $60,000 to Tennessee-based artists 21 years of age and older in support of project expenses. Grantees will be selected by a 4 person jury panel composed of internationally recognized artists, collectors, and arts professionals. The Current Art Fund program tangibly illustrates the Tri-Star Arts mission of cultivating and spotlighting contemporary visual art in Tennessee, championing innovation within our local art communities, and supporting artists across the state. BIPOC and AAPI applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.



Our 2022 granting cycle will offer project-based grants to fund artists’ innovative contributions to the visual arts conversation in Tennessee. The Current Art Fund will award grants of $7,500 each to 9 Tennessee-based contemporary visual artists and artist collectives, selected by a 4 person jury panel, to use towards the realization of a dynamic and accessible project. Awarding grants to artists living throughout the breadth of Tennessee will be a high priority in the jurors’ selection process. Applicants may submit projects featuring 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D work (or a combination).

The online application will open on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 and remain open through Wednesday, August 31, 2022.

Project proposals should endeavor to be innovative and expand the possibilities of how the applicant’s work can engage audiences in Tennessee and the contemporary art world beyond. Applicants should consider what visual and social impact their project could have upon local communities, and how it could expand how viewers experience their surroundings or circumstances. Furthermore, applicants are invited to infuse their project’s vision with an expansive scope that invites collaborators and/or persons with additional skill sets into the process (and reflect that in the description of the project and budget).

The Current Art Fund jury panelists for the 2022 Project-Based Grants are James McAnally (Executive + Artistic Director of Counterpublic, St. Louis, MO), Althea Murphy-Price (Artist + Professor of Printmaking, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN), Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (Artist, Johannesburg, South Africa), and Elliot Perry (Art Collector, Memphis, TN). Bios listed below.

There is no application fee to apply. Artists will be asked to submit an application including the following: (1) Project title and artist or artist collective bio; (2) Short & full descriptions of the project; (3) Description of the project’s audience; (4) Proposed timeline (doesn’t have to be confirmed); (5) Additional links to websites, image captions; (6) Upload a budget using our provided template; (7) At least 1 image with a max of 5 sized to a max of 1600 pixels in any direction at 100 dpi; for optimal viewing results for video, please provide an external link to Vimeo/YouTube rather than uploading a file.

If applicants are unable to complete the online application, they are welcome to email their responses and/or any questions to “CAF support” at or mail their physical application materials to 4450 Candora Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37920. If applicants would like the application in another language, they may submit that request to “CAF support” at All applicants must be 21 years of age or older and reside (with a mailing address) in the state of Tennessee. Project proposals must be submitted by one individual and, if the proposal comes from an artist collective, the individual submitting the application must be the project’s point person, designated to receive all communications and funding distribution.

Virtual and in-person Q&A sessions led by Executive Director Brian R. Jobe will be scheduled and promoted. The first in-person session will be held at Tone, 2234 Lamar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38114 on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 10:30am.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions, the link to the application, dates and locations of Q&A workshops, and more will be posted to our web page:

Tri-Star Arts serves Tennessee by cultivating and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region while fostering a unified state-wide art scene. Tri-Star Arts programs promote art dialogue between the different cities in the state, and between the state and the nation. The Current Art Fund amplifies this mission.

If individuals and businesses would like to support the Current Art Fund to extend its impact, tax-deductible donations may be made online or by mail to Tri-Star Arts, Memo: Current Art Fund, 4450 Candora Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37920. The Current Art Fund will open for applications on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 and remain open through Wednesday, August 31, 2022. BIPOC and AAPI applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.




James McAnally

James McAnally is the Executive + Artistic Director of Counterpublic, a civic exhibition that weaves contemporary art into the daily life of St. Louis for three months every three years. McAnally is additionally the co-founder and director of The Luminary, an expansive platform for art, thought, and action based in St. Louis, MO and serves as the executive editor and co-founder MARCH: a journal of art & strategy.

McAnally has presented exhibitions, texts and lectures at venues such as the Walker Art Center, Kadist Art Foundation, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, The Contemporary, Baltimore, Art Institute of Chicago, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Gwangju Biennial, Carnegie Mellon and Moore College of Art and Design and has served as a Visual Arts panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, and Joan Mitchell Foundation.

McAnally’s writing has appeared in publications such as Art in America, Art Journal, Bomb Magazine, Hyperallergic, OEI, Terremoto, and many others, and his publications are in the collections of MoMA, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, LACMA, and Brooklyn Museum. McAnally is a recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing.

Althea Murphy-Price / photo: Bruce Cole

Althea Murphy-Price began her studies in Fine Art at Spelman College before receiving her Master of Arts in Printmaking and Painting from Purdue University, and later studying at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University where she earned her Master of Fine Arts. Murphy-Price maintains an active exhibiting practice. She has exhibited in venues throughout the country and abroad such as the Weston Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Howard Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Wellesley College, Boston, MA; Wade Wilson Art Gallery, Houston, TX; Indiana University Art Museum; The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA; The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN. International exhibits include the International Printmaking Exhibition, Jingdezhen China; the American Youth Printmaking Exhibition, Lui Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China; and Print Resonance, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. In addition to her exhibition record, she has been an artist-in-residence at the Frank Lloyd Wright School; University of Hawaii, Hilo; the Vermont Studio Center; and the Venice Printmaking Studio. Her writings and work have been featured in such publications as Art Papers, CAA Reviews, Contemporary Impressions Journal, Art in Print, Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process, and Printmakers Today.

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (b. 1980, New York) was raised in New York, Harare and Johannesburg, where she now lives. She obtained her BA from Harvard University and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Nkosi divides her time between studio work, performance, and navigating the field of art as social practice. Her second solo exhibition, Landings, currently takes place in Cape Town.

Group and collaborative exhibitions include How to Make a Country, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême (2021); Mixed Company at the Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (2021);  FIVE, We Buy Gold, New York (2020); Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, (2020); That’s What She Said, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg (2019); Lost Lover, Rampa, Porto, Portugal (2019); NIEPODLEGŁE, Women, Independence and National Discourse, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2018); Five Propositions, Roberts Projects, Los Angeles (2018); Moving Stills – Affective Archives, Mumok Cinema, Vienna (2018);  Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); Kabbo ka Muwala (The Girl’s Basket), National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2016); Transforming Provocations, The Flaherty NYC, New York (2016); The Film Will Always Be You, Tate Modern, London (2015); The Johannesburg Pavilion, Venice (2015); A Beautiful Rebellion, DUMBO, New York (2014); Disrupters: This is Disrupter X, Schokofabrik, Bayreuth, Germany (2014); The Space Between Us, Ifa Gallery, Berlin (2013); Spectacular, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France (2013); IF YOU DO IT RIGHT, Honolulu Performance Space, Nantes, France (2013); VAIVEM, SESC Pinheiros, São Paulo (2013); Making Way: Contemporary Art from China and South Africa, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg (2013); Shoe Shop, Goethe-Institut & Shoe Shop Project Space, Johannesburg (2012); Gulbenkian Next Future Program, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2011); and (Re)constructions: Contemporary Art in South Africa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2011).

Nkosi has taken part in residencies including the XXVIIes Ateliers Internationaux, FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France (2013); VAIVEM, São Paulo, Brazil (2013); Vanilla Facts, Berlin, Germany (2012); Cruces International, Montevideo, Uruguay (2011) and the Bag Factory Artist Residency (2009).

She has received grants from Pro-Helvetia (2019); Pala Lab (2018); National Arts Council of South Africa (2015; 2009); Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation (2008) Goethe-Institut (2010), and fellowships including the School of Visual Arts Alumni Award Fellowship (2006); Pforzheimer Foundation Public Service Fellowship (2006); Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (2002). Nkosi is the recipient of the Philippe Wamba Prize in African Studies (2004), and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts (2019).

Elliot Perry

Elliot Perry is a noted collector of contemporary art, along with his wife Kimberly and daughter Morgan, and they’ve been collecting for 20+ years. Perry is a graduate of Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) where he played basketball for 4 years, is the school’s 2nd leading scorer, and finished with a degree in marketing in 1991. He was drafted in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers and went on to play 10 years in the association. Perry is now a minority shareholder of the Memphis Grizzlies as well as a radio broadcast commentator for the team. He is a dedicated advocate for education and mentoring in the Memphis community while serving on many boards that support those efforts, including as Chair of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation Board, where he also serves as a mentor for the organization’s mentoring program.


Tri-Star Arts serves Tennessee by cultivating and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region while fostering a unified state-wide art scene. Tri-Star Arts programs promote art dialogue between the different cities in the state, and between the state and the nation.

Tri-Star Arts initiatives include a gallery space and artist studios at the historic Candoro Marble Building, Current Art Fund grants, state-wide exhibition projects, a speaker series, digital content, the 2023 Tennessee Triennial, and the web resource.