Carol Es’ Story

Artist: 

The Technical Assistant Grants I’ve been awarded over the years have given me the wherewithal to create and evolve as an artist. More than that, the NADC and the California Arts Council have graciously handed me opportunities that have kick-started my entire career.

My work has evolved an enormous amount since the first grant I’ve received. I work in many different media — from painting and drawing , to video, and writing as well. In recent years, I’ve been quite focused on the landscape in Joshua Tree, California.

I began a years-long fascination with the high desert during one of many trips, but especially during the stay that was funded in part by the Technical Assistant Grant to complete an Artist’s book for the Brooklyn Art Library.

In my work, I sometimes tackle subjects relating to my physical disabilities, and mental illness. These issues are incorporated into both my art making process itself, and, at times, when curating exhibitions (i.e.: displaying paintings lower than eye level, taking people in wheelchairs into account).  It also shows up in the work in a visceral way.

In my practice, making art is a form of healing. At times, a distraction. It’s a way to cope with disability. I’ve learned to discipline myself, and this has become a kind of sacred and important part of my process. It has sustained me and brought me where I am today.

This would’ve never began had I not attended an artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2004, funded largely in part by the first Technical Assistant Grant I’d received. It was during a time when I was wheelchair bound, and had not left my house in some time. I had agoraphobia. This cathartic experience changed me for life. I also made important connections while I was there, and that lead to other connections, and so on.

My career has since grown exponentially over the last 15 years. I’ve gone on to win multiple grants, exhibited nationwide, and am in many museum collections. I’ve won a Pollock-Krasner Award, and I do believe it was because I am listed on the NADC website that I was awarded the Wynn Newhouse Award in 2015.