The Womanity Project supports artist and Womanity contributor Billy Gerard Frank.
Discover multimedia artist Billy Gerard Frank on his journey to the Venice Biennale 2019. He is one of four artists selected to represent Grenada at this year’s edition of the Venice Biennale, a prestigious cultural event that is often referred to as ‘The Art Olympics.’
Billy Gerard Frank was born on the island of Grenada in the West Indies and began writing as a teenager for local newspapers before moving to London where he began to paint and explore experimental video art. In 2004, he moved to New York and continued studying fine art at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League of New York. His collected, altered and own mix media art works has been exhibited in group and solo shows in New York, London and the Caribbean and is in several private collections and institutions, including The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts. Mr. Frank was a recent artist in residence at Camac – Centre D’Art in Paris, sponsored by the Tenot Foundation in France.
Since 2005, after studying filmmaking and media arts at The New School University, and New York University, Frank has worked as a writer, director, and production designer, in both narrative and documentary films that were screened at international film festivals, like Sundance and Berlinale. He has worked for clients like DOE, UNDP, Verizon, Porche, and The Robin Hood Foundation. His narrative short film, Absence Of Love, which he wrote and directed, premiered at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, shown in over 50 international film festivals and won audience best award. He was nominated for a European Music Video award in the category of Production Design for his design of Warner Music Group artist, Mary Komasa. He is presently in development on a narrative feature film, and a television series. He is also the co-founder of the Nova Frontier Film Festival and Lab (http://www.novafrontierfilmfestival.com/), passionately committed to showcase the works of filmmakers and artists from and about the African diaspora, the Middle East and Latin America.
Most artists who earn the honor to participate in the Venice Biennale also have the benefit of having their sponsoring countries foot the bill. Some countries, though, especially smaller ones with less funding for the arts, aren’t so lucky.
Grenada, which is participating in the Biennale for the third time next year—tying them with Cuba for the most appearances for a Caribbean country—belongs in the latter category. The Caribbean island selected four artists to represent them this year: Shervone Neckles, Dave Lewis, Amy Cannestra, and Billy Gerard Frank. Each will be addressing the theme of “Epic Memory,” an idea taken from the Nobel acceptance speech of Caribbean writer Derek Walcott. Yet, in addition to creating this work, all four participating artists are also tasked with raising the money to make the trip to Venice.
As Billy told us, “It’s an honor to be selected to represent Grenada at the Venice Biennale. It’s also a difficult challenge as the artist needs to raise all the funding”.
That’s a big task, one that will see all four artists calling on every favor they can to make the cut. Frank, a New York-based filmmaker and multimedia artist, is doing so in a more public manner. Last month, he launched a gofundme campaign to raise a portion of the money.
The Womanity Project supports artist Billy Gerard Frank.
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The 58th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition will run from May 11 – November 24, bringing together many of the world’s most talented artists, critics, gallery and museum professionals, art historians, collectors, and art enthusiasts alike.