Artist’s NameJames Divers
Address1715 Moorman Avenue
Roanoke 24017
United States
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Facebook Profile (if any)
Instagram Handle (if any)@jdiversphotodesign
Website (if any)
Tell us about you, the artist. Please include a few sentences of biographical information.

I am a photographer and visual artist from Roanoke Virginia. I was first encouraged to pick up a camera as a young child offering to help with the family snapshot whenever possible. My love for photography didn’t manifest fully until my first child was born. Given our relationship and closeness, I knew I would have a subject to photograph almost at will. With this knowledge, I started my first photographic project and officially started my professional photography career. My upbringing in the community, the traditions and values of my ancestors, and cultures that are geographically apart but have a lot in common all serve as sources of inspiration for me.

Please describe your artistic practice including the media you work in and your approach to your art.

I am an analog and digital photographer. I use 35mm, Medium Format, and Digital photography to capture moments and stories of inspiration, awe, and valor. I am able to edit and print my photography work both digitally and via the darkroom process. My focus in photography is to capture my portrait subjects in a way that reveals a glimmer of his/her greatness.. My goal is to help present the stories, gifts, and goals of underrepresented and underserved communities, specifically BIPOC subjects throughout the Southern States of America. .

Describe the proposed work or project.

My proposed project is to create an open-air outdoor public art display throughout various locations in NW Roanoke. The project will feature portraits of long-term residents and stakeholders throughout the NW area of Roanoke VA. The portraits would be printed on high quality large format vinyl (4ft or more tall) and displayed in several locations in NW Roanoke. The locations that are chosen will be highly visible and easy to access by stakeholders of the community. The portraits will also have a QR code to allow interactive elements (video/audio/animation) using Augmented Reality Technology that would allow any passerby to access more about the work. There will be an opening event and artist talk, as well as opportunities for the community to engage in a community art piece and sidewalk art.

How will the work advance wellness, justice, or inclusion in Roanoke? Consider a community issue that you hope to address, something you want to celebrate or a condition you want to change.

The goal of this work is to bring awareness to the stories and struggles of some of the stakeholders that have lived in NW Roanoke and have seen it change through the times. The tentative title for the project is “We Live Here”. Part of my focus will be to highlight the elderly, single-homeowners that have owned and maintained a home in these areas. I want to address the challenges this community faces such as the effects of (gentrification, gun violence, police presence, and rising real estate costs). I want to celebrate the tenacity and honor these residents have shown and the enthusiasm the community has in achieving safer and healthier neighborhoods.

As an open-air and outside exhibition, the project will have the opportunity to address inclusion by allowing access to the artwork without a need to go into space. A public art exhibition of this nature can help to nurture a new lens of creativity in representation connecting to a wider audience, allowing full inclusion and access to the artwork.

When do you anticipate undertaking the work? If the project is tied to a set event or date, let us know.

The photo project is already in the research/planning stage. The goal is to capture the stories of the subjects from February 2024 until July 2024 and to have the opening of the exhibition on tentatively – August 31st 2024.

Are there partners in this effort? If so describe the partnerships and what each partner brings.

There will be several partners needed to fully complete the project. I will need to obtain partnerships with local Parks & Recreation personnel, as well as local Business Owners who would be open to allow the work to be displayed.

Other partners would include neighborhood activists and stakeholders, the community where the artwork will exist in physical space, and the staff/volunteers that will assist with the Opening Event.

Your theory of change: How will the work advance your efforts as an artist toward an established goal? How will you, a partner organization, or the community be changed?

The proposed work and exhibit will help me as an artist by creating new connections with the community. I will make new acquaintances and connections with business owners and residents/stakeholders. I will have a recognizable and highly visible work of art for an audience beyond what I am currently able to connect with.

The AR and interactive aspects of the work can help to inspire innovation in art,design, and technology to those normally unaware of the applications of the technology. New opportunities to discuss the impact of technology on our neighborhoods will be opened and opportunities to reach normally un-engaged audiences will be made available.

How much money do you need to accomplish the project? (The allowed range is $500 – $3,000.)3000
What other resources do you need to accomplish the project?

There may be a need to gather permits for the art opening from the City of Roanoke. There may also be a need to work with City Parks & Recreation to gather permission to use park space for the art installation.

Attach a full budget for your project. Include all costs and revenues. This can be a spreadsheet, word document, PDF, or image.Artists-Action-Grant-Budget-Sheet1.pdf
Submit your CV, resume, or brag sheet here.JD-ART-CV.pdf
Submit a PDF of up to five images representing recent projects or works. (Max file size 10 MB). This should be one file containing multiple images. This must be a PDF. Include captions describing the work. (A PDF can easily be made using the “print as PDF” function in MS Word or “Download as PDF” in google docs.)Artist-Action-Portfolio.pdf
Do you have general liability insurance coverage for your arts-based business, either through your own policy or through a project partner?No