Art Alumna Wins Creator Labs Photo Fund Award

photo of a young woman with long dark hair
Arielle Gray, Self-portrait, 2020, courtesy of the artist.

Alumna Arielle Gray has been selected along with 19 other artists from around the country to receive a Creator Labs Photo Fund award. The artists were announced on Aperture’s website and featured on Vogue’s website.

The award is a new initiative by Aperture and Google’s Creator Labs aimed at providing financial support to photographers in the wake of COVID-19, according to Aperture. The artists were “recognized for their exceptional vision as well as the strength and originality of their portfolios, and will be awarded a prize of $5,000 each to sustain their work and practice.”

Gray said that the award “was such an unexpected blessing” and that she’ll be adding more images and info to her website in the near future “for people who want to know more about the stories behind the images.” She said that she would use some of the money for photo equipment “for the exploration of the moving image.”

Arielle Gray, “Otis’ Room,” 2020, from the series “Exodus 3:14,” courtesy of the artist.

At UA, Gray changed her major to studio art in her junior year and “then very quickly took every photography course we offered, developing her talents with impressive focus and dedication,” UA associate professor Chris Jordan said. “She also took part in the Black Belt Artist Project…if there was an opportunity to learn more, she took it.”

Gray graduated in 2019 from UA with a BA in studio art, minoring in art history. She attends Yale School of Art with a full scholarship.

On Aperture’s website, their creative director Lesley A. Martin said, “Aperture’s team of editors has selected a dynamic and diverse group of photographers, whose talent, vision, and promise are truly inspiring. We all communicate with images today—and we encourage all photographers to continue their practices ensuring a more rigorous, more expansive range of expressions to the field. Together, Aperture and Google are proud to offer these twenty photographers our support, which we hope will be meaningful for their work and careers.”

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page