Each day of the last two decades, Rebecca M. Schreiber has made strides toward a goal.
Whether it’s teaching undergraduates and graduate students at the University of New Mexico or work on personal research projects, Schreiber remains focused and rarely takes breaks.
Her research focuses on issues of migration between the United States and Mexico and considers relations to place, identity and dislocation through forms of visual culture.
Her work is being recognized by the Andy Warhol Foundation with an arts writers grant. She is one of 20 writers from across the country – and the only from New Mexico.
The grant will go toward her upcoming book and project, “Visualizing Displacement in the Americas: The Aesthetics of Mobility and Immobilization.”
“I’m very excited about it,” Schreiber says. “The Warhol Foundation reached out to me to tell me that I had been chosen. There aren’t too many grants in my field of study and it’s quite an honor.”
According to the Andy Warhol Foundation, the 2021 cycle of the Arts Writers Grant awarded a total of $695,000 to 20 writers.
The grants range from $15,000 to $50,000 in three categories – articles, books and short-form writing.
The grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from short reviews for magazines and newspapers to in-depth scholarly studies.
“The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant supports a vital component of the visual arts ecosystem – writers. These critics and scholars do the important work of chronicling, contextualizing, and complicating our contemporary moment as it is expressed by artists,” says Joel Wachs, President of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “The Arts Writers Grant recognizes the rigorous and generous engagement arts writers have with artists and their work and celebrates their ability to illuminate artistic interventions into the structures that govern our contemporary cultural moment.”
Pradeep Dalal, director of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant says it’s exhilarating to see the enormous geographic reach and international framing that many of this year’s grantees.
“Emphasizing the role of artist communities, with practices that cover literally every continent, these projects speak to the desire for exchanges that cross borders as well as those that establish connections across uncharted ‘South-South’ axes, rather than falling back on European or American art histories,” Dalal says.
Schreiber was awarded the grant in the book category.
She teaches in American Studies and says her research helps her understand art as shaped by the historical context.
“This book is my third and they all deal with migration between the United States and Mexico and moving in Central America,” she says.
Schreiber’s work also helps gives a voice to asylum seekers.
“I met Caleb Duarte, who is part of an art collective,” she says. “He came to UNM to speak about four years ago. The collective he works with has held art classes for asylum seekers. It’s about telling their own stories. The way these stories are represented in the media, isn’t the reality. It’s about them representing their own lives.”
Schreiber says the grant will support the cost of research which involves travel.
“It will also support the expense of including images for the book,” she says. “(This is a) better way for people to see the images and get a better sense of the art work.”
Another two or three years of research is expected to be done before the book comes out.
Schreiber hasn’t slowed down and is conducting phone interviews and meeting with people in person.
“This is a very special grant,” she says. “My work is hopefully helping artists have visibility.”