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Four Questions with Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists Fellow, Taj Poscé

February 28, 2023

(Photo and artwork by Taj Poscé: self portrait and “Black Matter”)

The 2023 application for Mural Arts’s Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists closes in less than one week, on Monday, March 6th! And while this application window is still open, we’ll be talking with a couple past fellows to learn about their involvement with the fellowship and see what they’re working on now.

First, about the fellowship: The Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists was designed in 2020 to fund, foster, and elevate the important work of emerging Black artists residing within the city of Philadelphia. This year, the 2023 Fellowship will support 15 artists of any medium with $2,000 in unrestricted funding to support their art practice. In addition to the financial award, this year’s fellows will have the option to access: networking opportunities convening past and present fellowship cohorts, local artists and art professionals; career development workshops; exhibition opportunities; 1:1 consultations with renowned curators; and opportunities to create new work.

Today, we’ll be talking with Taj Poscé! Taj was born and raised in Philadelphia. He received his BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) from the Tyler School of Arts. During his time at Tyler, he was nominated and accepted into the Yale Norfolk Summer Residency. He later received a study abroad scholarship to practice in a studio in Rome, Italy. His work appeared in a group exhibition at the Temple Rome Gallery (EU). His work has been featured in shows at Vox Populi (Phila.), The Bishop Gallery (NY), Blank Canvas Gallery (MIA), the CCC Gallery (Newtown Sq.), and he has recently had a solo exhibit with Rush Arts Philadelphia (Phila.) which was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Taj is an award winning artist, having received the Bertha Lear award for painting from Penn State University, the Violet Hecht Award for printmaking from Temple University, as well as, the Mural Arts Philadelphia Black Artist Grant and Fellowship. He has also received merit scholarship to continue his studies in fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA). Taj has a two person exhibition that is currently on display in Chelsea, NY, NY at the Hudson Guild Gallery.

(Artworks by Taj Poscé: “BAM!, A Burning Desire” and “A New Frequency, Radio Waves & Light”)

Conrad: What have you been most excited to work on recently? 

Taj: As of right now I am wearing a lot of hats, so I’ve been juggling a lot of projects that are relatively art related. I would say that I’ve just been most excited about working through my art practice and receiving my masters degree. I received a scholarship to get an MFA in Baltimore at Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA). So I’ve really just been enjoying having the time to make paintings, and building up a body of work. 

(Photos from Taj Poscé)

Conrad: Can you tell us about your recent show in New York City?

Taj: Yea so, last year I was approached by the Hudson Guild Gallery about the possibility of doing a show at their gallery. I had my first solo show the year before at Rush Arts Philadelphia. With a successful show there and continued relationships, the Hudson Guild wanted to help me expand my vision and offered me a two person show with another amazing Philadelphia artist, Wanda Payne, titled Dialogue. The show will actually be up in Chelsea, NY until March 15th! I would love for folks to go and catch it while it’s still up. The show really turned out great with me and Wanda’s work in conversation with each other.

(Photo of Taj creating at Tiny Room For Elephants by BeauMonde Originals and artwork “Black Futures Forever” by Taj Poscé)

Conrad: What’s a big goal you have for your career? 

Taj: I have a lot of really big goals and dreams. On the front end I would love to completely sustain my life on my art practice alone at some point, because I believe in being a primary example with my own success. I think communally and philanthropically too though. Being in grad school has opened up the gateway for my ideas around community building and a D.I.Y mentality. I would at some point like to open my own gallery or art space where there are programs, and resources to help artists and the youth in Philly to direct their creative powers to art making and practices that could be transformative to their own lives and their environment; giving more options, outlets, and opportunities. 

(Artwork by Taj Poscé)

Conrad: What’s been your experience with the Philadelphia Fellowship For Black Artists? Have you found it useful in pushing your career forward in any specific way? 

Taj: The Philly Fellowship For Black Artist has been a great experience. It is a continuously growing community. It’s always nice when the new cohort is selected and Mural Arts has the gathering and you see some of the old and new faces. I’ve met some really cool people through this fellowship: artists, curators, mural arts administration etc. It’s a really good fellowship to be a part of. Opportunities for projects and jobs are always being sent via email. I actually recently finished a collaboration project with Lore’s Chocolate Bars which I’m still working with Phil Asbury on the release date. I think this will specifically push my career forward with some really good promotion for me as a visual and concept artist.

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