Biddix and Glass Receive 2019 Firestarter Award

The Kentucky Foundation for Women is proud to announce that Arielle “Red” Biddix and Candy Glass are the recipients of the 2019 Firestarter Award. The award will be given at the foundation’s annual celebration of community, KFW Day, on September 22.

The Firestarter Award is an annual award that honors artists age 18 to 25 who are taking risks in the creation of new art, engaged in social justice/community engagement, and who demonstrate a developing feminist voice, including new insights and visions and/or fresh approaches to feminist topics or art for social change.

“These young feminist artists are confronting issues of mental health, gender equity and self-expression that are central to a healthy society. Each is forging new spaces for dialogue and engagement, thought-provoking performances and community participation. They are breaking new ground with the courage and initiative that marks a true Firestarter,” said KFW Executive Director Sharon LaRue.

Biddix (they/their), 25, of Louisville is the creator of the clothing line Vintage as Fuk, which promotes mental health awareness. A single mother, Biddix has dealt with anxiety and depression. Under the pseudonym Afrodisiac, Red also creates written word poetry and textile work with a focus on color and freedom from labels. They have worked with the city on community murals.

Nominator Kimi Weaver said, “Red draws, paints, works with textiles and beats to create a whole world of color. Their unapologetic use of words to make us think, their street style, and hand painted textiles are a tribute to the black gender spectrum. Red has discovered themself in their work. They have overcome and shed light on mental health in their family, community, and beyond. Red’s recent work reflects an open door and open spectrum of what it means to be a woman. They were born with fiery red hair so to say they will be kindling fires for the future is a given! Red is always giving their light and brilliance to their work and to their community.”

Candy Glass (she/her), 21 of Grayson, graduated Ashland Community and Technical College in 2017 with an Associate of Arts degree and works with visual arts and performance/aerial arts to address topics including mental health, body positivity, LGBTQ+/equality, female empowerment, freedom of expression, desexualizing nudity, chronic illness, sexuality, self-growth, and individuality. Her dance group, Cosmadolls, performs to raise funds for domestic violence shelters and Trans Equality.

Her nominator, Mindy Click of Grayson Gallery, said, “Candy’s art is created from a unique feminist voice, as both her two dimensional art and her dance deal with feminism, equality, and the female form. She does not paint pretty pictures; she paints about mental and physical pain. She does not do pretty dances; she is an aerial acrobat practicing long hours and using strength and grace to perform. Meaningful social change occurs when a group of people become more aware and accepting of those who differ from them. Candy’s art has exposed subjects considered “taboo,” to a large audience. The Cosmadolls have performed at the Grayson Gallery & Art Center, (GGAC) showing a people a unique art form, which displays feminine strength and grace. Many young women and girls who see the dance performances have claimed they want to be just like them!”

“I believe the act of creating can be used as a healthy alternative to other coping mechanisms that are often used by those struggling with depression/mental illness,” said Glass. “I want to encourage those that struggle with trauma/mental illness to pursue a creative outlet when they are feeling anxious/depressed/overwhelmed, etc. instead of opting for more dangerous coping mechanisms.”

For more information on each winner check out http://www.kfw.org/firestarter-award-kfw/