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The Arts

Art groups join to offer $5,000 prize for Vermont visual artists

BRATTLEBORO—The Vermont Prize is a new endeavor to (1)“celebrate and support the best visual art being made in Vermont today.” Four of Vermont’s leading contemporary art institutions launched the initiative: the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC), Burlington City Arts (BCA), the Hall Art Foundation, and The Current (formerly the Helen Day Art Center).

“Although Vermont is a small state, there is an astonishing variety of exceptional visual art being created by Vermonters today,” BMAC director Danny Lichtenfeld said in a news release. “Our hope is that this initiative will bring about greater recognition and appreciation of this particular thread in Vermont’s rich cultural fabric.”

(2)The prize will be awarded to one artist annually. The winner will receive $5,000, and their work will be showcased and archived at vermontprize.org and on social media. Applications will be accepted from visual artists currently living and working in Vermont.

The Vermont Prize is open to individuals as well as collaborating artists. Artists working in any visual medium are welcome to apply. There is no application fee. The application deadline is March 31, 2022.

Each year, the prize will be juried by a team consisting of one representative from each of the four partner organizations, as well as a fifth independent, unaffiliated juror.

The inaugural independent juror is Kelly Baum, the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The other 2022 jurors are BMAC director of exhibitions Sarah Freeman, BCA curator and director of exhibitions Heather Ferrell, Hall Art Foundation director Maryse Brand, and The Current executive director Rachel Moore.

The winner will be selected on the basis of artistic excellence, regardless of career stage, and will be announced on June 30, 2022.

“Contemporary visual artists are increasingly coming to or staying in Vermont to work,” Hall Art Foundation director Maryse Brand said. “These artists are creating innovative, beautiful, challenging, and exciting artwork, worthy of being appreciated within Vermont and also on a national level. We are excited to celebrate and support their work while also expanding on popular ideas of what constitutes Vermont art.”

“This collaborative initiative provides an opportunity to share the high-caliber work that comes out of Vermont and define our position within the contemporary art world,” The Current Executive director Rachel Moore said.

Visit vermontprize.org for more information or to apply.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #648 (Wednesday, January 26, 2022). This story appeared on page B3.

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