Four arts organizations will award annual Vermont Prize

Four Vermont contemporary art organizations are teaming up for the third year in a row to award The Vermont Prize. Launched in 2022, The Prize is a collaborative initiative of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC), Burlington City Arts (BCA), the Hall Art Foundation, and The Current, intended to celebrate and support outstanding visual art being made in Vermont today.

"There is an astonishing variety of exceptional visual art being created in Vermont today," BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld said in a news release. "The Vermont Prize aims to draw attention to that fact and provide recognition and encouragement to Vermont's visual artists."

The Vermont Prize is awarded to one artist annually. In 2022, visual artist, graffiti scholar, and educator Will Kasso Condry of Brandon received the inaugural prize. In his Afrofuturist art, Condry weaves what he describes as "the rich and layered stories of the African diaspora" in an exploration of the Black imagination and of Black joy.

In 2023, the prize was awarded to Terry Ekasala of West Burke. Describing her work, Ekasala said, "If we have to fit ourselves into a category I would say I am an intuitive painter, as I really don't prepare a work with sketches or even a general subject beforehand. For years I worked, for the most part, abstract ... Suddenly and surprisingly figures or figurative images began to appear!"

The winner of The Vermont Prize receives $5,000, and their work is showcased and archived at The competition is open to individuals as well as collaborating artists currently living and working in Vermont. Artists working in any visual medium are welcome to apply. There is no application fee. The application deadline is March 31. The winner will be selected on the basis of artistic excellence, regardless of career stage, and will be announced on June 30.

The Vermont Prize is juried by one representative from each of the four partner organizations, plus a special guest juror. This year's guest juror is Phong H. Bui, an artist, writer, independent curator, and co-founder and publisher/artistic director of the Brooklyn Rail.

Bui has organized more than 80 exhibitions since 2000, including "Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy," an ongoing curatorial project that was exhibited in 2019 as an official Collateral Event of the Venice Biennale, and "Singing in Unison" at eight venues across New York in 2022–23.

From 2007 to 2010 Bui served as Curatorial Advisor at MoMA PS1. He received an honorary doctorate from University of the Arts in 2020 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in 2021.

The four other jurors are Maryse Brand, Director of the Hall Art Foundation, Heather Ferrell, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Burlington City Arts, Sarah Freeman, Director of Exhibitions at BMAC, and Rachel Moore, Executive Director of The Current.

This Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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