Visual artist, graffiti scholar, and educator Will Kasso Condry of Brandon has been chosen as the initially recipient of The Vermont Prize, a new endeavor aimed at celebrating and supporting the best visual artwork currently being made in Vermont today.
A collaborative initiative of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Middle (BMAC), Burlington Town Arts (BCA), The Present-day of Stowe and the Corridor Art Foundation in Reading, The Vermont Prize is juried by one particular representative from each of the four associate organizations and a single special guest juror.
This year’s guest juror, Kelly Baum, the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Modern Artwork at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, said “Will Kasso Condry impresses in each and every way. Premised on deeply held moral beliefs, his visually spectacular, very chromatic, labor-intensive drawings and paintings just take their inspiration from Afrofuturism, a philosophy that privileges Black agency, creativeness, and excellence, forging a political and aesthetic language that serves as a corrective to previous and current wrongs. Condry is an excellent artist carrying out fantastic perform in and for Vermont.”
“I use my artwork to weave the prosperous and layered stories of the African diaspora as an Afrofuturistic artist and educator,” Condry wrote in an artist statement. “Be it fantastical or rooted in our recent fact, my work demonstrates the multitude of proportions and encounters Black folks navigate. I want the observer to be transported in a universe loaded with infinite options to understand that the Black imagination is our crucial to liberation, and that Black joy is the root that binds it all.”
Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Condry examined great art and illustration at The Higher education of New Jersey as a initially-generation college or university college student. He furthered his schooling with graffiti artist Daniel “POSE 2” Hopkins and muralist Dave McShane of Mural Arts Philadelphia. For more than 20 decades, he has worked with younger men and women by a range of group businesses, including the Boys & Women Club and SAGE Coalition. He has served as artist-in-home at Princeton University and Middlebury College or university. With Jennifer Herrera Condry and Alexa Herrera Condry, he started Juniper Artistic Arts, a Vermont-centered Black and Dominican family collective that “uses visual art to uplift the voices of people on the margins.” His operate has been demonstrated in solo and team exhibitions, and his murals have been commissioned by public, private, and company clientele in New Jersey, California, and Vermont.
The four jurors representing the partner companies had been BCA Curator and Director of Exhibitions Heather Ferrell, BMAC Director of Exhibitions Sarah Freeman, Hall Art Foundation Director Maryse Brand, and The Existing Executive Director Rachel Moore.
“It was an honor to provide as 1 of the jurors for the inaugural calendar year of The Vermont Prize,” Ferrell said. “I was impressed by the breadth of resourceful expertise, as nicely as the level of artistic excellence represented by the diversity of purposes the jury reviewed. The Prize serves a crucial have to have in supporting and elevating the role of artists in our local community.”
Freeman and Model also expressed appreciation for the option to perspective function by gifted artists from across Vermont.
“I was fired up to master about a great deal of artists who are new to me, and I search ahead to seeing even more in the long term,” Freeman claimed.
Model extra, “The fact that it was these a difficult preference speaks volumes about the caliber of the artists performing in Vermont suitable now.”
The Vermont Prize is awarded to one artist yearly. The winner is selected on the basis of artistic excellence, regardless of career phase. The winner gets $5,000, and their operate is showcased and archived at vermontprize.org and on social media. Purposes are recognized from visual artists at present living and doing the job in Vermont. The Vermont Prize is open to people as nicely as collaborating artists. Artists doing work in any visual medium are welcome to use. The future software deadline is March 31, 2023.