We hope that through this program they will continue to build momentum towards a highly creative future.
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) September 18, 2009
VSA arts, with generous support from Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., will open an exhibition of artwork by emerging artists with disabilities at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institution from September 10, 2009 to January 6, 2010. This year's artists aged 16-25 were asked to consider the many personal reasons that accelerate the desire to create - to better understand, to investigate and discover, to escape, to hone attention and skill, to reflect on a memory, or to express emotion.
For the eighth year, VSA arts and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., partnered to recognize emerging artists with disabilities who demonstrate promise in the visual arts. The 15 award recipients will be awarded a total of $60,000 and honored during a reception on Capitol Hill held September 17, 2009. This collaboration supports these artists at a critical time when many are deciding whether to pursue the arts as a career. The program validates - and helps finance - that life-defining choice. After the D.C. debut, VSA arts will present the "Accelerate" artwork in a two-year, nation-wide touring exhibition.
"VSA arts is proud to encourage these young visual artists early on in their careers," comments Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts. "We hope that through this program they will continue to build momentum towards a highly creative future."
"Volkswagen is pleased to continue our partnership with VSA arts to support emerging young artists with disabilities," remarks Anna Schneider, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.'s director of industry-government relations. "It is a privilege to bring attention to the talents of these artists and to bring their works to the Smithsonian and to galleries around the nation."
Naimh Butler, 20, from Montrose, NY, was awarded the $20,000 grand prize for her oil on panel Satori. The jury also awarded Marie Fuchs, 17, of Astoria, NY, 1st prize of $10,000 for Claustrophobic, a mixed media portrait. Sae A. Lee, 21, of Providence, RI, received the 2nd prize of $6,000 for Untitled, an oil on canvas painting.
The following artists won an Award of Excellence in the amount of $2,000:
- Vito Bonanno, 25, New Haven, CT, Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue, print
- Clinton Bowman, 24, Oklahoma City, OK, Heaven: Threes and Sevens, neon sculpture
- Mark Bretan, 19, Novato, CA, A Fishee Disaster, cutout animation
- Barbara Buitron, 18, Laredo, TX, Petra, Ms. Rios, Beatrice, pencil on paper
- Samuel Cook, 21, Huntsville, AL, Cochlear Implant, pencil on paper
- Justin Finnegan, 17, Slidell, LA, Dyslexia Phase Two, mixed media sculpture
- Daniel Forsythe, 20, Corpus Christi, TX, Stacked Up, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
- Tom Lamb, 25, Claremont, CA, Untitled, acrylic on paper
- Park McArthur, 24, Cary, NC, Unfair Painting, type on graph paper
- Jeff Nelson, 20, Mamaroneck, NY, Brothers Quay PFF Trailer, animation
- Jessica Rose, 24, Germantown, MD, He Will Dance, 1, 2, and 4, graphite on paper
- Mieke Ryneal, 22, Ashland, OR, Picasso, acrylic on canvas
The work chosen for the exhibition was selected by a distinguished jury, including William A. Newman, artist and professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design; Sarah Tanguy, independent curator and critic; and Charles Riley, professor at the Weissman School of Arts & Sciences at Baruch College, SUNY, and curator and co-founder of WeMedia.
The S. Dillon Ripley Center is located at 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, D.C., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Dec. 25. Admission is free. For more information, please call 202-633-1000.
About VSA arts
VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. VSA arts provides educators, parents, and artists with resources and the tools to support arts programming in schools and communities. VSA arts showcases the accomplishments of artists with disabilities and promotes increased access to the arts for people with disabilities. Each year 7 million people participate in VSA arts programs through a nationwide network of affiliates and in 54 countries around the world. VSA arts is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about VSA arts, visit http://www.vsarts.org.
About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's third largest automaker and the largest carmaker in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va. Volkswagen Group of America brings to the U.S. vehicles that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and environmentally sound automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 2,500 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through an 800-strong dealer network. With increasing popularity for its brands in the U.S., the company has set the goal of reaching one million car sales in the country by 2018. For more information, visit http://www.volkswagengroupamerica.com.
Laura Broom / VSA arts
(202) 628-2800, ext. 3883