Montpelier, VT — Following a two-day marathon of presentations, ten artists have been chosen to receive nearly $250,000 in total commissions for The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont s Future Through Art . The finalists nine Vermonters and one from Massachusetts will receive commissions ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to create projects that grapple with diverse issues facing our state, as identified over the past two years through the work of the Council on the Future of Vermont. The project, coordinated by the Vermont Arts Council, is funded by visionary philanthropist Lyman Orton and his associates Craig Byrne and Janice Izzi. The finalists were chosen from more than 300 applicants spanning the United States and three foreign countries.Artists will generate two-dimensional pieces of art in a variety of media, but the creative process will also involve extensive collaboration and public engagement on issues ranging from cultural diversity to infrastructure and the working landscape. The ten commissioned artists are:Susan Abbott, Marshfield VT Curtis Hale, Danville VTGail Boyajian, Cambridge MA Valerie Hird, Burlington VTDavid Brewster, Halifax VT Kathleen Kolb, Lincoln VTAnnemie Curlin, Charlotte VT Janet McKenzie, Island Pond VTPhillip Godenschwager, Randolph VT John Miller, Coventry VT”The challenge of winnowing worthy arts submissions from all over the country to the ten best applicants, and finding that the lion’s share of the winners were Vermonters only underscores Vermont’s long-standing reputation as an arts environment, said Project Review Committee member Bill Schubart. What a joy to spend two full days with such a broad and rich array of talent. I look forward greatly to seeing the result of the commissioned work.” I’m really excited about the project , said commission recipient Kathleen Kolb. I realize that I am ready in my career to combine making the paintings I’m so committed to with community advocacy. This funding gives me permission to connect and interact with people about the work and its intention without it being about promoting myself. It’s a great next step and I’m really grateful.When the ten commissioned suites of artwork are completed in September 2009, the Arts Council and Orton will produce a series of exhibitions and symposia around Vermont to showcase the art and encourage discussion on the issues. After the exhibits, a nationally promoted sale or auction event will offer an opportunity for everyone to own a piece of artwork from this landmark process. A portion of the sale proceeds will be returned to the artists, in addition to the original commission amounts. The bulk of the proceeds will be used to seed another round of commissioned work that strengthens the brand identity of Vermont as a state that supports artists and art inspired by citizen engagement. The intent of Art of Action is to use art to raise awareness and inspire citizen action around issues, challenges, and opportunities as identified by the Council on The Future of Vermont during a two year process of reaching out to Vermonters. According to Orton, In addition to demonstrating that artists should have a seat at the table of planning and envisioning our future, Art of Action will promote a market for art that seeks to communicate challenging and vexing issues. Art expands the usual communicating mediums of the written and spoken word in a visually provocative way that we expect will cause many more Vermonters to step up and take actions that affect our future.The Art of Action is a self-sustaining arts-based program that presents enormous possibilities for creative problem solving. The Arts Council and Orton believe that demonstrating a viable market for this type of art will encourage more artists to develop socially-responsible themes and approaches to art-making.
jgmnnruq January 1, 2021 admin