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Artist Will Kasso Condry Wins Vermont Grand Prize | Arts News | Seven days

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  • Alexa Herrera Condry
  • Will Kasso Condry

Will Kasso Condry received the first-ever Vermont Prize for visual work done by artists in the state. Brandon’s visual artist, graffiti scholar and educator was selected as the award winner this week by a five-member panel of judges.

With a background in fine art and illustration, Condry primarily creates drawings and paintings on the African diaspora. His work also explores the aesthetics of Afrofuturism, the intersection of African diaspora culture with science and technology.

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“My work reflects the multitude of dimensions and experiences that black people navigate,” Condry wrote in his artist’s statement for the award. “I want the observer to be transported into a universe full of infinite possibilities; to understand that black imagination is our key to liberation and that black joy is the root that binds everything “.

Two of Condry’s featured works are “Queen Mother”, which depicts a celestial being, born of light and magic, in yellow and blue; and “The Alchemist”, a pen and ink drawing of an alchemist.

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"Queen mother" by Will Kasso Condry - WILL KASSO CONDRY

  • Will Kasso Condry
  • “Queen Mother” by Will Kasso Condry

Condry is also the founder of Juniper Creative Arts, a visual arts collective of black and Dominican families based in Vermont.

The Vermont Prize is a collaboration of four Vermont arts organizations: the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC), Burlington City Arts, the Current in Stowe, and the Hall Art Foundation in Reading. Each organization has provided a juror. The fifth was a special guest juror: Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

“Condry impresses in every way,” Baum said in a press release. “Backed by deeply ingrained ethical beliefs, visually stunning, highly chromatic, and labor-intensive drawings and paintings … Condry is an outstanding artist doing outstanding work in and for Vermont.”

Condry will receive $ 5,000 from the Vermont Prize, as well as showcasing his work on the award’s website and on social media.

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"The alchemist" by Will Kasso Condry - WILL KASSO CONDRY

  • Will Kasso Condry
  • “The Alchemist” by Will Kasso Condry

Any visual artist living and working in Vermont is eligible to apply for the award. Each year a winner will be selected, judged by their artistic excellence.

“I was struck by the breadth of creative talent, as well as the level of artistic excellence represented by the diversity of entries reviewed by the jury,” wrote BCA curator and exhibition director Heather Ferrell, one of the award juries, in a press release. “The Prize responds to a vital need in supporting and elevating the role of artists in our community”.

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