Will Kasso Condry wins inaugural 2022 Vermont Prize

Picture by Alexa Condry

Vermont Enterprise Magazine Burlington City Arts (BCA) in collaboration with The Brattleboro Museum & Artwork Centre, The Current, and Hall Artwork Basis, is thrilled to announce the winner of the initially annual Vermont Prize: renowned Brandon-centered visual artist, graffiti scholar, and educator Will Kasso Condry. As the receiver of this prize, Condry receives a monetary prize of $5,000, and his do the job will be showcased and archived on vermontprize.org and on social media.

Released in 2022 as a partnership between these four Vermont arts companies, The Vermont Prize accepts submissions from visual artists currently living and working in Vermont. Each and every prize cycle is juried by a crew consisting of one particular agent from every of the 4 lover businesses, as properly as a fifth unbiased and unaffiliated juror. The prize winner is selected on the basis of inventive excellence, regardless of profession phase. This year’s unbiased juror was Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Modern day Artwork at The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork.

“Will Kasso Condry impresses in just about every way,” Baum writes. “For Condry, it is abundantly crystal clear that the variety and articles of his perform issues just as substantially as how, why, and for whom he makes that operate. Premised on deeply held ethical beliefs, his visually spectacular, really chromatic, labor-intense drawings and paintings consider their inspiration from Afrofuturism, a philosophy that privileges Black agency, creativity, and excellence, forging a political and aesthetic language that serves as a corrective to past and present wrongs.​

In the works submitted for the Vermont Prize, Condry utilizes acrylic, ink, and marker to conjure up new, remarkable sorts of Black humanity. Adapting African traditions, his “more than humans” are pretty much usually armored and ornamented and immersed in fantastical, otherworldly landscapes. Collectively they amaze and inspire. Condry’s greater apply is similarly worthy of accolades, marrying as it does a determination to pedagogy, collaboration, social justice, and local community engagement. Condry is an remarkable artist doing extraordinary do the job in and for Vermont.” 

Condry studied fantastic art and illustration at The College of New Jersey as a to start with-era university pupil. He furthered his schooling in the artwork of aerosol painting with the mentorship of legendary graffiti artist Daniel “Pose 2” Hopkins and refined his artistry in large-scale mural output beneath the tutelage of Dave McShane at Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Condry has taught courses on the origins and politics of Graffiti and Avenue Artwork and the aspects of Hip-Hop culture at Middlebury Higher education, and he has taught elementary school classes on the artwork of illustration, puppet producing, and mural portray. For about 20 many years, he has labored with younger persons via a assortment of group organizations which include the Boys & Ladies Club and his previous non-financial gain firm SAGE Coalition.

“My operate facilities on endless imagination with out borders,” Kasso Condry writes in his artist assertion. “I converse by means of coloration and composition. Irrespective of whether with the stroke of a brush or the spray of a can, I come to be a person with whatever medium is at my fingertips. I am a storyteller in the great traditions of the griots of West Africa. I use my artwork to weave the rich and layered stories of the African diaspora as an Afro-futuristic artist and educator. Be it fantastical or rooted in our present-day reality, my perform displays the multitude of dimensions and ordeals Black individuals navigate. My work is a journey towards independence of boundless expression and a sort of enlightenment as a result of creativeness. I want the observer to be transported within just a universe loaded with infinite choices to fully grasp that the Black creativity is our important to liberation, and that Black pleasure is the root that binds it all.”

In addition to Baum, jurors for the inaugural Vermont Prize included Maryse Brand name, Director at the Hall Art Basis, Heather Ferrell, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Burlington City Arts, Sarah Freeman, Director of Exhibitions at the Brattleboro Museum & Artwork Middle, and Rachel Moore, Government Director & Director of Exhibitions at The Recent.

About the Four Partner Corporations

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Centre is a non-collecting contemporary art museum focused on the artwork of our time. An anchor of southern Vermont’s vivid cultural existence, BMAC brings notable artwork and artists to Brattleboro and gives a system for its region’s several creative riches. BMAC provides 15-20 exhibitions per year, complemented by 60-70 general public plans and intensive educational offerings developed in partnership with region colleges and support businesses.

For above 30 yrs, Burlington City Arts (BCA) has aided cement Burlington, Vermont’s status as one particular of America’s most livable towns for the arts. BCA’s physical locations involve the BCA Middle, a multilevel, calendar year-spherical exhibition area, as effectively as BCA Studios, which hosts artwork classes, camps, and open up studio several hours in our condition-of-the-art amenities. BCA also provides city-broad festivals, situations, live shows, movies, artist marketplaces, and a lot more.

Started in 2007, the Hall Art Basis will make available postwar and modern art is effective from its have selection and that of Andrew and Christine Hall for the pleasure and schooling of the general public. In Looking at, Vermont, its campus of transformed galleries, positioned on a previous dairy farm, consists of a 19th century stone farmhouse, a few barns, as very well as a reception heart and cafe. The property’s 5 historic properties make up somewhere around 6,000 square toes of museum-high-quality exhibition room, and are surrounded by around 400 acres of pastures, hayfields and in depth woodland. Outdoor sculptures by entire world-renowned artists are set up all over the grounds.

The Latest, a centre for contemporary art positioned in Stowe, Vermont, was established in 1981 as Helen Day Art Middle with a mission to greatly enhance the human expertise via the visual arts. The Latest generates key exhibitions featuring a assortment of artists symbolizing varied geographies and job stages. Exhibitions are accompanied by a strong interpretive learning application together with lectures, panels, and film screenings free of charge to the general public. The Present delivers progressive arts training courses for all ages, with yr-spherical lessons, excursions, workshops, and other interactive applications.

About Burlington Metropolis Arts
Burlington Metropolis Arts is dedicated to connecting neighborhood to the arts as a result of development, experimentation, and education and learning in all varieties of modern day art. BCA delivers exhibitions, particular functions, lessons, workshops, and numerous other functions in Burlington.

BURLINGTON, VTBurlington Town Arts 6.30.2022