2017 Juried Visual Art Exhibition Winners
Best in Show: Sidney Mullis, Sleepover
Juror's Choice (Juror Lee Parker): Megan Tepper, Untitled (My Mother & I) & Untitled (My Father & I)
Juror's Choice (Juror Lenore Thomas): Sheila Swartz, Strive
Juror's Choice (Juror John Peña): Don 'DonCee' Coulter, First Avenue Part II: Urban Decay
The 2017 Juried Visual Art Exhibition showcases a selection of new work by some of the most talented members of Pittsburgh’s vibrant creative community. It is one of the most-anticipated visual arts attractions at the Festival. This year’s show features 52 works by 48 artists selected by the jurors from a pool of nearly 600 submissions.
Much of the work in this year’s exhibition deals with issues of race, gender, immigration, and other social concerns. Some works show the messiness of mixed emotions in our collective history, others seek to create a space of comfort, security, or connection. Overall the exhibition speaks to vulnerability. There is a rawness and charge to many of the pieces and titles like “Strive” or “Expansion and Progression” beckon a call to action. The work explores the precariousness of an unbalanced world, the danger as we face some of the more grotesque realities of being human,and the comfort we seek through intimate moments of acceptance of one another.
You can join the panel of jurors in awarding the best work in the JVAE. After you experience the show, you can vote on-site for the People's Choice Award with the JVAE staff at the 4th floor entrance lobby or on your mobile device.
Selected works may be offered for sale at artists’ discretion.
Exhibition designed by Ivette Spradlin, JVAE Coordinator
2017 JVAE Artists (Award winners, announced on Thursday, June 1, are highlighted):
Don Coulter (Juror's Choice, Peña)
Brittany De Nigris
Sidney Mullis (Best in Show)
Sheila Swartz (Juror's Choice, Thomas)
Megan Tepper (Juror's Choice, Parker)
Gerald Van Scyoc
Joyce Werwie Perry
- Best in Show – $2500 (as selected by all three jurors)
- Juror's Choice – $500 (3 total awards - 1 from each juror)
- People’s Choice – $500 (as voted on by the general public)
Lee Parker is the founder and Executive Director of Neu Kirche Contemporary, a non-profit cultural center on Pittsburgh’s Northside, committed to supporting women in the arts. NK’s programs are mission driven, including residency programs, exhibitions, workshops and various events that are open to the public. Following an exchange to Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, she left her New Zealand home of twenty years and settled in Pittsburgh with her family. Her work is focused on socially engaged activities that connect artists with communities. Lee is a member of the Neu Kirche board, on the advisory board of Rivers of Steel Arts, a member of the 2016 Re:NEW Festival committee, a founding board member of the East Allegheny Business Association and serves on the Spring Garden, East Deutschtown Gateway Steering Committee.
John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist who makes art as a way of exploring the natural world and his daily interactions. A few of John's projects include: racing with clouds, sending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last twelve years and creating a pirate radio station that played extinct birds sounds. He currently make daily drawings and three-dimensional word balloons out of plaster. John has exhibited artworks at The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, Kevin Kavanaugh Gallery in Dublin, Kate Werble Gallery in New York City, and The Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle, WA. John has attended a number of residencies including The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts & The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. John currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
Lenore D. Thomas is a mixed-media artist whose current prints and paintings explore abstract forms that layer upon each other to create imagery suggestive of landscape. She is simultaneously interested in the flatness generated by color and the sense of space and perspective created by the abstracted forms. Her artwork has been shown in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Estonia, China, Argentina, Portugal and Malaysia. She has been a resident fellow at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, Anchor Graphics in Chicago, Illinois and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2014 she was awarded a Flight School Fellowship, a professional development program that works with Creative Capital and is sponsored by the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Thomas received her MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Religious Studies and Fine Arts from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is an Associate Professor and Advisor in the Department of Studio Arts at the University of Pittsburgh.