Press Release

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Larisa Gawlik, 713.632.8105

lgawlik@spahouston.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPA Announces Three Influential Arts Professionals as Judges for

21st Annual Student Art Contest

HOUSTON (January 28, 2019) – Society for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce Vincent Valdez, JooYoung Choi and Tyler Blackwell as judges of the 21st Annual Student Art Contest sponsored by Wells Fargo. All three judges are active, influential members of the local arts community.

Vincent Valdez is a contemporary social justice artist whose work has been shown at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, National Portrait Gallery and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA.) He is most recognized for his monumental portrayal of the contemporary figure. His drawn and painted subjects remark on a universal struggle within various socio-political arenas and eras.

JooYoung Choi is an internationally-recognized artist whose work has been shown at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston and who is a former participant in the Lawndale Artist Residency program. Choi received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her MFA from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tyler Blackwell is the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston and previously held curatorial positions at a few museums in Chicago. Blackwell’s exhibition Rebecca Morris: The Ache of Brightthe first major U.S. exhibition of the American abstract painter since 2005—is currently on view at the Blaffer Art Museum.

“This year’s judges are all incredibly accomplished art professionals whose careers are influential in shaping the local and national contemporary art conversation. Blackwell, Choi and Valdez are also celebrated for their work in the community and with young artists,” says Shannon Crider, SPA’s Director of Education & Community Engagement, who selected the judges. “SPA is thrilled to have them participate in this year’s Student Art Contest.”

The theme for this year’s contest is Imagine inspired by SPA’s presentation of three performances during the 2018- 2019 season: The Wizard of Oz, Finding Neverland, and Pilobolus: Shadowland: The New Adventure. All three performances tell stories of adventures to imaginary new lands and creating worlds through our imaginations. Imagine, as a theme, encourages students to explore their own imaginary worlds and embark on new adventures through their submission.

SPA’s Art Contest offers ALL Pre-K through 12th grade students in the greater Houston area and beyond a chance to showcase their talents and win prizes, while learning more about the performing arts. The deadline for entries is Friday, March 8, 2019.

All submitted artwork will be judged on creativity, skill and interpretation of the theme Imagine. Works on paper, including photography, are permitted. SPA allows only one entry per student and one artist per entry. For rules and submission guidelines, including more information regarding this year’s theme and drop off locations, please visit spahouston.org/studentprograms.

Winning entries and honorable mentions will be displayed in the Wells Fargo Student Art Contest Exhibit at Phoenicia MKT Bar from late April through late May 2019. Winning artists, along with their families and teachers, will be invited to an awards ceremony to celebrate in April 2019. Winners will be notified in early April. Senior contest winners will be awarded scholarships in various amounts. One “Best of Show” award of $2,500 will be given to a graduating high school senior. All winners, including the honorable mention recipients, will receive tickets to a performance provided by SPA. Those with questions regarding SPA’s 21st Annual Student Art Contest sponsored by Wells Fargo may e-mail education@spahouston.org.

About Society for the Performing Arts

Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the

belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within a community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.

About Vincent Valdez

Vincent Valdez is most recognized for his monumental portrayal of the contemporary figure. His drawn and painted subjects remark on a universal struggle within various socio-political arenas and eras.

Exhibitions and collections include Ford Foundation, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Smithsonian Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; among others. Valdez was born in 1977 in San Antonio, TX. He received a full scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design, earning his BFA in 2000. A recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors (2016), as well as residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting (2005), the Vermont Studio Center (2011), the Kunstlerhaus Bethania Berlin Residency (2014) and Joan Mitchell Center (2018), Valdez currently lives and works in Houston.

About JooYoung Choi

JooYoung Choi, born in Seoul, South Korea, immigrated to Concord, New Hampshire in 1983 by way of adoption. While completing her BFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she returned to South Korea and reunited with her birth-family. Since receiving her MFA from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Choi’s artwork has been exhibited in such venues as Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Project Row Houses, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, Washington, The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Illinois; and Lawndale Art Center, Houston, Texas. Choi has received grants from Artadia and Idea Fund. She is has also participated in the Lawndale Artist Residency in Houston, TX and the Harvester Artist Residency in Wichita, KS.Choi’s work has been featured by numerous media groups and publications, including the  PBS Digital Studios Art Assignment, Korean Global News Network YTN, the LA Times, New American Paintings, Arts + Culture Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, Glasstire, Houston’s PaperCity, Nat. Brut, and the Huffington Post.

 

About Tyler Blackwell

Tyler Blackwell is the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston. Prior to joining the Blaffer, Blackwell held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, where he assisted with the organization of exhibitions of artists that include Tang Chang, William Pope.L, Helena Almeida, Zhang Peili, Hélio Oiticica, Amalia Pica, and Doris Salcedo, among many others. His writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues for the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, and the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Blackwell’s exhibition Rebecca Morris: The Ache of Bright—the first major U.S. exhibition of the American abstract painter since 2005—is currently on view at the Blaffer Art Museum

 

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