First Place $15,000.00
National Society of Arts and Letters Award
Central Illinois Chapter
An artist who specializes in printmaking, Doug received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI in 2012. While he was working on that degree, he worked as a teaching assistant in introductory drawing at the university. In addition to the NSAL first place award, he was won the Madison Print Club Student award in 2012 and he was the third Quarter Winner in the 2009 Illustrators of the Future Contest.
Eric Shiner, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum and one of the national judges, said that Doug’s winning piece (pictured above) was the finest mezzotint that has been hung at The Warhol Museum.
Second Place $8,000.00
Estelle Campbell Award
New Jersey Chapter
Kasey Ramirez grew up at the edge of the pine barrens in central New Jersey. Her prints and drawings explore the mysterious and spiritual nature of space, and are based on dreams and memories of certain locations, from sacred spaces to construction sites.
Ramirez received an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University in 2012 and a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. She recently won First Place Prize in the 2012 Juried Exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ as well as the Special Exhibitions Committee Award of a solo show, which will take place in September 2013. She also won the 2012 First Place Career Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters Bloomington Chapter.
Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the International Print Center New York; the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ; the McDonough Museum in Youngstown, OH; the University of Hawaii at Hilo; Manhattan Graphics Center in NY; the 410 Project in Mankato, MN; El Minia University Gallery in El Minia, Egypt; Manifest Creative Research Gallery in Cincinnati, OH; Purdue University Art Gallery in West Lafayette, IN; Rivier College Art Gallery in Nashua, NH; Palazetto Cenci in Rome, Italy; and Woods-Gerry Gallery and the Brown University Hillel Gallery in Providence, RI.
Third Place $4,000.00
Kathy Morgan Lee Award
Washington D.C. Chapter
Mensa: “I’m just an artist who does mostly visual art, but I have a lot of interest in other things. If I’m not directly doing them, I’m really into them and it usually comes out in what I’m doing even if I’m not consciously doing it.”
Interviewer Sarah Gude: What do you want people to take away from your art? Is there a specific message that you want to shine through your work?
Mensa: “It’s just subconscious bullshit. It’s just me doing stuff. I feel like people get a lot more out of stuff instantly versus the artist who is looking at all the technical things, and like what we’re doing wrong, what we’re thinking we’re trying to go for. Blah, blah, blah. I feel like people get more out of it instantly but the artist is stuck on certain things. I don’t have anything in particular that I want them to get out of it. I just hope it moves them. I put a lot of thought into things, but in the end I don’t know what the thought was.”
Interviewer Sarah Gude: Do you create from what you see visually in the everyday world, or mentally from what you get in your imagination?
Mensa: “Well a little of both. But at the same time they’re sorta like the same thing, you know. I feel that ideas directly connect to something that’s real. A lot of the stuff that you see, and even like cartoons and stuff – I don’t know this could be just crazy talk – but I don’t know, I don’t think it is, I don’t think I’ll ever be completely sure, but I feel that everything has the possibility to exist somewhere in the universe somewhere, so it might all be reality.”
Fourth Place $3,000.00
Mid-Michigan Chapter Award in Memory of Lynn Grammatico
Greater Arizona Chapter
Daniel Kanu was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. He grew up in poverty and was raised by his grandmother while his parents sought a better life in the U.S. When he was twelve years old, he came to the U.S. through a refugee relief program and was reunited with his parents in Texas.
In grade school he won several art competitions including the 2007 Congressional Art Competition. His winning piece was displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year.
Daniel is a graduate student in fine arts at Arizona State University. He is challenged to hold on to his culture while adapting to a new lifestyle. As a participating artist, he utilizes his work to depict clashes of his African culture and background with his current lifestyle in the U.S., predominately using the human form and strong facial expressions, influenced by the poverty stricken faces of his past.