Artist Will Kasso Condry Wins First Vermont Prize | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Artist Will Kasso Condry Wins First Vermont Prize


Published June 30, 2022 at 5:10 p.m.

  • Alexa Herrera Condry
  • Will Kasso Condry
Will Kasso Condry was awarded the first-ever Vermont Prize for visual work made by artists in the state. The Brandon-based visual artist, graffiti scholar and educator was selected as the award recipient this week by a five-member jury panel.

With a background in fine art and illustration, Condry mostly creates drawings and paintings about the African diaspora. His work also explores the aesthetic of Afrofuturism — the intersection of African diaspora culture with science and technology.
“My work reflects the multitude of dimensions and experiences Black people navigate,” Condry wrote in his artist’s statement for the award. “I want the observer to be transported within a universe filled with infinite possibilities; to understand that the Black imagination is our key to liberation, and that Black joy is the root that binds it all.”

Two of Condry’s featured works are “Queen Mother,” which depicts a celestial being, born of light and magic, in yellows and blues; and “The Alchemist,” a pen-and-ink drawing of a female alchemist.
"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 Vermont-based Black and Dominican family visual arts collective.

The Vermont Prize is a collaboration of four Vermont art organizations: the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Burlington City Arts, the Current in Stowe, and the Hall Art Foundation in Reading. Each organization supplied one juror. The fifth was a special guest juror: Kelly Baum, the 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. “Premised on deeply held ethical beliefs, visually stunning, highly chromatic, labor-intensive drawings and paintings … Condry is an exceptional artist doing exceptional work in and for Vermont.”

Condry will receive $5,000 from the Vermont Prize, along with having his work showcased on the prize’s website and social media.
"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. One winner will be selected each year, judged by their artistic excellence.

“I was impressed by the breadth of creative talent, as well as the level of artistic excellence represented by the diversity of applications the jury reviewed,” wrote Heather Ferrell, BCA curator and director of exhibitions and one of the award’s jurors, in a press release. “The Prize serves a vital need in supporting and elevating the role of artists in our community.”