Artists Margaux Crump, Alison McNulty and Yvonne Osei have each won the 2022 Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Awards.
Presented by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Stone & DeGuire Awards are open to all alumni of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Masters of Fine Arts programs. -arts (MFA) from the Sam Fox School. (with the exception of full-time Sam Fox School teachers). The recipients are chosen by a jury of professors and former students. Winners receive $25,000 each to advance their studio practices.
“Just look at the range of ideas that Margaux, Alison and Yvonne represent,” said Amy Hauft, director of the Sam Fox School’s College of Art. “Margaux’s sculpture, photography and temporal works are playful while manifesting an ontological complexity. Alison studies the nature of the place in all its veracity and its material and historical nuances. Yvonne’s performances and installations grounded in traditional West African culture unpack colonial histories and examine the ramifications of global trade, all while reveling in glorious color. The Sam Fox School is proud to support their work and to be represented by this type of spectrum in both subject matter and subject matter.
The Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Prize is named after the artist duo Nancy Stone DeGuire (1947-2013) and Lawrence R. DeGuire Jr. (1947-2006). The couple met while undergrads at the University of Washington and exhibited widely along the West Coast, beginning in the early 1970s.
“Stone and DeGuire’s work was characterized by a powerful sense of creative dialogue,” said Carmon Colangelo, Dean Ralph J. Nagel of the Sam Fox School. “These awards honor that legacy while allowing recent and mid-career graduates to continue to advance their unique artistic practices and concerns.”
Margaux Crump, MFA in Visual Arts, 2015
Crump’s interdisciplinary practice explores the connection between ecology, magic and myth, with particular attention to the phenomena of unseen worlds, from the microscopic to the supernatural. “When we imagine the possibility of being able to speak with stones or connect with bodiless beings,” she writes in an artist statement, “we strengthen our empathy and cultivate more nuanced ways of engaging with the world. “.
Crump’s work has been featured in over 20 group and solo exhibitions, including solo shows at Women & Their Work in Austin, Texas, and Flats in Houston. Her work has been featured in the Houston Chronicle, Austin Chronicle, Artnet, and Newcity Art, among others. Previous accolades include an award from the Texas Commission on the Arts and residencies at Hambidge Center in Georgia and I-Park in Connecticut.
The Stone & DeGuire Prize will support a new body of work centered on lenses and apertures as ocular portals. “He is inspired by the knowledge that at the same historical moment when some looked into crystal balls to glimpse the future, others looked through telescope lenses to observe the light emerging from the past and looked through tiny balls of glass in early microscopes to reveal an invisible world of microbes,” Crump explained. “By unveiling what is beyond our gaze, we are continually reshaping the way we understand and create our world. “
Alison McNulty, BFA 2001
McNulty’s practice studies “the fragile and entangled nature of our relationship with the material world”. Using ubiquitous and salvaged materials associated with specific places and histories – such as brick from a particular brickyard, pieces of gum from erased notes, and plants or rocks associated with regional ecosystems – she examines discordant visions of time and of place, intersectional thinking and relational possibilities beyond the human.
McNulty’s work has been featured in five solo exhibitions and projects, most recently at PS21 in Chatham, NY, as well as over 30 group exhibitions. Currently a part-time lecturer at The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York, she has an MFA in sculpture from the University of Florida and has previously taught at Marist College, Brooklyn College, University of Florida and Whitman College. Her work has been featured on Artnet, Chronogram, Praxis Interview Magazine and in numerous exhibition catalogs. She has earned residencies at Stoneleaf Retreat and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
The Stone & DeGuire Prize will support a new large-scale project created as part of the Artist in Vacancy initiative in Newburgh, NY The multidisciplinary project will invoke and layer a range of perspectives, from archeology and natural science to research based on the venue and a diverse list of writers and thinkers. The project will include site-specific interventions as well as sculptures, photographs, videos and works on paper.
Yvonne Osei, MFA in Visual Arts, 2016
Osei is a Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist of German origin living in the United States. Her international creative practice explores themes of beauty, race, dress politics and residual implications of colonialism in postcolonial West Africa and Western cultures. She is invested in examining the authorship, ownership and commodification of historical narratives. This includes how history is studied, collectively remembered, and understood as a weapon of cultural erasure and a catalyst for legitimizing and establishing nations.
Osei has presented over a dozen solo performances and exhibitions in the United States, Europe and West Africa. These include “Tailored Landscapes” (2017-18) at Laumeier Sculpture Park, “Sea to Shining Sea” (2019) at the Bruno David Gallery, and the upcoming Great Rivers Biennial 2022 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. His many honors include the Richard A. Horovitz Award for African Artists and Scholars, an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship, and a Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship from the Saint Louis Art Museum.
The Stone & DeGuire prize will allow Osei to extend his creative research on the African continent; further explore her use of the textile medium; and to continue its transition from “object-oriented artistic creation to environmentally-focused experiences”. In particular, the prize will support trips to the island nation of Seychelles for a series of site-specific performances. These will complement an intercontinental body of work that Osei began in 2018, titled “Who Discovers the Discoverer?”