April 12, 2019

2019 Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award winners

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

(1) Micaela Tobin (right) and Sharon Chohi Kim (center) perform with Elana Mann's hands-up-don’t-shoot-horns, as part of Mann's solo exhibition, Instruments of Accountability, 2018. Pitzer College Art Galleries. Photo: Courtesy Elana Mann. (2) Erik L. Peterson, Seep, 2016. Installed in old Texaco building, Norfolk, Virginia. Photo: Courtesy Erik L. Peterson.

Los Angeles sculptor Elana Mann and Chicago public artist Erik L. Peterson have won the 2019 Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Awards, each receiving 25,000 USD.

Presented by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the awards support alumni artists in their studio practices.

“Elana and Erik are both wonderful, thought-provoking artists,” said Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School. “Elana creates intricate, sculpturally complex sound instruments designed to highlight the act of listening. Erik’s slyly provocative installations and social interventions challenge viewers to reexamine their own navigations of the urban landscape.”

Elana Mann
Blurring the lines between meditative object, sonic exploration, and community engagement, Mann’s multidisciplinary projects—often created in collaboration with performers, activists, musicians, and community organizers—ask viewers to navigate the personal and political by simultaneously hearing both themselves and one another.

Mann’s work has been presented in venues across the United States as well as in Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Iraq, and Mexico. Since 2005, she also has collaborated with artist Audrey Chan as Chan & Mann. Her writing has been published in Afterall Journal, Art21, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, among others. Mann was named a 2017-18 Cultural Trailblazer by the City of Los Angeles, and has also been awarded opportunities from Pitzer College, the California Community Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Mann will use the award to fund materials and production costs for a large-scale, six-person “mega-kazoo-horn.” The custom-built aluminum horn—which is based on an instrument she first encountered at the Folk Music Center in Claremont, California—then will be featured in a series of performances addressing issues of poverty and homelessness.

Erik L. Peterson
Infused with absurdist humor and a welcoming spirit, Peterson’s practice comprises large-scale public works, neon installations, and even edible ice cream sculptures. His performances and subtle choreographies, often staged within busy urban settings, encourage viewers to become active participants in the creation of their own civic spaces.

Peterson has created more than a dozen public commissions across Chicago, St. Louis, and the Southeastern seaboard, including works for the City of Chicago, Loyola University, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the N.E.O.N. District in Norfolk, Virginia. His work has been featured in a dozen solo exhibitions and nearly 40 group shows. He is a founder of Hyde Park Kunstverein, a community museum and solo project space, and Qeej Hero, a transcultural video game highlighting the titular Hmong wind instrument.

The Stone & DeGuire award will allow Peterson, along with fellow artist Bryan Saner, to build a cooperative woodshop within the Julia C. Lathrop Public Housing Complex, a 35-acre, mixed-income development located on the Chicago River. At the workshop, Peterson and Saner will make art and public benches from reclaimed wood and will teach woodworking and boat-building skills to low-income residents and families.

About the award
The Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award honors Nancy Stone DeGuire (1947–2013) and Lawrence R. DeGuire Jr. (1947–2006), who met as undergraduate art students at Washington University, were married, and worked closely together in a studio practice. It was their desire to help fellow alumni artists advance their own studio practices. Created in 2017, the award is given every one to two years. Past recipients include alumni Ericka Beckman, Ian Weaver, Ebony Patterson, and Jill Downen.

About the Sam Fox School
A leader in architecture, art, and design education, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is committed to advancing those fields through innovative research and creative practice, excellence in teaching, a world-class university art museum, and a deep commitment to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our time.

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