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Real Art Awards and Exhibitions

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Real Art Ways announces the first Real Art Awards. Six visual artists will receive a $2,500 cash prize, and each will have their work presented by Real Art Ways in a solo exhibition in 2018-19.

“Real Art Ways has a 42-year history of supporting artists and innovation,” said Real Art Ways Executive Director Will K. Wilkins. “These awards are intended to give artists a boost of recognition and opportunity, and to highlight the importance of art and creativity in shaping our shared culture.”

Real Art Awards jurors were artist Saya Woolfalk, New Britain Museum of American Art Director Min Jung Kim and Mr. Wilkins. The award competition was open at no charge to artists living in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 286 artists applied for consideration.

In addition to the cash prize, each chosen artist will receive a solo exhibition at Real Art Ways in 2018-2019, an exhibition publication, curatorial assistance and will give an artist talk. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The six recipients are:

Keith CloughertyKeith Clougherty: Braintree, Massachusetts
Clougherty blends traditional practice with social practice and video as he explores the role of the artist in society, family, and community.
Work sample: Moxie Tower. Granite slabs, coal, antique beverages, assorted figurines. 38” x 52”. 2018



Kylie FordKylie Ford: Portland, Maine
Ford applies her mastery of woodworking and craft to repurposed materials. Formerly utilitarian structures bend in ways unintended by their original manufacturers, creating something that is both familiar and alien.
Work sample: Object Analogy, 2018, wood and steel, 52″ x 36″ x 48


Niki KrieseNiki Kriese: Croton, New York
Kriese’s paintings flow in and out of narrative legibility.  She depicts a variety of objects and spaces that touch on a sense of abandonment, and there is a playful weirdness in her compositions.
Work sample: Organic, 2018, 24” x 30”, acrylic on canvas



Mateo NavaMateo Nava: New York, New York
Nava’s use of Mexican imagery, and his simultaneous rejection of the traditional painting format of stretched canvas on wall, creates a visceral commentary on sentimentality and nostalgia.
Work sample: La llorona, acrylic, dye, fabric, photographs, canvas, paper, glitter, confetti, faux flowers – 2016 – 96″x 75″x 60″


Liona Nyariri

Liona Nyariri: Brooklyn, New York
Nyariri’s work examines how an institution understands a collection and the relationships with its creators, especially in the context of colonization and migration. She brings to light the nature of systems, and explores how language and mythology intertwine.
Work sample: The Pidgin /hoo/ /no/ /no/ /go/ /no/ (window to another world) installation view – Clear resin, plexiglass, clear glue – 8″ x 11″ – 2017 – “Pidgin hit the window from inside. It left behind this text which reads hoo no no go no. This is the phonetic form of the phrase Who no know go know.”

Sophia PlaterSofia Plater: Newton, Massachusetts
Plater works with construction materials to create unexpected explorations of aesthetic possibilities. Her work evokes the conflict between natural and man-made architectures; she creates sculptures that are simultaneously organic and synthetic.
Work sample: Cement #2 – 2018 – Medium: Cement, silicone, plastic, metal, live moss – 23”x 30”