The Florida Keys Council of the Arts is proud to announce that Monroe County artist Victoria Mata has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2022 South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual and Media Artists Award. Victoria (Tory) Mata of Key West, was selected to receive this esteemed, five-county artist fellowship. Tory will receive a monetary award of $15,000 and be included in an exhibition featuring the work of the 2021 - 2022 recipients, that will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami with anticipated opening in April of 2023.
Tory Mata grew up in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and received her BA in Fine Arts from Clark University in 2005. Her painted works, though not representational, use the language of landscape and are influenced by these varying terrains and their unique, native colors and forms. Her recent series are minimalist and meditative in tone, with an emphasis on natural materials, textures and processes. Shades of black and white combine to explore the appearance of opposites and the unifying balance between opposing states. Elements that hold symbolic and personal value (notably clay, bone, rust, wood and cotton) come together in varied forms to speak to themes of loss, transformation and impermanence. Works often build in series and multiples, observing the complexity of relationship and the fragmenting of experience.
The Consortium, an alliance of the arts councils of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties has conferred the artists with awards at either the $15,000 or $7,500 level. These awards are among the largest such honors accorded by local arts agencies to visual and media artists in the United States. Celebrating 34 years in 2022 (established in 1988), the SFCC has awarded over $4 million in grants to more than 300 artists. In addition to receiving the grant, the artists take part in an exhibition hosted and organized by a visual arts institution in one of the five counties.
The recipients were selected through a two-tier panel process which included the participation of regional and national arts experts. The 2021-2022 regional panel, whose adjudications are based on the evaluation of the artists' work as evidenced by the work samples submitted, included: Juliana Forero, Ph.D, Founder and Chief Curator of Nomad Projects, Adjunct Professor, NSU Florida (Broward); Zoraye Cyrus, SFCC 2021 Recipient (Broward); Melissa Wallen, Director, De la Cruz Collection (Miami-Dade); John McGurk, Director, Sarah Gavlak Gallery (Pam Beach); and Donnamarie Baptiste, Principle, Creative Industry (Miami-Dade). The submissions selected by the regional panel for further consideration were forwarded for final adjudication and selection to the national panel, which was comprised of: Jean Cooney, Director and Chief Curator, Times Square Arts, New York, NY; Toccarra H. Thomas, Director, Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA; and George Scheer, Executive Director, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA.
The South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists is a cooperative project funded in part with the support of the Boards of County Commissioners of Broward, Miami-Dade, Martin and Monroe Counties and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
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