[Many thanks to Veerle Poupeye for bringing this item to our attention.] Visual artist M. Florine Démosthène has won the Wachtmeister Award—a prestigious fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Contemporary& reports:
M. Florine Démosthène has won this years’ Wachtmeister Award presented biannually by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). The prize acknowledges “the vital role of the arts in our world, the importance of artists who exemplify excellence in their field, and the necessity of time and space for the creative phase of all artistic work.”
As the 2021 Wachtmeister Award winner, Démosthène will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a month-long residency at Mt. San Angelo, home to VCCA’s artist residency program in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
In residence at VCCA, Démosthène will have uninterrupted time and space to focus on her creative work. One project she hopes to pursue is an immersive installation that will incorporate elements of her drawings and paintings. “For this series, I will take on the persona of a warrior heroine whose special powers reside in her ability to harness the cataclysmic energy of her derrière,” writes Démosthène. “The goal of this project is to investigate cultural appropriation through the unveiling of transformative feminine power.”
Démosthène has exhibited extensively through group and solo exhibitions in the U.S., Caribbean, U.K., Europe, and Africa. Recent solo shows include “Between Possibility and Actuality” at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago; a solo booth exhibition with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery at The Armory Show in New York; and “The Stories I Tell Myself” at Gallery 1957 in Accra, Ghana. Her work can be seen at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Lowe Art Museum, PFF Collection of African American Art, and in various private collections worldwide. Démosthène has received a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, an Art Moves Africa Grant, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. She has participated in residencies in the U.S., U.K., Slovakia, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Démosthène was born in the U.S. and raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and New York. She earned her BFA from Parsons School for Design and her MFA from Hunter College-City University of New York.
[M. Florine Démosthène (left)Untitled 10, 2020. Collage on paper, 11″ x 15”; (right) Entangled By Your Thoughts, 2020. Collage on canvas, 18″ x 24″. Photos courtesy of M. Florine Démosthène.]