April 12, 2011
Two named Rickert-Ziebold art award winners
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- This year’s Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award at Southern Illinois University Carbondale might almost be a travel award. Both winners have post-graduation travel plans, and splitting a $15,000 award isn’t too shabby a way to start.
This year’s winners are Phillip Carrier (Carbondale) and Wes Valdez (Washington, Mo.). Both seniors plan to travel, and to take a short time off before preparing for graduate school.
Carrier’s entry, “Adaptive Perception,” was a multi-media installation, using light and air currents to turn loose VHS tape into a display of light, shadow, texture and depth.
He explained that he finds inspiration in using materials that are so part of our lives that we take them for granted and don’t even consider them. The VHS tape in his display, he said, is one of those materials.
“It still contains the images that are on it,” he said. “But I’ve repurposed it and now we can look at it in a different way.”
He said he understands the value of having time to focus on a single goal. He graduated from SIUC’s School of Art and Design in December 2010, and was able to turn his focus to his Rickert-Ziebold entry, which, as he said, turned out to be a good investment of his time.
Carrier plans to take a tour of New Zealand with his girlfriend for a month or so after Rickert-Ziebold. He sees graduate school in his future, but right now, flush from success with his entry, definite plans are not an immediate concern.
Valdez’ entry, “Being Human Being,” is a series of sculptures in glass and metal. The pieces reflect his fascination with his mother’s stories of lives saved in a hospital setting where she was a nurse, and his later realization that the saved lives were only part of the story. The pieces are somewhere between whimsical and melancholy.
Valdez is also a winner of the prestigious Wingate Fellowship. He said the two awards will go a long way to setting him on the path to the rest of his life as an artist and teacher. As part of the Wingate Fellowship, he will study with three different glass artists in Philadelphia, Pa., beginning with Jessica Jane Julios, and including Rik Allen and Judy Hill. He said Philadelphia is a city friendly to glass artists, and he looks forward to being part of an environment where new art is on the rise.
Ultimately, though, he wants to teach, and says he has always wanted to teach.
“I’ve always wanted to learn a craft and then teach it,” he said.
But first, even before Philadelphia, he and his sister and mother will take a month to make the grand tour of Europe to celebrate their mutual commencements.
The annual Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award honors the late Joseph Ricket, a prominent lawyer and former state senator from Waterloo, who loved the arts and appreciated SIUC’s place in the cultural life of the Southern Illinois region. His family established the award in 1974, and it is the most prestigious award offered by the School of Art and Design.
Erin Palmer, associate professor in the School of Art and Design and coordinator of the event, said this competition is one where students get a taste of what the life of a professional artist is. The money, the competition, the stress of placing art in a space within a short time-frame all contribute to the prestige of the award, she said, and make participation in it valuable for all finalists.
The Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award exhibition, featuring entries from all 11 finalists, will remain on display all week in the Surplus Gallery, 432 S. Washington Ave., Carbondale.