Three St. Louis artists are each $20,000 richer this week.
“It’s still pretty surreal, like it still hasn’t really sunk in as a reality,” said artist Lyndon Barrois Jr., 31. He teaches at Washington University and Webster University.
The money is part of the Great Rivers Biennial award, which also includes the artist’s work in an exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in May 2016.
The show will include Barrois and fellow award-winners Nanette Boileau and Tate Foley. The show is a chance for each artist to expand his or her individual creative processes while raising professional profiles. Barrois said the award could be a major step toward large-scale recognition, additional awards and artists’ residencies for the winners.
“This opportunity is supposed to launch your career on a global-professional scale,” he said
Barrois’ work often includes working with found imagery but his proposal for the Biennial includes integrating that practice with the construction of a basketball court inside the museum.
Nanette Boileau, 50, is an artist and PhD candidate in education at Saint Louis University. She said the work has a direct result on her ability to realize a large-scale idea.
“It helps you see a major project through to fruition,” she said.
Her piece will examine daily work as an art form in the Western United States. She’s planning a video installation using film that documents both ranch life in Wyoming and a buffalo drive in South Dakota. Her grant money will be used in part to film these events.
“It helps you continue in every step in the process of being an artist and getting your work out there,” she said.
Tate Foley, 29, teaches at Webster University. He usually explores the public’s relationship to language and signage through printmaking. His proposal for the Great Rivers Biennial pushes this exploration into new realms.
“For this show I was really trying to understand how I could break the print out of the frame, off the wall, and give it more body and more structure so that these prints could kind of become objects on their own,” he said.
Each artist expressed surprise at having won the award and a feeling of responsibility to challenge themselves in service to producing top quality work. The Great Rivers Biennial was established in 2003.