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3 artists with interest in public work win Critical Mass Awards

A trio of local multimedia artists is set to achieve greater prominence.

The arts organization Critical Mass for the Visual Arts announced today that its annual Creative Stimulus awards will go to three women whose work will be shown next year in a mainstream institution.

The 2016 awardees are:

  • Ellie Balk focuses on math and data visualization.  In her studio, she works with paint, printmaking, stained glass and sculpture.  Her public murals engage the community to connect people, space and time.
  • Addoley Dzegede is an artist whose  interdisciplinary work examines concepts of belonging, home, location and identity, through mixed media and a blend of words and images.
  • Amy Reidel is inspired by science. She uses images based on Doppler radar, minerals and MRIs to convey emotional and physical states. Reidel also works with vivid colors, religious symbols and family pictures to explore notions ranging from loss to love.  

Critical Mass encourages recipients to use their $1,500 awards to experiment with new materials and techniques. But the honor is about much more than money, according to Meredith McKinley of Critical Mass.
“The awards are highly competitive,” McKinley said. “They really say something about where the artists are in their practices.”

In the eighth year of the awards, the winners are a combination of emerging and mid-career artists. It’s unusual but not unprecedented for the the list to include only women. It happened one other time, in 2013.

The work of the 2015 awardees will be exhibited at the Center of Creative Arts in University City, Nov. 18 to Dec. 18. Past exhibitions took place at The Sheldon and the Regional Arts Commission. The display venue for the new 2016 awardees has not yet been decided.

Ellie Balk's completed Visualize Pi Perspective.The digits of Pi can be read from right to left in the triangle image.
Credit Ellie Balk
Ellie Balk's completed Visualize Pi Perspective.The digits of Pi can be read from right to left in the triangle image.

Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.

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