The Inaugural Vault Vision Prize, which was endowed to promote emerging artists in the South, was awarded to Celeste Ivory, Florida State University (FSU) Art MFA ’19 alum. The Vault Vision Prize provides recipients with a 10-day residency at the Newnan ArtRez Gray Cottage in Newnan, Georgia, a solo exhibition at the Vault Gallery in the historic Wadsworth Auditorium, and an honorarium. Ivory’s itinerary during the residency included several educational and practical activities, including a presentation to select advanced art students, studio critiques, one-on-one meetings with students, and a public talk at the show reception. According to the program description, the Vault Vision Prize as well as the Vault Gallery itself are collaborations between the University of West Georgia’s School of the Arts, the Newnan Artist-in-Residence Program, and the City of Newnan, and are made possible by the extreme generosity and vision of the Hollis Trust in Newnan.
Celeste Ivory’s work investigates contemporary craft. Aspects addressed therein include the history of craft, the relationship of craft to fine art, various classifications of craft throughout time, the hierarchy of art and craft, ‘woman’s work’ connotations associated with textile arts, the quest for a current definition of craft, craft as feminized work, craft as a radical act, craft as a force working against consumerism, craft as a tool for material investigation, making as an act of community-building, and the future of craft.
Celeste Ivory is a visual artist based in Tallahassee, Florida, with an MFA in Studio Art, and a BA in Anthropology from FSU. She served as a historic preservationist with the State of Florida for a decade before founding Ivory Tower Collective in 2014 and pursuing graduate studies in studio art. She currently works for the FSU Department of Art, both as part of the administrative team and as an adjunct faculty member.