Artists Margaux Crump, Alison McNulty and Yvonne Osei have each won the 2022 Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Awards.
The Stone & DeGuire Awards are presented by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and are available to all graduates of the Sam Fox School’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs open (with the exception of full-time Sam Fox School teachers). The winners are selected by a jury of lecturers and alumni. Winners will each receive $25,000 to further their studio practices.
“Just look at the range of ideas that Margaux, Alison and Yvonne represent,” said Amy Hauft, Principal of the College of Art at Sam Fox School. “Margaux’s sculpture, photography and time-based works are playful and manifest ontological complexity. Alison examines the nature of place in all its material and historical veracity and nuance. Rooted in traditional West African culture, Yvonne’s performances and installations dissect colonial histories and consider the impact of pan-global trade while reveling in glorious colour. The Sam Fox School is proud to support their work and be represented by this breadth of subject and matter.”
The Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award is named after the artist duo Nancy Stone DeGuire (1947-2013) and Lawrence R. DeGuire Jr. (1947-2006). The two met as students at Washington University and began exhibiting on the West Coast in the early 1970s.
“There was a strong sense of creative dialogue in the work of Stone and DeGuire,” said Carmon Colangelo, Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School. “These awards honor that legacy and enable recent and mid-level graduates to further advance their unique artistic practices and causes.”
Margaux Crump, MFA in Fine Arts, 2015
Crump’s interdisciplinary practice explores the nexus of ecology, magic and myth, with a particular focus on the phenomena of unseen worlds, from the microscopic to the supernatural. “When we imagine the possibility of speaking to rocks or connecting with disembodied beings,” she writes in an artist statement, “we increase our empathy and cultivate more nuanced ways of engaging with the world.”
Crump’s work has been featured in more than 20 group and solo exhibitions, including solo shows at Women & Their Work in Austin, Texas and Flats in Houston. Her work has been featured in the Houston Chronicle, Austin Chronicle, Artnet, and Newcity Art, among others. Previous awards include an award from the Texas Commission on the Arts and residencies at The Hambidge Center in Georgia and I-Park in Connecticut.
The Stone & DeGuire Award will support a new series of work focusing on lenses and apertures as eyepiece portals. “It is inspired by the knowledge that at the same historical moment that some were peering into crystal balls to glimpse the future, others were peering through telescopic lenses to observe light emerging from the past, and through tiny glass spheres peered into early microscopes to reveal an invisible world of microbes,” Crump explained. “By unveiling what eludes our gaze, we continually transform how we understand and create our world.”
Alison McNulty, BFA 2001
McNulty’s practice explores “the fragile, entangled nature of our relationship with the material world.” Using ubiquitous, salvaged materials associated with specific places and stories—such as bricks from a particular brickyard, eraser bits from erased notes, and plants or rocks associated with regional ecosystems—she explores conflicting views of time and place, intersectional thinking and relationship possibilities beyond the human being.
McNulty’s work has been featured in five solo exhibitions and projects, most recently at PS21 in Chatham, NY, and more than 30 group shows. She is currently a part-time faculty member at The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York, has an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Florida and has previously taught at Marist College, Brooklyn College, University of Florida and Whitman College. Her work has been featured on Artnet, Chronogram, Praxis Interview Magazine and numerous exhibition catalogues. She has received residencies at Stoneleaf Retreat and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
The Stone & DeGuire Award will support a new, large-scale project launched as part of the Artist in Vacancy initiative in Newburgh, NY. The multidisciplinary project will evoke and overlay a range of perspectives, from archeology and natural sciences to site-based research and a diverse roster of writers and thinkers. The project includes site-specific interventions as well as sculptures, photographs, videos and works on paper.
Yvonne Osei, MFA in Fine Arts, 2016
Osei is a German-born Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist based in the United States. Her international creative practice explores themes of beauty, race, dress politics, and the remaining effects of colonialism in post-colonial West Africa and Western cultures. She is concerned with the study of authorship, ownership and commercialization of historical narratives. This includes how history is studied, collectively remembered, and understood as a weapon of cultural obliteration and a catalyst for the legitimacy and foundation of nations.
Osei has presented more than a dozen solo performances and exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and West Africa. These include Tailored Landscapes (2017-18) at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Sea to Shining Sea (2019) at Bruno David Gallery and the forthcoming 2022 Great Rivers Biennale at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Her numerous honors include the Richard A. Horovitz Award for African Artists and Scholars, a fellowship from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and a Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship from the Saint Louis Art Museum.
The Stone & DeGuire award will allow Osei to expand her creative research on the African continent; to further explore their use of the textile medium; and to continue her transition from “object-oriented art-making to environmentally-oriented experiences.” In particular, the award will support trips to the island nation of Seychelles for a series of site-specific performances. These will advance an intercontinental work Osei began in 2018 entitled Who Discovers the Discoverer?