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2018 Frontier Art Prize awarded to Tavares Strachan
Tavares Strachan, You Belong Here, 2014. Blocked Out Neon 30 x 80 Feet dimensions on 100 ft Barge. Traveling Installation on the Mississippi River (photo by Joe Vincent Grey) Courtesy of Tavares Strachan.

BOSTON, MASS.- VIA Art Fund and The World Frontiers Forum announced that Tavares Strachan has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Frontier Art Prize. The Frontier Art Prize is an annual $100,000 award conferred upon a visual artist whose practice reflects a pioneering spirit, whose work challenges the current and future condition of human knowledge and experience, and who celebrates individual and collective experimentation and collaboration.

The Frontier Art Prize was established in 2017 as the public expression of The World Frontiers Forum (WFF), an annual convening at the crossroads of art and science designed to foster connections and impact in addressing mankind’s future. Grounded in the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals for 2030, The Convergence Project has emerged as the principal action of the World Frontiers Forum. Each year the founders of WFF assemble a working group of young pioneers across disciplines and from around the world to create a scalable product aimed at mass-scale intervention concerning one or more sustainable development challenges.

Over the past year, Strachan has been at the center of the current Convergence Project, joining scientific pioneers from the medical and bio-tech fields along with social entrepreneurs in working with the government of Sierra-Leone to develop an impact initiative targeting improved access to food, healthcare, creative learning and economic mobility. Strachan and David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Innovation Office, Government of Sierra-Leone will discuss their progress at the World Frontiers Forum in Cambridge, MA at a talk, moderated by Bridgitt Evans, on October 15.

In selecting Strachan for the award Evans, VIA Art Fund founder, noted, “The Frontier Art Prize continues to be an experimental project, one that aims to make direct and impactful connections between art and our future. I can imagine no better partner than artist Tavares Strachan to be this year’s recipient. He embodies all of the attributes needed to fully participate and contribute alongside his working partners in this year’s Convergence Project. Strachan’s work exhibits curiosity and wanderlust, inquiry and rigor, and openness, empathy and inclusion. He pushes the boundaries of his media and subject matter and asks us to push our boundaries of what we believe and know about ourselves, our bodies, our communities, and the world. Lastly, we recognize Strachan’s generous interest in working collaboratively and his ability to articulate the power of art to catalyze engagement and change.”

World Frontiers Forum founder David Edwards commented: “Tavares Strachan’s work as winner of the 2018 Frontier Art Prize has already changed lives in Sierra Leone. With young pioneers from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, Strachan is sparking this year’s Convergence Project of the World Frontiers Forum, aimed at sustainable development impacting millions of lives. Strachan insists we see what we have not seen before, the first step in changing how we think and live.”

This year’s Frontier Art Prize jury was comprised of co-chairs David Edwards of Le Laboratoire and Bridgitt Evans of VIA Art Fund, and panel members Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery), Evelyn Hankins (Hirschhorn Museum), Laurent Le Bon (Picasso Museum), Jennifer Flay (FIAC Art Fair), and JD Talasek (National Academy of Sciences).

Tavares Strachan (b. 1979 Nassau, The Bahamas) lives and works in New York. Strachan received a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and a M.F.A. from Yale University. Strachan’s ambitious and open-ended practice examines the intersection of art, science, and the environment, and has included collaborations with organizations and institutions across various disciplines. His work has been presented in numerous national and international group and solo exhibitions including the first-ever Bahamian National Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. He is currently the Allen Institute’s inaugural artist-in-residence and the recipient of a LACMA Art + Technology Lab Artist Grant. He has been honored with numerous awards including the 2008 Tiffany Foundation Grant, a 2007 Grand Arts Residency Fellowship and importantly, the 1996 National Seal of The Bahamas Stamp Design Award. Strachan currently serves on the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee as well as the RISD Board of Trustees.

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