IKOUII OPEN 2021: Award Winners Announced

The Ikouii Creative is thrilled to announce the award winners of the 3rd Annual IKOUII OPEN. This year’s “Best in Show” award goes to A. Laura Brody of California. In her work, she sculpts for the human body and its vehicles. She developed and curates Opulent Mobility, a series of exhibits that re-imagine disability as opulent and powerful. Her art has been shown at ACE/121 Gallery, Brea Gallery, the Charles River Museum of Industry, Westbeth Center For the Arts, California State University Northridge, Gallery Expo, the Dora Stern Gallery at Arts Unbound, and The World of Wearable Art. Ms. Brody works as a professional costume maker and designer, an artist, and as a teacher. She is passionate about reuse, sustainability, and re-imagining disability.

Also awarded, Vanessa Hernández Cruz of Los Angeles, California for Honorable Mention. She is an emerging Chicana disabled dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, poet & activist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, she received her Associates Degree in Dance from Santa Monica College. She is currently a candidate for the B.A in Dance Science from California State University Long Beach. In 2020, her dance film “Nycto-Eternity” won The Dance Cinema Award from Frostbite International Film Festival and was recently screened for The Midnight Film Festival in New York. In 2018, She won first place in the Global Citizenship Research Symposium: Dance & Disability in Santa Monica College for her dance film “Grey City”.Vanessa’s choreographic work has received the award for Cultural Diplomacy for Innovation in Choreography from Ballet Beyond Borders in 2019. Her lifetime aspirations are to continue to perform, choreograph, create, and to continue to pave an easier path for future disabled artists through her activism.

“DNA: Disability Not Ability” Film Courtesy of Artist, Vanessa Cruz

Viewers around the globe voted on Facebook and Instagram for Murray Siple as the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. He attended Emily Carr College of Art and Design in the early 1990s, majoring in experimental film and video. After college, he pioneered extreme sports filmmaking as a director, but after a bright start, a high-speed car accident left him a person with quadriplegia. In rehabilitation, drawing was his salvation and his pathway back into art. He wrote and directed “Carts of Darkness” (NFB) and has recently established himself as an accomplished painter. Murray’s work explores themes of fear and darkness, night terrors colliding with inner turmoil. As an artist with a disability, Murray thrives in environments that are not accessible, which are the basis of his creative process.

“An Accumulation Of Indignities” Photo Courtesy of Artist, Murray Siple

Congratulations to all our exhibiting artists in this year’s IKOUII OPEN: David McCauley, Jack Page, Mariam Paré , Allen J. Lewis, Robbie Teasdale, Rose Adare, Emily Tironi, Ellen Mansfield, Seema Shah, Lisa Merida-Paytes, David Isakson. The exhibition, IKOUII OPEN 2021: Without Labels will be on view till August 20th at ikouii.com. The recording of the Opening Reception and Artist Talk is now available on the Ikouii Youtube channel. All artwork on view is for sale and available for purchase at ikouii.com.

The Ikouii Open is an annual virtual group art exhibition with both disabled and non-disabled artists. Artists who practice in a variety of mediums or discipline at any stage in their art career are encouraged to submit work in response to a disability-centered theme. The goal of the open is to activate social movements, educate, inspire, and evoke change within the arts and disability communities.

The Ikouii Creative is a disability-led organization committed to providing opportunities and support for artists with disabilities as well as transforming cultural institutions into an engaging and meaningful space for all visitors. The Ikouii Creative serves artists worldwide, in countries including the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Israel, and India. The organization offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to amplify its impact in the arts sector.