IKOUII OPEN: Awards Announcement
Congratulations to Brittany Castle for “Best in Show” of the Ikouii Open this year! Brittany Castle is a digital artist, living and working in New Jersey. Brittany grew up in California with a Deaf twin sister and her hearing parents. Her grandparents on her father’s side are also Deaf. Brittany has always enjoyed art and one of her proudest moments was graduating from Gallaudet University with a BA degree in Graphic Design and Photography. During her time at Gallaudet University, she had the privilege to intern at the University in the art department and local art companies in the Washington DC area. After graduation, Brittany worked as a freelance Graphic Designer but her passion was to start her own business. Brittany moved to Seattle and started 58 Creativity LLC. “The creation of this art series “Build the Sing Language Sculpture” was influenced by our current situation relating to COV-19 and the heavy feeling of negative and the unknown throughout the world. Creating the sculptures with the tiny people pushing or pulling in other planets where they honor sign language as a role model as they applying sign language to life in a positive way. As a Deaf artist I’m inspired visually by my language. I think my first sculpture I created was “help”‘ imagine those people working hard and trying to help others. I created and expanded the “help” artwork with other sculptures to make up this art series. My hope is that people can look at one of my sculptures and be remind of something good.” – Brittany Castle Also awarded, Luke Abdallah of Kenhurst, Australia for “Honorable Mention”. Abdallah is an emerging artist with a disability from the leafy outer-suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Luke was born totally blind and has total elective mutism, meaning he is unable to speak. He loves the process of painting and creating beautiful artworks that capture his energy and movement, using lots of texture and colour and also has a passion and a very tuned ear for music. Luke predominantly creates textured, sensory paintings that can be appreciated through touch – an essential mode of experiencing art for the visually impaired. He employs a wide range of mediums like impasto, modelling paste, sand, paper, natural detritus and found objects in building up the surface of his paintings. He likes to use a myriad of different tools and techniques to apply paint to the surface – brushes, flower stems, leaves and branches found in his backyard, paint rollers and of course, his fingers. Viewers on Facebook and Instagram voted Ikouii Artist, Loraine Klaiber of Amsterdam, Netherlands for the “People’s Choice Award”. Loraine is a Surinamese Multidisciplinary Artist from The Netherlands with St. Lucian roots. She has her own movement in Creative Arts to inspire people called Water of Words-WOW, with pillars such as dance, spoken word, poetry, coaching and calligraphy art. She teaches and performs various dance styles from Latin to inspirational and includes people with and without so-called disabilities as part of her movement. Congratulations to all our exhibiting artists for their participation in this year’s Ikouii Open: Jaejoon Jang (New York), Stephen Proski (Missouri), Warner Ball (Michigan), AJ Schnettler (California), Carina Earl (North Carolina), Hau Yi Lee (Hong Kong), Erhan US (Turkey), Michael Garda (New York), Ellen Mansfield (Maryland), Labdhi Shah (India), Alyssa Herge (United Kingdom), Alan Hopwood (United Kingdom), Zachariah Fenn (Australia), Matt Elliott (Australia), Gwendolyn Anne Davies (New York), Lori Dunsmore (Florida). The virtual exhibition will run till September 6, 2020. To learn more and view the exhibition, go here.