VisArts Announces 2020 Emerging Artist Award Winner, Mahari Chabwera

March 02, 2020 News

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond has announced that Mahari Chabwera is the winner of the center’s 2020 Emerging Artist Award. This is the first year that VisArts has presented the award.

Chabwera is an artist and a curator living and working in Richmond. Her work is rooted in a black, feminist cosmology. She graduated from VCUarts in 2017 with a degree in painting and printmaking and recently completed a residency with the Vermont Studio Center.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Mahari with our first-ever Emerging Artist Award,” said VisArts Executive Director, Stefanie Fedor. “Her portfolio stood out to our judges because Mahari’s artwork is extremely innovative and it conveys a unique perspective. We’re looking forward to seeing her career blossom in years to come.”

VisArts received over 100 nominations from the community for the Emerging Artist Award. The center recruited Ted Elmore, Taekia Glass and Meg Mott to evaluate the 40 applications that were submitted by nominated artists. Elmore is the director of the BridgePark Foundation, Glass is the program director at Art180 and Mott is a member of VisArts’ young professionals board, VACA.

Chabwera is a 2019-2020 professional recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Visual Arts Fellowship. Her VMFA fellowship exhibition “I’d Be Starved if I Ate All the Lies They Told​,” was on view at the VMFA’s Amuse Restaurant from August 9, 2019 through Feb 9, 2020.

In 2020, Chabwera’s work will be featured in a solo exhibition at 1708 Gallery. Her work has been part of group shows at 1708 Gallery, Iridian Gallery (Richmond, Va.), Capital One Corporate Headquarters (Richmond, Va.), Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia Beach, Va.), The Hofheimer (Richmond, Va.), Neon Festival (Norfolk, Va.) and 670 Gallery (Hampton, Va.), among others. Her most recent curatorial project was a group show at SEDIMENT, entitled “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Made Armor.”

Chabwera was the recipient of the 2017 Anderson Gallery Summer Studio Space Grant and the 2017 Vermont Studio Center Merit Grant. Her work can be in found in the corporate collection of Capital One.

VisArts will present the award at the center’s annual Young + Artful fundraiser on Friday, March 6, 2020. Tickets are on sale now.

About VisArts’ Emerging Artist Award: VisArts’ young professionals board, the Visual Arts Creative Ambassadors (VACA), introduced the new Emerging Artist Award in December 2019. This award was established to promote, support and encourage visual artists who show creative promise. The organization grants one winner with a $5,000 unrestricted cash prize as well as free access to one of VisArts’ professional studio spaces for one year.