The Vilcek Foundation
|Founder||Jan and Marica Vilcek|
|Focus||Arts, biomedical science, immigration|
|Jan Vilcek (Co-founder), Marica Vilcek(Co-founder), Rick Kinsel (Executive Director)|
The Vilcek Foundation aims to raise public awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, the arts and culture in the United States. The Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the Foundation was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities offered them as newcomers to the United States. Through its prizes and other programs, the Vilcek Foundation publicizes the far-reaching influence of immigrants on the professional, academic, and artistic communities across the United States. The Foundation awards the annual Vilcek Prizes in the biomedical science and the arts and sponsors programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival.
- 1 Prizes
- 2 Art Collections
- 3 Cultural events and exhibitions
- 4 dARTboard
- 5 Publications
- 6 References
The Vilcek Prizes are awarded to foreign-born individuals residing permanently in the United States, with a legacy of outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences. The Foundation awards two Vilcek Prizes annually, one in biomedical science and the other in the arts and humanities; the latter in a field designated annually by the Foundation, such as fine arts, architecture, music, filmmaking, culinary art, literature, dance, contemporary music, design, and fashion. Each prize consists of a $100,000 cash award and a commemorative sculpture designed by Austrian-born Stefan Sagmeister.
Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are awarded to foreign-born individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement during the early stages of their careers. Like the Vilcek Prize, the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are awarded each year in the field of biomedical science and a selected art field. Creative Promise applicants are required to submit essays, personal statements, and examples of their work. To be eligible for the prize, applicants must have been born abroad, reside permanently in the United States, and be within the specified age limit. As of 2013, three prizes each will be awarded in biomedical science and a designated art field. Each recipient is awarded a $50,000 cash prize and a commemorative plaque.
Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise
|Name||Year||Category||Country of Birth|
|Sun Hur||2015||Biomedical Science||South Korea|
|Rob Knight||2015||Biomedical Science||New Zealand|
|Franziska Michor||2015||Biomedical Science||Austria|
|Siki Im||2015||Fashion||Germany, to Korean parents|
|Natallia Pilipenka||2015||Fashion||Belarus, to Ukrainian parents|
|Antonio Giraldez||2014||Biomedical Science||Spain|
|Stavros Lomvardas||2014||Biomedical Science||Greece|
|Pardis Sabeti||2014||Biomedical Science||Iran|
|Hashim Al-Hashimi||2013||Biomedical Science||Lebanon|
|Michael Rape||2013||Biomedical Science||Germany|
|Joanna Wysocka||2013||Biomedical Science||Poland|
|James Abrahart||2013||Contemporary Music||United Kingdom|
|Samuel Bazawule||2013||Contemporary Music||Ghana|
|Tigran Hamasyan||2013||Contemporary Music||Armenia|
|Alice Ting||2012||Biomedical Science||Taiwan|
|Michel Kouakou||2012||Dance||Ivory Coast|
|Yibin Kang||2011||Biomedical Science||China|
|Harmit Malik||2010||Biomedical Science||India|
|Varin Keokitvon||2010||Culinary Arts||Laos|
|Howard Chang||2009||Biomedical Science||Taiwan|
In 2013, the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were changed from recognizing one winner and four finalists to recognizing three winners in each category. The past finalists are listed below.
The Vilcek Foundation holds several art collections that are promised gifts from founders Jan and Marica Vilcek. These collections include the Contemporary Art Collection, a small but growing collection of works by contemporary immigrant artists; the American Modernism Collection, which traces the development of artists such as Oscar Bluemner, Ralston Crawford, Stuart Davis, and Marsden Hartley, as well as the movement as a whole; and the Native American Pottery Collection, which consists primarily of objects by Acoma and Hopi potters, dating from the 19th and 20th centuries; and the Pre-Columbian Collection, which features objects from across the pre-Columbian world, with an emphasis on the art of Mesoamerica.
An exhibition, “From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection,” organized by the Philbrook Museum of Art in cooperation with the Vilcek Foundation, will be on view at the Philbrook Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in 2015.
Cultural events and exhibitions
Past events and exhibitions
The Vilcek Foundation is located in a landmark, Beaux Arts-style renovated carriage house in New York City's Upper East Side, which serves as both its headquarters and gallery space. The Foundation hosts exhibitions and events featuring the work of immigrant artists, designers, filmmakers, and others, many of whom have yet to achieve critical or financial success.
|Exhibition/Event||Type of Event||Year||Participant(s)||Participant’s Country of Birth|
|Brian Doan: hôme hôme hôme||Mixed-media Installation||2013||Brian Doan||Vietnam|
|Pivotal Works: The Vilcek Foundation Project||Series of Dance performances||2012||Michel Kouakou
|I Am Your Mirror||Photography, Mixed-media Installation||2012||O Zhang||China|
|Almost Undone||Mixed-media Installation||2011||Nicole Awai||Trinidad|
|String Theater||Concert||2011||Mari Kimura||Japan|
|The New Vernacular: Immigrant Authors in American Literature||Literature Reading||2011||Dinaw Mengestu
Simon Van Booy
Liesl Schillinger (host)
|Caring and Advocating for Torture Survivors||Lecture||2011||Allen Keller (Lecturer)
|Senbazuru||Mixed-media Installation||2010||Toshiko Nishikawa||Japan|
|Transparency||Fashion Presentation||2010||Madina Vadache||Russia|
|The Vilcek Foundation Celebrates LOST||Photography Installation, Exhibition of Original Props||2010||24 Immigrant and First Generation Cast and Crew of ABC’s LOST||
Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, South Africa, Philippines, South Korea, Tonga
|Circumplex||Video Art Installation||2009||Kai-Duc Luong||Cambodia|
|Mephistophelean||Exhibition of Sculpture||2009||Ryo Toyanaga||Japan|
|Japanese Art Today: Takashi Murakami and “Superflat” in Context||Lecture||2009||Eleanor Heartney|
|Why 1960’s Japanese Art? Global Implications for Contemporary Art History||Lecture||2009||Reiko Tomii||Japan|
|Asian American Artist and the Transmission of the East to the American Avant-Garde||Lecture||2009||Alexandra Munroe|
|American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile||Film Screening||2008||Sarab Neelam
|The Gatekeeper of Emmyoin||Film Screening||2008||Reiko Tahara
|Il Lee and Pouran Jinchi: Curated by Art Projects International||Exhibition of paintings and drawings||2008||Il Lee
The dARTboard was an online art space developed to celebrate the achievements of foreign-born artists working in the realm of digital art, running from 2012 to 2014.
Each year’s featured artist is chosen from a pool of applicants for the annual dARTboard Call for Entries in Digital Art, first opened in July 2011. Every cycle, applicants are invited to submit their digital artworks for consideration. Eligible applicants must be foreign born and reside permanently in the U.S. The chosen artist, selected by an expert juror, is invited to exhibit his or her work on the dARTboard at the start of the following year. The featured artist also receives a $5,000 honorarium. In 2014, three artists were chosen for a three-way tie, and each artist was awarded a $5,000 honorarium.
|Featured artist||Year||Exhibited work||Participant’s Country of Birth|
|Irina Danilova||2012||City Drawings, Constellations||Ukraine|
|Marc Böhlen||2013||WaterBar, MakeLanguage||Switzerland|
|Nicholas Hanna||2014||Bubble Device, #2||Canada|
|Ha Na Lee||2014||Vestiges, Part II||South Korea|
|Fernando Orellana||2014||Shadoes||El Salvador|
American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans
American Odysseys is an anthology of twenty-two novelists, poets, and short story writers. Among the featured writers are Ethiopian-born Dinaw Mengestu, the recipient of the 2011 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature; Yugoslavian-born Téa Obreht, the youngest author to receive the Orange Prize in Fiction; and Chinese-born Yiyun Li, a MacArthur Genius grantee. The foreword is by U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic, the winner of the 2011 Vilcek Prize for Literature. A private, hard copy edition was first published in January 2012, and a trade paperback edition was released by Dalkey Archive Press on May 2, 2013.
Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection
Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection, features ninety-eight paintings, works on paper and sculptures by twenty artists - including Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O'Keeffe and Max Weber. William C. Agee contributed the book’s introduction and Lewis Kachur wrote individual entries on each work. In addition to tracing the evolution of individual artists and the movement as a whole, the book explores developments within American Modernism, such as Synchromism and Color Abstraction, American Cubism, and the influence of the landscape and culture of the Southwest (an issue that is explored in depth in the book’s Illustrated Timeline). The Collection also highlights the contributions of immigrant artists – eight of the twenty artists were born outside the United States. The book is prefaced by a collector's statement from Ján Vilček and Marica Vilcek and has contributions by The Vilcek Foundation’s Executive Director, Rick Kinsel, and Assistant Curator, Emily Schuchardt Navratil.
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