AVA contacted a number of regional Vermont and New Hampshire public, private, and vocational high schools, encouraging the art faculty to nominate works by students who show exceptional promise in a variety of creative disciplines. This year’s awards will be chosen by Matt Neckers, find Matt’s bio below. Participating high schools include Cardigan Mountain, Hanover High School, Hartford High School, Holderness School, Kimball Union Academy, Lebanon High School, Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Proctor Academy, Rivendell Academy, The Sharon Academy, Stevens High School, Thetford Academy, and Woodstock Union High School. Nominated students will submit work in seven categories: Ceramics, Drawing (marker, pen and ink, pencil and colored pencil), Multiple discipline (mixed media, collage, printmaking, graphic design), Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Wearable art (jewelry, fiber arts/ textile design).
Images are of winning artwork from AVA’s 14th Annual Exhibition by Eunice Kim, Finn Boissonneault, Audrey Williams, Hannah Read (top row); Xavi Griggs, Amber Boles, Charlotte Nunan, Adrianna Cody (bottom row).
Announcing the Juror, Matt Neckers
Matt Neckers | Biography:
Matt Neckers is a visual artist who works in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, painting, and installation. Recently awarded a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, Matt’s work has been featured by Hyperallergic, Art New England, Vermont Public Radio, the Whitefish Review, Seven Days, and Vermont Art Guide. Take Magazine named him a 2017 Artist to Watch. Matt received a second Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, for his Mobile Museum Project, The Vermont International Museum of Contemporary Art + Design, which toured multiple locations in Vermont including the Kent Museum, an abandoned asbestos mine, Burlington City Arts, and the Fairbanks Museum. He also created an interactive museum inside of a 1940s refrigerator, which was shown at the Fleming Museum in 2019. In 2020, the Bennington Museum installed his work Ascension on the facade of the museum, and Seven Days Vermont named Matt’s solo show, at the Vermont Studio Center one of the best shows of 2021. Matt’s solo exhibition at AVA was held in July of 2022, titled, Fool’s Paradise: Eden in the Age of Chaos – A Tragedy. Reflections on the End of Time was a participatory adventure that invited the audience to play with his large-scale magnetic works.
Matt, a high school teacher at Creative Media Art & Design Instructor at Green Mtn. Tech in Hyde Park, Vermont, was named Vermont’s 2016 Lead PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator. This national honor is given to one educator from each state. He was named a Juried Teaching Artist by the Vermont Arts Council. He was also given a Distinguished Arts Education Leader Award by The Vermont Alliance for Arts Education (Affiliated with the Kennedy Center Alliance for Art Education). Matt studied painting at Evergreen State College, in Olympia, WA, and received his M.Ed. Arts in Education from St. Michael’s College, in Colchester, Vermont. Matt lives in Northern Vermont with his family.
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