NEW YORK, N.Y.- Creative Time
announced that Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk is the winner of the 2011 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, which is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation. The award will be presented at the third annual Creative Time Summit conference at NYU Skirball Center on September 23, 2011. Van Heeswijk, known for her intensive, long-term commitment to community organizing and social involvement as artistic practice, is the third artist to receive the Annenberg Prize, a $25,000 award given every year to an artist whose work has been devoted to instigating social awareness and harnessing the communicative power of art to engage communities around critical public issues.
Jeanne van Heeswijk's work is distinguished by her strong social engagement with citizens to enact social change in their own communities. Her practice integrates artists, designers, architects, software developers, governments, and community members in the planning and realization of cultural production, the creation of new public spaces, and the remodeling of existing ones.
"For my practice, becoming part of the community and being part of the whole process of change that a neighborhood is undergoing is key," said van Heeswijk. "And for this you need to create an understanding of public domain as a shared space, where everyones contribution makes a difference. I am very honored by this award for my work, which is the collaborative effort of many people who share the need to work towards a better world in which everyone has a stake."
Van Heeswijk (b. 1965, Schijndel, The Netherlands) regularly lectures on topics such as urban renewal, participation and cultural production. Her projects include: It Runs in the Neighborhood (2007-2008), a hospital soap opera series; The Blue House (2005-2009), a center for cultural production and radical exploration of urban planning issues; Dwaallicht (2005-2008), a narrative monument for a working-class neighborhood; Face Your World: Lab Slotervaart (2005), an interactive design lab for young people; and Valley Vibes (1998-present), an audio archive project that will be featured in Creative Time's upcoming exhibition Living as Form. Her work has been featured in internationally renowned biennials including Bushan, Taipei, Shanghai and Venice.
"At a time when the pressures of the art market continue to increase, it is so important to recognize artists whose commitment and practice extends beyond the art world by transforming communities in need, engaging broad publics, and inspiring a younger generation of artists," said Anne Pasternak, President & Artistic Director of Creative Time. "We are so grateful to the Annenberg Foundation, which in keeping with Mrs. Annenbergs generous spirit, passion for humanitarian effort, and devotion to the public good, allows us to provide otherwise unavailable support to artists who are enacting social change and preserving public space as a place for democratic dialogue and creative action."
The Annenberg Prize furthers Creative Times 37-year-long commitment to commissioning and presenting groundbreaking, historically important artwork and fostering a culture of experimentation and change. This year's recipient was chosen by a panel of three judges: curator Christine Tohme of the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, curator Hou Hanru of the San Francisco Art Institute, and Air America news commentator Laura Flanders. The award will be presented by Creative Time Board Member Elizabeth K. Kabler following a keynote address by artist and performer Laurie Anderson. Previous recipients of the award include the Yes Men (2009) for their ongoing efforts to raise awareness around critical social issues through their media-savvy interventions and Rick Lowe (2010) for his work on Project Row Houses in Houston, which has become a model for the integration of the arts into a neighborhood infrastructure. The award is presented annually at the Creative Time Summit, a conference that brings together cultural producersincluding artists, critics, writers, and curatorsto discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world.