By
Former Pittsburgher vanessa german has won a $250,000 award for her contribution to the visual arts. She is one of two artists selected nationally for the 2022 Heinz Awards.
german says she creates art not just to be admired, but also to effect change.

“I believe in the power of art. This is love for me,” she says. “Creativity saved my life, so, I know deeply, intimately, that creativity is a sure force of power, and everything that I make inhabits this power … I want people to feel the work, for the work to enter into their living places, for it to awaken their own spaces of power, creativity and hope.”
german is a self-described “citizen artist” who specializes in sculpture, painting, poetry, photography, and performance art. Until recently based in Homewood, german has been providing spaces for art and creative expression in her neighborhood for over 10 years. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports she has recently relocated to North Carolina.
german is self-taught and her work often confronts racism, violence, homophobia, and hate, with the goal of expressing hope for healing, according to a press release announcing the award. She often refers to her sculptures as “power figures” and builds them from everyday objects found around her, like mirrors, vintage figurines, toy weapons, African beads, or cowrie shells. Her work acknowledges the collective suffering of Black Americans while offering affirmation, protection, and optimism. A strong focus on the female form guides a lot of her art.
german’s work can be found on her Instagram account and is also displayed in museums across the United States, like Kasmin Gallery in New York City.
Established in 1993, the Heinz Award celebrates individuals making extraordinary achievements in the areas of art, the environment, and the economy — themes of deep importance to its namesake the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz.
“The Heinz Awards recognize the artists and creators who help us better understand the challenges of our culture,” said Teresa Heinz, chair of the Heinz Family Foundation. “Vanessa’s bold, thought-provoking sculptures, together with her community-based programs, clearly reflect that spirit, demonstrating not only a commitment to artistic excellence, but also to work that enfolds viewers into an experience that is both confronting and healing.”
Pittsburgh Police 1969 is a stark look at the city’s law enforcement past and legacy
Dance parties at The Warhol, Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive, and more (Sept. 22-24)
58th Carnegie International asks “Is it morning for you yet?”
Introducing Brian Broome captures Black Pittsburgh creatives thriving despite obstacles
By Amanda Waltz
Pittsburgh arts organizations take their programming outside this summer
By Amanda Waltz
Seven Days in Pittsburgh: April 1-7
By CP Staff
The Frick Pittsburgh partners with vanessa german for multi-year art project
By Amanda Waltz
Dance parties at The Warhol, Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive, and more (Sept. 22-24)
By Amanda Waltz
First-ever Pittsburgh Architecture Week to celebrate local design excellence
By Jordana Rosenfeld
Celebrate Native American culture at pow wow, featuring dance, music, and more
By Lucy Chen
Dogs allowed at The Waterfront Fall Fest and Great Pup-Kin Race
By Amanda Waltz
The Princess is Right brings drag game show antics to New Hazlett Theater
By Dani Janae
New Hazlett Theater’s 10th season to bring original plays, music, and more
By Dani Janae
Pittsburgh Police 1969 is a stark look at the city’s law enforcement past and legacy
By Jordana Rosenfeld
Dance parties at The Warhol, Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive, and more (Sept. 22-24)
By Amanda Waltz
58th Carnegie International asks “Is it morning for you yet?”
By Amanda Waltz
Song Spotlights: Local tunes to feed your ears
By Jordan Snowden

source

Shop Sephari

Leave a Reply