Ten artists to get average commission of $25,000

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(Host) Artists from around the country have been invited to depict the challenges that Vermont faces. And they could get an average of $25,000 to do so.

Philanthropist Lyman Orton and the Vermont Arts Council are collaborating on the project. Ten artists will be awarded commissions to create two-dimensional artworks. The art will portray the state’s economic, social and environmental challenges, which were identified by the Council on the Future of Vermont.

Orton is funding the $450,000 project with associates Craig Byrne and Janice Izzi.

As an art collector, Orton says he’s interested in art as a form of cultural expression. He says the idea of using art to symbolize the state’s future appealed to him because art can draw more people into the process. And Orton says he hopes to support Vermont’s creative economy:

(Orton) "We also hope to be able to build a market, an awareness, and an increasing interest in this kind of art in Vermont so that Vermonters will want to put a piece over the fireplace, so to speak, and collectors will want to own a piece of this work, and therefore to encourage artists monetarily through success to do more cultural commentary art about the state of affairs in Vermont."

(Host) Ten artists will receive commissions. One piece from each artist will be kept in Orton’s collection, and the rest will likely be auctioned. Proceeds will be given to the artists and be used to create a fund for future projects.

John Zwick of the Vermont Arts Council says the project has created a buzz among artists, both in the state and elsewhere.

(Zwick) "These are among the largest commissions ever offered by the Vermont Arts Council in Vermont to artists. And I think it was important because Lyman recognizes that the arts are an integral part of Vermonters’ lives, and are central to the issues that we are addressing, and he wanted to reaffirm that importance in a tangible kind of way."

(Host) Artists have until August 28th to apply for the "Art of Action" project.

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