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U.Va. Art Museum Announces 21st Year of the 'Writers' Eye' Competition

Oct. 9, 2007 -- This year the University of Virginia Art Museum celebrates the 21st year of the "Writers’ Eye" competition. This year’s program opens Oct. 22. Entries are due in the museum by 5 p.m. on Dec. 21. The awards ceremony and reception will be held March 30, during the Festival of the Book.

Organized by the University of Virginia Art Museum, this year’s competition features works on view in the museum’s permanent collection galleries and in the special exhibitions "William Christenberry: Site/Possession" and "The Dresser Trunk Project." Selected works of Asian art on loan from the Sackler Foundation are also included.

Assisting the staff and docents in organizing the competition and tour program are U.Va. student interns Sarah Horton, Sara Garver and Aliya Ann Reich.

Students in grades 3 through 12, University students and adults are invited to submit original prose and poetry compositions inspired by a range of works, including ancient and Asian art, American paintings and contemporary art. Prose and poetry entries are judged in four age categories, grades 3 to 5, grades 6 to 8, grades 9 to 12 and University/adult.

Local writers and teachers serve as judges for grades 3 to 5 and 6 to 8. For the high school and University/adult categories, mystery writer Rita Mae Brown will judge prose entries and author Kendra Hamilton will judge poetry.

Hamilton is a writer by profession, the assistant editor of a national higher education magazine, and a poet by vocation. She’s been published in "Callaloo," "Southern Review," "Shenandoah," "River Styx" and anthologized in "Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam." Her collection, "The Goddess of Gumbo," was published in 2006 as part of the Word Press series.

Brown is the bestselling author of numerous books, including "Rubyfruit Jungle," "Six of One," "Southern Discomfort," "Sudden Death," "Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writer’s Manual," "Venus Envy," "Rita Will: Memoir of Literary Rabble-Rouser" and "Outfoxed." An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and poet, she lives in Virginia.

This year the museum is offering both docent-led interactive tours and self-guided tours of the works selected for the Writer’s Eye. Both must be scheduled in advance to best accommodate visitors. To schedule a tour and for more information, call (434) 243-2050 or e-mail museumeducation@virginia.edu.

On Oct. 22, application forms and regulations, as well as images of the works selected for this year’s competition, will be available at the museum’s front desk and on the museum’s Web site: www.virginia.edu/artmuseum. 

The University of Virginia Art Museum is open to the public without charge Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. The museum is located at 155 Rugby Road, a short distance from the Rotunda. Parking is available on Bayly Drive and in the Emmet Street parking garage. 

Call (434) 243-2050 to schedule a tour and for information, or e-mail museumeducation@virginia.edu.

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