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The U.Va. Art Museum Announces 22nd Annual Writer's Eye Competition

October 10, 2008 — The University of Virginia Art Museum is holding its 22nd annual Writer's Eye program, a literary competition based on 20 artworks selected from the museum's permanent collection and visiting exhibitions.

The competition will be judged in four categories: grades three to five, six to eight, nine to 12 and adult. Entrants view the 20 Writer's Eye art selections then write an original story or poem inspired by one of the works.

Writer's Eye group tours at the museum begin Oct. 21, and contest entries must be submitted by Dec. 12. Self-guided tours also are available.

Included in the 2008 Writer's Eye selections is "Neuer" (New Man) by El Lissitzky, a Russian architect, painter, photographer and teacher (1890–1941). This work is part of a visiting exhibition of Lissitzky works organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. The curators are Elizabeth Turner, U.Va. vice provost for the arts and interim director of the U.Va. Art Museum, and Elsa Smithgall, associate curator of The Phillips Collection.

The exhibition is exceptional in its installation by contemporary artist Hideyo Okamura, who painted and constructed his designs on site in the museum's gallery. Okamura makes Lissitzky's colored shapes and linear vectors come to life, wrapping around corners, launching to the ceiling and moving from two to three dimensions. One of the 20 Writer's Eye selections is Okamura's installation itself. 

Two well-known writers from Albemarle County, Kristen Staby Rembold and Elizabeth Doyle Solomon, are the lead judges for the 2008 Writer's Eye competition.

Solomon is the prose judge. She recently was honored by both the Poetry Society of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Writers' Club, and is the author of "Seasons," a book of nature poems.

Rembold, the poetry judge, is the author of "Coming Into This World," a book of poems, and the novel "Felicity." Presently, she is involved in a project for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Visitors can take self-guided tours of the Writer's Eye selections during the museum's public hours — noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Docent-led group tours designed for school classes and other community groups are available by appointment Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as at selected times on weekends.

The U.Va. Art Museum is located at 155 Rugby Road on the U.Va. Grounds in Charlottesville. Parking is available nearby.

To schedule a group tour or receive further information on the Writer's Eye program, contact the U.Va. Art Museum Education Department at 434-243-2050 or by e-mail at museumeducation@virginia.edu. The 20 artwork selections and other information will be posted Oct. 21 on the museum's Web site.

— By Jane Ford

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