U.Va. Art Museum Announces 20th Annual Writer's Eye Competition

August 31, 2006

Aug. 31, 2006 -- This year the University of Virginia Art Museum celebrates the 20th year of the "Writers' Eye" competition. This year's program opens on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Entries are due in the museum by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.
Organized by the docents of the U.Va. Art Museum, this year's competition features works on view in the museum's permanent collection galleries and in the special exhibition "Complicit! Contemporary American Art and Mass Culture," organized by Johanna Drucker, Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the U.Va.  Docents Gay Frix and Ronny Waters are the co-chairs of this year's program; they are assisted by docents Leonarda Brunst, Audrey Gottlieb, Melinda Hope, Ellen MacColl, Betty Natoli, Mary Sihler and Lynn Siemon.

Students in grades 3-12, University students and adults are invited to submit original prose and poetry compositions inspired by a range of works in the museum, including Age of Jefferson paintings, Asian pieces and contemporary art in a range of media.  Prose and poetry entries are judged in four age categories, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, grades 9-12 and University/adult.
Local writers and teachers serve as judges for grades 3-5 and 6-8.  For the high school and University/adult categories, we welcome the writers Matthew F. Jones as our prose judge and Lisa Spaar as our poetry judge.

Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed novels "Deepwater," "The Elements of Hitting," "A Single Shot," "Blind Pursuit," "The Cooter Farm" and "Boot Tracks." His novel "Deepwater," named by critics as one of the best novels of 1999, has recently been made into a film starring Lucas Black, Peter Coyote and Leslie Ann Warren.  His screenplay adaptation of his novel, "A Single Shot," is currently in production.  Jones was born in Boston and raised in rural upstate New York. He lives with his family in Charlottesville.
Lisa Spaar, associate professor in English, is director of the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at U.Va.  Her books include "Blue Venus: Poems" (Persea Books, 2004); "Acquainted With the Night: Insomnia Poems" (Columbia University Press, 1999); and "Glass Town," poems (Red Hen Press, 1999). Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, Denver Quarterly, Shenandoah, Indiana Review, and elsewhere, and in the 2003 anthologies "The Poet's Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales" (Story Line Press), and "Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia" (University of Virginia Press).

This year the museum is offering both docent-led interactive tours and self-guided tours of the works selected for this year's Writer's Eye.  Both must be scheduled in advance to best accommodate visitors.
On Sept. 12 application forms and regulations, as well as images of the works selected for this year's competition, will become available at the museum's front desk and on the museum's Web site: www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.
For more information and to schedule a tour, please contact Ronny Waters in the Museum's Education Department at  434.243.2050 or by email at museumeducation@virginia.edu.

The University of Virginia Art Museum is open to the public without charge Tuesday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.  The museum is located at 155 Rugby Road, a short distance from the  Rotunda.  Museum parking is available across the street, in the A6 lot, adjacent to Madison Bowl, and on Bayly Drive, off Rugby Road.