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Brent Plate writes: 'The American Academy of Religion has announced this year's recipient of the award in Religion and the Arts. The award is presented annually to an artist, performer, critic, curator, or scholar who has made a recent significant contribution to the understanding of the relations among the arts and religions, both for the academy and for a broader public. This year's winners are Betye and Alison Saar. In multiple media, prints, collage, assemblage, sculpture, and installation, Betye Saar (b. 1926) and Alison Saar (b. 1956) push the boundaries and categories of art and religion. With works in the collections of the finest arts institutions and museums, the two have been hailed as 'conjure women of the arts.' Each one practices a synthetic art, creating material shape for persistent spiritual and cultural questions of identity, ethnicity, race, religion, and gender. Betye Saar's Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972) has acquired virtual iconic status. The shrines and altars she creates explore mysticism and vodou as well as racial and sexual politics. Alison Saar's installations, objects, and sculptures pursue relations among spiritualities in African cultural diaspora. Each one of these women might be justifiably hailed as an insider artist for persuasively, creatively bringing personal encounters with visionary, vernacular, and 'outsider' arts of many cultures to public attention.'
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Title Annotation:Shortnotes; American Academy of Religion
Publication:Art and Christianity
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2008
Previous Article:Art encounters.
Next Article:Selected exhibitions.

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