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Visual Art Open 2023 Overall Winner! 
Congratulations to Isabel Couceiro


Artwork: Sonder

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 40 x 56 in

Description: This artwork deals with the realization that everyone's lives are as complicated as my own. As I sat on the Chicago Metra, the sun became a spotlight on the face of the woman sitting closest to me, and I was struck with a moment of sonder. She seemed like the main character in a movie, unaware that all attention was on her. I created this piece to explore this experience.


Visual Art Open 2023 Photography/Digital Art Winner! 
Congratulations to Cindy Konits


Artwork: Spotlight

Medium: Archival Pigment Print

Dimensions: 15 x 20 in

Description: Scanned instant print created with obsolete professional instant camera and expired Fuji FP-100C professional instant film from the series of self-portraits “This Room Will Survive Me”, about the significance of a room in my encounter with interior emotional and psychological space.


Visual Art Open 2023 Illustration & Drawing Winner! 
Congratulations to Laura Waldusky

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Artwork: Fault Line 7

Medium: Colour pencil on paper. Perspex box frame.

Dimensions: 47 x 33 x 4 in

Description: After the completion of the drawing process, wet folding techniques are applied to give dimension. This is to give the newly sculpted drawing anthropomorphic qualities like it can take flight or interact. This changes the energy from methodical and deliberate to spontaneous and destructive.


Visual Art Open 2023 Sculpture Winner! 

Congratulations to Claire Jackson


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Artwork: Dopamine symphony

Medium: Polycaprolactone plastic

Dimensions: H 39.5 x W 2 x D 23 cm

Description:  This piece features biomorphic simplifications of Neurons and working components inside our heads.

It depicts the symphony of moving parts at an organic and cellular level. The artist hopes to ask the viewer to contemplate consciousness and that we are the sum of our parts within the grey matter hidden within our skulls. It is a vastly complex and alive world, and gazing at these neuron sculptures is like our neurons gazing back at themselves as an accurate self- portrait.


Visual Art Open 2023 Painting & Mixed Media & Printmaking Winner!
Congratulations to Ben Summers

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Artwork: Shelter from the storm

Medium: Oil, oil pastel, chalk pastel on canvas

Dimensions: 122 x 152 cm

Description: "Shelter from the storm", is a reflection on growth, from isolation. The deconstructed figures, based on biological heat maps, move in procession through a landscape - which forms as they move through the space. My process uses a combination of alla prima (wet-on-wet) techniques and quick drying glazes, that hold the paint in thin layers. I use a mixture of tools including my hands, brushes, palette knives and whatever happens to hanging around the space to draw with.


Visual Art Open 2023 People's Choice Winner!
Congratulations to James Schaffer

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Artwork: I'm More Than

Medium: Watercolor and Colored Pencil

Dimensions: 34 x 44 in

Description: This piece focuses on the tension between internal feelings and external reality through depiction of my own body which allows the viewer a glimpse into the discomfort and pain involved in being transgender. This also serves to confront the viewer with an identity that is often disparaged and dismissed.


If you would like to purchase any artwork or get in touch with an artist, please contact VAO at, who will communicate with the artists on your behalf.

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