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The CUAC VISIONARY AWARD (CVA) is awarded annually by CUAC staff to a person in the community who demonstrates significant influence and vision in promoting the sustainability and growth of contemporary art in Utah.

Recipients are recognized and honored for the fervent and ambitious economic, social, and aesthetic contributions they make to mold the fabric of our community.  Through the visionary leadership and pioneer spirit of these people, significant change is realized in our state’s relationship to contemporary art.

The award recipient will be honored at the last exhibition opening of each calendar year.  The award recipient receives an original piece of artwork donated by a CUAC artist.

2016-John Bell

John Bell has contributed to the contemporary art community in Utah in many ways. As an artist, he has pioneered contemporary art in Utah by exhibiting extensively throughout Utah, nationally, and around the world. John has been an ambassador for contemporary art both locally and abroad. An accomplished artist on his own right, John’s leadership as a board member at both UMOCA and CUAC have provided support in numerous levels including vision, networking and marketing, and guidance to both institutions.

John was awarded an original work of art created by our very own Adam Bateman.

2015-Shawn Rossiter

Shawn Rossiter has dedicated the last fifteen years to building the contemporary art community in Utah. He has created websites dedicated to surveys of artists working in Utah, he created 15bytes, Utah’s only publication dedicated solely to writing about art. The impact of that publication, Shawn’s work as an artist, and as art expert and promoter has truly been a pioneering effort that has forever shaped Utah and has made significant impact in the growth and stability of our art community for more than a decade.

Jared Steffensen has generously donated a piece of original art to represent the award.

2014-Jeff Lambson

Jeff Lambson received the 2014 award for his visionary contributions to the Utah art community through his curatorial efforts at the BYU Museum of Art. He has been one of the champions of contemporary art over the last several years at MOA but also by partnering with other institutions around the state. Every time there is talk of the outside art world having a presence in Utah, it seems to come through Jeff. He is a true bridge builder. He builds bridges from Utah to outside and between people, institutions, and cultures within Utah.

Prior to coming to Utah to serve as the BYU Museum of Art’s first Curator of Contemporary Art, Jeff Lambson worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the nation’s museum of modern and contemporary art. Lambson has curated many successful exhibitions at BYU, including Mirror Mirror: Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive Self; We Could Be Heroes: the Mythology of Monsters and Heroes in Contemporary Art; The Matter of Words: Adam Bateman, Harrell Fletcher, and John Fraser; Work To Do; Think Flat: Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami, Gabriel Dawe: Plexus no. 29, and many others. Lambson is the recipient of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award for Service in the Arts and was named by Salt Lake Magazine as one of Utah’s most significant people of the past 20 years. His work has received national and international publicity in W magazine, Art Ltd, Sunset, Art 21 blog, and BBC’s The Culture Show. He works with his wife Ann Lambson at the MOA and they live in Provo, UT.

Thank you to Jared Lindsay Clark for donating the artwork that represented the award for Jeff Lambson.

2013-Diane Stewart

Diane Stewart, together with her husband Sam, are active philanthropists who are huge supporters of culture here in Utah.   Diane was selected to be the first recipient of CUAC’s Visionary Award because of her out-of-the-box thinking and daring support of a fledgling contemporary art community in Utah.  She is willing to take risks to make the art community grow.  Her risk taking is financial, but also personal, political and social–it ranges from financial support, to rallying her social circle, to sweeping floors and gallery sitting.  Her willingness to grow her support of contemporary art over the last several years (in addition to the generous support she gives to regional and traditional art forms in Utah) is a testament to her willingness to take risks to pioneer growth.  Her vision in supporting contemporary art is the reason for this award, however, CUAC would like to also commend her for her vision in supporting the LGBT community in Utah and her vision in political reform here.

Thank you to Joshua Winegar for donating a large photograph for 2013’s award.