1 June 2012–VIP MFA, the first-ever online juried event conceived to support and champion emerging artists’ first steps into the art market, has today selected three entrants for special commendation and award.
VIP MFA, organized by VIP Art Fair, selected almost 40 international schools to enter their best graduates, giving arts professionals, collectors and cultural consumers around the world a global overview of cutting-edge contemporary practice.
Swiss graduate Susana Perrottet (ZHdK, Zurich) has been selected by a panel of six internationally recognised judges as winner of VIP MFA and will receive, with her institution, the first prize of $15,000. Runners up Chris Hood (San Francisco Art Institute, USA) and Emanuel Straessle (ZHdK, Zurich) will receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
Judge, Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns commented: “The three prizes winners couldn’t be more different: working with animation, painting and sculptural installation, they approach the possibilities of art from distinct perspectives. Respectively embracing biography, popular culture and social space, their work articulates and amplifies the breadth and diversity of the work submitted in 2012.”
380 artists from 58 schools across 25 countries including Glasgow School of Art (UK), Sir JJ School of Art (India), Escola de Belas Artes/UFRJ (Brazil) and School of Visual Arts/SVA (USA) entered the competition and were narrowed down to a shortlist of 100 artists showcased at VIP MFA. Out of the 100 selected artists, 54 were from USA, 7 from Australia, 5 from Brazil, 4 from the UK and others from India, China, Egypt and South Africa. The judges reviewed all their art works and selected their top three entrants.
Judges included Diana Al-Hadid (artist), Kate Fowle (ICI), RoseLee Goldberg (Performa) Matthew Higgs (White Columns), Joachim Pissarro (Hunter College), and O Zhang (artist).
Lisa Kennedy, CEO of VIP Art Fair says: “VIP MFA connects new artists to our growing base of collectors and contemporary dealers. Vetted by the judges and advocated by their professors – the students will influence the current state of fine art as ambassadors of a new generation – soon to be called upon by curators, critics, and scholars to share their insights.”
1st place: Susana Perrottet, born in Peru, educated in Switzerland (
2nd place: Chris Hood, USA (
3rd place: Emanuel Straessle, Switzerland (

VIP Art Fair, a portal to the world’s premiere contemporary art galleries, leverages Internet technology to create a live, online marketplace to view, learn about and purchase artworks by leading artists from around the world. More at
VIP MFA featured artists from 58 schools:
Academia San Carlos, UNAM
Alfred University-New York State College of Ceramics
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
Bard College, NY
California College of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts
Chelsea College of Art and Design
China Academy of Art
China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia University School of the Arts
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan
Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva
École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre
Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
Escola de Belas Artes/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro
Fine Art School in Athens
Glasgow School of Art
Goldsmiths, University of London
Helwan University, El Cairo
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Institut Kunst, Basel
Hunter College Ð CUNY, NY
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Kunsthochschule, Mainz
Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen
Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore
Maryland Institute College of Art
Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town
National Art School, Sydney
New York Academy of Art
Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Parsons, The New School for Design
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Pratt Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
Rochester Institute of Technology
Royal College of Art, London
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
School of Visual Arts
Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich
Simon Fraser University Contemporary Arts
Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai
SOMA Mexico
Sydney College of the Arts
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Towson University
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
University of British Columbia
University of California, Davis
University of California, San Diego
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Maryland
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Washington University in St. Louis, Sam Fox
Yale University School of Art
Judges’ biographies
Diana Al-Hadid
Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA in sculpture and BA in art history from Kent State University in 2003, an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2005 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. Her work is included in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; The Judith Rothschild Foundation, New York; and The Saatchi Collection, London
Kate Fowle
Kate Fowle is the Executive Director of Independent Curators International (ICI). From 2007-08 Fowle was the inaugural International Curator for the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China, and from 2002-07 she was the Chair of the MA Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, which she founded with Ralph Rugoff in 2002. From 1996-2002 she was co-director of smith + fowle, a curatorial partnership based in East London, and from 1994-96 she was Curator at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Joachim Pissarro
Joachim Pissarro is currently the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries, Hunter College, CUNY/City University of New York. He was a Curator at MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture. He is the curator—together with Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun—of the exhibition, Notations: The Cage Effect Today, organized to coincide with the centennial of John Cage’s birth.  (
Matthew Higgs
David Higgs is well-known for his long-term, passionate commitment to supporting artists throughout their careers, for his prolific curatorial and writing career, and for his insight which he shares through his research, exhibitions, writings, and pioneering work at White Columns. Born in the U.K., Higgs trained and worked as an artist before also becoming known for his independent publishing and curatorial projects that raised the profile of emerging artists through the 1990s. In 2001 he relocated to the U.S., to San Francisco, where he became curator of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts, and later the co-chair of the College’s MFA program. He now lives and works in New York where for the last six years he has been director of the non-profit art space, White Columns (
O Zhang
O Zhang is an artist working in photography and mix media. A graduate of Royal College of Art in London and Central Academy of Art in Beijing, she moved to New York in 2004, since then is living, working and traveling between New York and Beijing. O Zhang was the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Artist Fellowship (NY), Wilson Centre for Photography Fellowship and Fuji Film Awards (London), winner of RCA Photography Graduate Award
(London), and nominated/short listed for numerous awards including Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (Beijing), Beck’s Future Award (London), Creative Capital Awards and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Awards (New York). (
RoseLee Goldberg
RoseLee Goldberg, art historian, critic, curator and author whose book Performance Art from Futurism to the Present first published in 1979, pioneered the study of performance art. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art (London University), she was director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and curator at The Kitchen in New York. In 1990 she organized ‘Six Evenings of Performance’ as part of the acclaimed exhibition ‘High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Author of Performance: Live Art Since 1960 and Laurie Anderson), she is a frequent contributor to Artforum and other magazines. (

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