VADS 2023 Jury

Jason Lazarus - headshot

Jason Lazarus

Jason Lazarus is an artist exploring vision and visibility.  His work includes a range of fluid methodologies: original, found and appropriated images, text-as-image, photo-derived sculptures made collaboratively with the public, pigment-inks-as-image, live archives, LED light images, and public submission repositories among others. This expanded photographic practice seeks new approaches of inquiry, embodiment, and bearing witness through both individual and collective research.  

Lazarus is also Co-director of Coco Hunday, an artist-run exhibition space in Tampa, FL anchored by solo exhibitions, artist-lectures, and new scholarship on emerging and mid-career artists; Director, PDF-OBJECTS, a nomadic sculpture library featuring over 100 international artists’ chosen readings sculpturally paired with everyday objects; Co-founder of #firstdayfirstimage, a national campaign that asks artist-educators to center voices long underrepresented in curricula starting with the first image shown to students on the first day of class; and Co-founder of Chicago Artist Writers, a platform that invites artists and art workers to write traditional and experimental criticism. Currently, Lazarus is an Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida. 

His work has been covered in outlets including Artforum, The New York Times, Frieze, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, and Vice Magazine, and written about by a range of artists and scholars including Martha Rosler, Hamza Walker, Abigail Solomon Godeau, Darby English, Christopher Knight, Carmen Winant, Seph Rodney, Ariana Reines, Lori Waxman, and Michelle Grabner among others.  

Selected exhibition venues include SF MOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, MASS MoCA, MCA Chicago, George Eastman Museum, Queens Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Renaissance Society, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Ryan Lee Gallery NYC, Exgirlfriend Gallery Berlin, Contemporary Jewish Museum SF, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Columbia University, Stadtgalerie Kiel 9,  Kunstlerhaus Behanien Berlin, Gallery 400, bitforms Gallery NYC, Blaffer Art Museum Houston, Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts Belgium, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.  

Public lectures include Yale University, International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; George Eastman Museum NY, the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California Berkeley, and Artists/Designs/Citizen (US Pavilion, 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale) among many others.  

Selected permanent collections include the Art Institute of Chicago, SFMOMA, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, High Museum of Art, The Ringling Museum of Art, and Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.

Listen to an interview with Jason Lazarus:

Taylor Jasper - headshot

Taylor Jasper

Taylor Jasper is the newly appointed Assistant Curator at the Walker Art Center. Jasper’s thoughtful and generous approach to supporting artists and their work is informed by an ethics of care, the cornerstone of her curatorial practice, which she developed as a result of collaborations with artists such as Auriea Harvey, Olalekan Jeyifous, Neka King, Xaviera Simmons, and Kandis Williams.   

Most recently, Jasper was a Curatorial Associate at the Momentary in Bentonville, AR. There, she worked closely with the Curators of Visual and Performing Arts to realize seven seasons of ambitious interdisciplinary programming, which included exhibitions, artist residencies, public art installations, and performances with artists like Doug Aitken, Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Sarah Cain, Rashawn Griffin, Eric N. Mack, James Harrison Monaco, Simphiwe Ndzube, Lucy Raven, Cauleen Smith, and Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin. Previously, Jasper was a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where she was an integral member of the curatorial and editorial teams for the touring exhibition and catalogue The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, organized by Valerie Cassel Oliver.  

Jasper was born and raised in Richmond, VA and received her BA in Africana Studies and Art History from The College of William & Mary in 2018. 

Whitney Manney - headshot

Whitney Manney

A Kansas City, MO native, Whitney Manney graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a BFA in Fibers. With a desire to create art in a wearable format, Manney creates garments and textile designs under her independent label WHITNEYMANNEY. Manney's work has been featured in major press outlets and numerous art/fashion blogs. She is featured in the PBS show Make48 & My World Too and has work featured in the new Peacock series Bel-Air.  Manney is a member of the 2021 American Craft Council Emerging Artists Cohort and recipient of the 2020 JOANN Minority Creative Grant along with numerous other grants. Her collections have been retailed at boutiques/stores, including Halls Kansas City, and showcased in more than a dozen runway and gallery shows. Creating a narrative between color and pattern is a signature of Manney's work, "My job isn't done until everybody in the world believes fashion is art".

Listen to an interview with Whitney Manney: