WILL KASSO CONDRY

"Will Kasso Condry impresses in every way. For Condry, it is abundantly clear that the form and content of his work matters just as much as how, why, and for whom he makes that work. Premised on deeply held ethical beliefs, his visually stunning, highly chromatic, labor-intensive drawings and paintings take their inspiration from Afrofuturism, a philosophy that privileges Black agency, creativity, and excellence, forging a political and aesthetic language that serves as a corrective to past and present wrongs.

Portrait of Will Kasso Condry - The 2022 Vermont Prize Winner

Photo by Alexa Condry

In the works submitted for the Vermont Prize, Condry uses acrylic, ink, and marker to conjure up new, extraordinary forms of Black humanity. Adapting African traditions, his “more than humans” are almost always armored and ornamented and immersed in fantastical, otherworldly landscapes. Together they amaze and inspire. Condry’s larger practice is equally worthy of accolades, marrying as it does a commitment to pedagogy, collaboration, social justice, and community engagement. Condry is an exceptional artist doing exceptional work in and for Vermont." 

 

— Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ARTIST BIO

Will Kasso Condry is a renowned visual artist, graffiti scholar, and educator. He studied fine art and illustration at The College of New Jersey as a first-generation college student. He furthered his education in the art of aerosol painting with the mentorship of legendary graffiti artist Daniel "Pose 2" Hopkins and refined his artistry in large-scale mural production under the tutelage of Dave McShane at Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Will has taught courses on the origins and politics of Graffiti and Street Art and the elements of Hip-Hop culture at Middlebury College, and he has taught elementary school classes on the art of illustration, puppet making, and mural painting. For over 20 years, he has worked with young people through a variety of community organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and his former non-profit organization SAGE Coalition.

In 2015, he received the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Service to the Community. He has served as the Artist-in-Residence at several higher educational institutions, including Princeton University and Middlebury College. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Vermont Arts Council. Will is co-founder of Juniper Creative Arts, a Vermont-based Black and Dominican family collective with a mission-driven practice of creating art that celebrates the lives and stories of the African Diaspora. They facilitate creative place-making to foster community-building, sense of belonging, and healing.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work centers on unlimited imagination without borders. I speak through color and composition. Whether with the stroke of a brush or the spray of a can, I become one with whatever medium is at my fingertips. I am a storyteller in the great traditions of the griots of West Africa. I use my art to weave the rich and layered stories of the African diaspora as an Afro-futuristic artist and educator. Be it fantastical or rooted in our current reality, my work reflects the multitude of dimensions and experiences Black people navigate. My work is a journey towards freedom of boundless expression and a form of enlightenment through imagination. I want the observer to be transported within a universe filled with infinite possibilities; to understand that the Black imagination is our key to liberation, and that Black joy is the root that binds it all.

PORTFOLIO