Shane Darwent (MFA ‘17) was recently named a winner of the 2017 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards. This year’s program attracted a large number of nominees from university sculpture programs in North America and abroad. From a pool of 354 nominees from 137 schools, the jury selected 15 award recipients and 16 honorable mentions. The awardees will participate in a group exhibition at Belger Crane Yards Studio in Kansas City.
Darwent, on his winning work, Taco bel Grotto (2017):
“My practice mines the suburban vernacular for significance. Using generic stucco, pea gravel, and vinyl siding, I study how we organize our surroundings into curated, hyperreal gardens. Playing between celebration and critique, I have grafted a sacred grotto onto a fast-food fa¸ade, hand-crafted a landscape from processed stone, and transformed vinyl siding into a monolith. As an artist, I am not bound by the same pursuit of efficiency that dictates mass-produced environments; instead, I can pursue new relationships, renegotiating what we accept in our surroundings.”