Very Special Arts California

California Artists Win International Competition, Will “Transform” the Kennedy Center

Kurt Weston, Clovis Blackwell to exhibit at John F. Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.


Sacramento, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/30/2006 --In another flourish of ongoing progress, Alice Parente executive director of Very Special Arts California, is pleased to announce board member, artist Kurt Weston, Huntington Beach, and artist Clovis Blackwell, Thousand Oaks, as winners of the international contest “Transformations”. The jury, made of top tier art experts from around the nation, selected Weston and Blackwell from a pool of over 300 international artists. Winners will exhibit their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington D.C. from June 5-29th. As a further honor, Weston’s work was selected as the artwork for the exhibit’s publicity pieces. Weston, Blackwell and Parente will travel to Washington D.C. next week to attend a VIP reception and view the exhibition.

VSA arts national organization initiated its competition to communicate the influence of change, education, perception and disability. The competition helps VSA arts to “better communicate our story” said Parente “our artists communicate their passion, and in doing so they invite visitors to consider the transformations in their lives, and how art transforms”.

The distinguished jury panel included: Amy Horschak, educator in the Department of Education at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Stacey Schmidt, independent curator, most recently the associate curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Ramon Terleckyj, vice president for artistic planning at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Jeannine Chartier, executive director of VSA arts of Rhode Island and artist.

With over 15 years as a legally blind photographer Weston, who uses traditional photographic techniques to produce powerfully moving and thought provoking images, proved the ideal artist to promote the exhibit. “I am truly passionate about my art and advocacy”, enthuses Weston, “this exhibit will raise the profile of VSA arts and has the potential to change visitor’s pre-conceived notions of blindness. This is exactly what I am about”. Weston has achieved great results through his work, and his advocacy for the visually impaired community. In September 2005 he coordinated and curated Shared Visions at the southern California College of Optometry. His work has also been featured at the Berkley Art Museum and San Francisco City Hall.

For more information on the exhibit and national tour, visit or