thINKingDANCE Partners with Artblog on the 2017 New Art Writing Challenge
by Carolyn Merritt
thINKingDANCE recently partnered with local online publications Artblog, Curate This, Velvet Glove, and Title to judge submissions to Artblog’s 2017 New Art Writing Challenge (NAWC). Co-founded by Artblog and The St. Claire and now in its third year, the Challenge is a free, region-wide, annual art-writing contest. Designed to celebrate the city’s vibrant arts and art writing scenes, encourage more contributions to the form, and push art writing into new territories and modes of expression, NAWC attracts submissions from writers of all ages and walks of life.
Writers Lynn Matluck Brooks, Ellen Chenoweth, Jenna Horton, and Carolyn Merritt served as jurors for thINKingDANCE this year. Reading this year’s entries offered a snapshot of the breadth of experiences and phenomena that can be encapsulated under the framework of “art.” From a classical concert to a pile of rocks to photographic slides to art exhibits to the heart to a renowned and forgotten architect’s house and much more, the wide range of subject matter was matched by a diversity of forms: poetic, experimental, quasi-ethnographic, academic, first-person essay, epistolary, and more.
thINKingDANCE is thrilled to announce our first-prize winner, Nicole Sonsini, and to enjoy first publication rights for her piece, “To Signposts and Light Poles.” As I read Sonsini’s piece, I felt as if I already knew the artists she honors in her piece, and I immediately began googling because I needed to know more. Thank you, Nicole, for bringing the urgency of art-making to life with language that dances right off the page, dreamily injecting our brains with the divinatory, truth-telling force of the artist.
And it is with great pleasure that we extend congratulations to Nishat Hossain, whose piece, “Toying with Rocks: Jottings on the Ardmore Cairn,” receives our honorable mention. In her ruminations on a pile of rocks, Hossain probes larger questions surrounding culture, public space, and the meanings of art and non-art, reminding us of the art of everyday life, the moving nature of evanescence and impermanence.
By Carolyn Merritt
November 21, 2017