Artist Faith Ringgold, poetry critic Helen Hennessy Vendler, and photographer Susan Unterberg will be honored this spring at the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ annual awards and swearing-in ceremony.
NEW YORK — Author and visual artist Faith Ringgold, poetry critic Helen Hennessy Vendler, and photographer Susan Unterberg will be honored this spring at the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ annual awards and induction ceremony.
The academy, an upper Manhattan-based honor society, announced the awards Thursday.
Ringgold, known for her narrative paintings, sculptures and intricate quilts and her themes of social justice, will receive a Gold Medal in Painting. Vendler, who has been cited for defending the works of Seamus Heaney, Jorie Graham and many others, will receive a Gold Medal for Fine Letters and Criticism. Unterberg will receive an award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in recognition of her founding of the organization Anonymous Was a Woman, which since 1996 has provided grants to artists who identify as women.
“In addition to their remarkable talents as creative artists, these three winners have dedicated part of their careers to promoting the work of other artists, whether through criticism and essays that taught the public to read and understand poetry, art and the activism that helped make space for black women artists, or groundbreaking awards that have recognized hundreds of women artists,” said academy president Kwame Anthony Appiah in a statement.
“This year’s winners reflect the inevitable dialectic between individual and community creativity in the life of the arts.”
The ceremony is scheduled for May 24 at the academy, which will also formally welcome its new members, including author Percival Everett, dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer, and playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith.