Competition: US & Canada
Pamela Council (b. 1986, Southampton, NY) uses sculpture, performance, video, and public art to craft playful works of veneration, care, and catharsis. These multisensory dedications to the unsung, including “Fountains for Black Joy,” process history with a campy Afro-Americana aesthetic. Dark humor, bright colors, nostalgic smells, and meticulous transformations of everyday materials are hallmarks of their conceptual practice. Composed of a 24-foot carapace of 400,000 acrylic fingernails shrouding a private wishing fountain, Council’s lauded monumental-scale debut “A Fountain For Survivors” was a commission for Times Square Arts. Council has created commissions with ForFreedoms, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Schomburg Center, and exhibited at the New Museum and Aldrich Art Museum. Council’s work is in the permanent collections of the New-York Historical Society, Parrish Art Museum, and RhizomeArtBase. Council has been awarded numerous residencies including Joan Mitchell Center, MacDowell, ISCP, Bemis, Mass MoCA, and Wassaic Project. Pamela Council is an alumnus of Columbia University (MFA, 2014), and Williams College (BA, 2007), where they were awarded a 2022 Bicentennial Medal. Council is a recipient of a 2017 Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2020 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2021 NYFA City Artist Corps Grant, Newark Creative Catalyst Grants, and a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.