School of Art, Media, and Technology

Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards 2015 – Call for Submissions

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In celebration of the opening of The New School’s new University Center, we are soliciting essays in response to artist Glenn Ligon’s new, site-specific commission in the Event Café at the University Center. The first large-scale permanent installation in New York City by the artist, For Comrades and Lovers was unveiled in April 2015.

Glenn Ligon is a conceptual artist known for his text-based, multimedia work. For Comrades and Lovers reflects the artist’s investigation of the writings of one of New York City’s most iconic and influential poets, Walt Whitman. Streams of neon text chosen from Leaves of Grass travel around the perimeter walls of the University Center’s first-floor Event Café. Ligon re-frames Whitman’s meditations of the city, the body, temporality, and the nature of the creative endeavor. In his continued explorations on the mutability of language, text, and representation, Ligon’s treatment of a canonical literary work invites the viewer to engage in a critical cultural dialogue.

Critical or creative essays, prose, poetic, or visual entries may be submitted, including non-text based media such as film, photography, visuals, music and sound, architecture, or the Web.

Be critical as well as imaginative. Begin, for instance, with a close examination of the details that might have influenced the creation of the work and inform its interpretation. When you construct your response, choose a medium and style that communicate your ideas about the artwork’s themes, presentation, and context. Deadline for essay submission is June 1, 2015.


Two first-place winners will receive $400 each, and two second-place winners will receive $200 each. Winning entries will be presented at the official presentation of For Comrades and Lovers in the fall, and will be published online and in the subsequent call for entries for the next award cycle.

The Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards are bestowed annually to students at The New School for the best essays inspired by works in the university’s art collection. The awards were established in 1996 by the late Vera List, a life trustee of The New School, and are directed by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The competition is open to students across academic disciplines and in all New School divisions, and encourages submissions in a variety of media.

For additional information please visit: and select Writing Awards.


• Any student currently enrolled at The New School is eligible.

• Text entries should not exceed 2,500 words.

• Time-based or audio submissions should be approximately three to five minutes in length. For two-dimensional and three-dimensional submissions, restrictions are flexible. Please e-mail and inquire about details.

• Submissions must be submitted via the Vera List Center email:

• All submissions must list student’s name, mailing and email addresses, phone number, university program in which he/she is enrolled, and the New School student ID number.

Entries must be received by June 1, 2015.

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