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ArteEast-Sponsored Artist-in-Residence Özgür Demirci named Recipient of 2016 Odeabank O’Art Prize

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ArteEast is pleased to announce that our Summer 2016 sponsored Artist-in-Residence Özgür Demirci has been named as the winner of Odeabank’s O’art Art Prize for 2016. Odeabank, a subsidiary of Lebanon’s Bank Audi, established the prize as part of its mission to support the work of outstanding young artists.

Demirci was selected through a highly competitive process through several rounds of judging that began with 90 semi-finalists chosen from throughout Turkey. Applications were open to artists 35 years of age and under, working in any medium, whose piece had not yet been exhibited or published. Demirci’s winning artwork, a video installation entitled, “From the Silver Screen to the Soccer Field”, reveals the hidden life inside an old movie theater in Izmir that has been repurposed as an indoor soccer field.

Demirci participated in a Summer 2016 ArteEast-sponsored residency at Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn, NY, where he focused on research to further his design for a site-specific installation, “The Anthology of Promises.” During his residency, Demirci’s work caught the interest of a number of curators and other arts professionals, resulting so far in one major exhibition invitation. His residency also afforded him the opportunity to present his work to an audience of curious New Yorkers, where he spoke of his experience creating politically- and socially-engaged artwork in today’s Turkey.

“Özgür’s work courageously confronts issues of both geographic and existential displacement, and is a great illustration of how art can become a critical lens to spark discourse, and ultimately, social change,” remarks ArteEast Executive Director Jaime-Faye Bean. “We were so pleased to make Özgür’s residency possible, and his recognition by the Odeabank O’Art committee is further evidence that our programs are helping to support some of the MENA region’s most exciting emerging artists.”

More information on Özgür and his work can be found at www.ozgurdemirci.com.

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