Helena Uambembe and Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino are among Winners of ars viva prize 2025

Since 1953 the ars viva prize of Visual Arts goes to young artists under 35 based in Germany, associated with a solo exhibition and art residency.

Helena Uambembe and Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino. Courtesy of ars viva prize.

Helena Uambembe and Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino. Courtesy of ars viva prize.

The 2025 ars viva prizewinners have been chosen: This year’s prize will be awarded to Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino (*1989), Vincent Scheers (*1990) and Helena Uambembe (*1994).

This year’s award is associated with exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bremen, Haus der Kunst in Munich, and an artist:s residency on Fogo Island, Canada. The jury selected the awardees from 36 proposed artists under the age of 35 who live and work in Germany. Annually since 1953 the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft awards young artists with the ars viva prize of Visual Arts.

This year’s jury included cooperation partners Dr. Eva Fischer-Hausdorf (Kunsthalle Bremen), Hanns Lennart Wiesner (Haus der Kunst, München) and Zita Cobb (Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island Arts), members of the Visual Arts Panel of the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft, chaired by Ulrich Sauerwein, as well as Rodger Masou (managing director) and Min-young Jeon (Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft) as the expert advisor.

About the winners

Helena Uambembe was born in 1994 in Pomfret, South Africa and now lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been shown in Africa, Switzerland, and Germany, including solo exhibitions at Jahmek Contemporary Art (Luanda, Angola), Jahmek Contemporary Art (Basel, Switzerland), The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA, Cape Town, South Africa) and FNB Art Joburg (Johannesburg, South Africa). Furthermore, she was part of group exhibitions in Galerie im Körnerpark (Berlin, Germany), INCCA (Johannesburg, South Africa) as well as La Biennale de Lubumbashi VII: Toxicity, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Goethe-Institut South Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Helena Uambembe was awarded with the DAAD Visual Arts Fellowship, Berlin, Germany (2023), the Baloise Art Prize, Basel, Switzerland (2022) and the David Koloane Award, Johannesburg, South Africa (2019).

Helena Uambembe, installation view ZOLLAMT MMK, Blooming in Stasis: 25.8230° S, 23.5312° E, 2023 (detail), © Helena Uambembe

Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino was born 1989 in Buritizeiro, Brazil. Through score, sculp-ture, text, photography, sound, and video, the artist addresses the remaining structures of the transatlantic colonial project, focusing on institutional critique, language, and ob-jecthood. Their work has been shown in Germany and internationally, including exhibi-tions at Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Denmark), Galerie Molitor (Germany), Kunsthal Nord (Denmark), Museu Nacional da República (Brazil), Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Ger-many), Curitiba Biennial (Brazil), and Oscar Niemeyer Museum (Brazil).

Celestino was awarded numerous grants, prizes, residencies, and fellowships, amongst them Pampulha Grant, Brazil (Belo Horizonte Municipal Foundation for Culture), Ducarto Prize, Italy; Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany (Ministry of Science and Culture of the Lower Saxony); La Becque, Switzerland (The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia); PACT Zollverein, Germany (JUNCTIONS); British Council, UK; and Pivô, Brazil. Their 2024 exhibitions include a solo show Kunstverein Kevin Space, Vienna, and group shows at São Paulo Museum of Art, Brazil.

Wisrah C. V. da R. Celestino, Privacy, 2023, a set of curtains loaned from the artist’s family members, photo: Galerie Molitor, Berlin

Vincent Scheers was born in 1990 in Duffel, Belgium and now lives and works in Munich. After studying Printmaking (BA) and Fine Arts (MFA) at the Royal Academy of Antwerp in Belgium he was a Sculpture Meisterschüler in the class of Alexandra Bircken at Akademie der Bildenden Künste München. His works have been shown in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the UK, in museums and galleries like Beacon (Munich), Tom Reichstein Contempo-rary (Hamburg), Circolo Lia Mostra d’Ert (Urtijëi, Italy), The Pool (Düsseldorf) as well as Kunstpavillon (München), Antwerp Tower (Antwerpen, Belgium), Jacques Gorus Founda-tion (Antwerpen, Belgium).

Scheers was awarded numerous grants, prizes, and residencies, among them Bayerische Atelierförderung (Kulturministerium Bayern), Stipendium Kulturelle Bildung (Kulturreferat München), Diplompreis der ADBK München 2023, Ventnor Botanic Garden, Künstlerresi-denz und Förderung (Ventnor, UK), Oskar-Karl-Forster-Stipendium and the Bayern Inno-vativ-Stipendium.



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