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Director Bio

Vanessa Solomon

Vanessa Solomon is an accomplished sculptor as well as a children’s art teacher. She is a native of Tzaneen, South Africa. She completed her Masters in Fine Art (Sculpture) in 1991, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

During the political uprisings and turmoil of the 1980s, throughout her studies Vanessa taught children art, working with organizations such as the Community Arts Project (CAP) in Woodstock, Cape Town, and the children’s organization Molo Songololo, a non-profit that strives to advance children’s rights. Through workshops with teachers and children Vanessa worked to bring the visual arts to townships where an arts education was denied to black South Africans. She also worked at the Ulwazi Center, as Art Coordinator/Teacher, in the Langa Township, in Cape Town, S.A. Through art education she taught youth-orientated sessions counteracting gang violence.

In 1991, Vanessa was the Curator of a South African Children’s Art Exhibition in, Greenwich, London, UK. The art reflected experiences of township violence. The Exhibition garnered international acclaim, traveling for several years to various European countries.

In 1991, Vanessa came to the US, where she was the first International Intern at Tallix Sculpture Foundry Beacon, NY. At Tallix - at the time one of the biggest foundries in the world - Vanessa perfected her sculpture making skills in enlarging, mold-making, wax-making, metal and plastic casting and, metal finishing and patina. She worked with top US and international artists such as Frank Stella and Frank Gaylord, developing new sculpture materials, making large-scale prototypes and public works.

From 1995-1996, Vanessa worked for Jeff Koons as Director of all mold production in his studio in SoHo New York City. She worked closely with Koons on production of his Celebration series of Sculptures exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in 2008 and at the Whitney Retrospective in 2014. Sculpture, molds and prototypes ranged from delicate balloons to the engineering and production of sculpture prototypes as large as 20 ft.

From 2004 to 2009, Vanessa and Kiril Kirov partnered to form Razortooth Design, based in Brooklyn. Some of their past clients include Sony Pictures, Sony Style, Miller Beer, African American Hall of Fame PA, Melvin Van Peebles, Isaac Julien, Tony Matelli, Charles McGill, StudioEIS, Peroni, Do Something, and Bovis Lend Lease.

In 2009, Vanessa ran the first Compleat Sculptors Children’s Summer arts program for two weeks. The following year she developed the program into a three week session and had many returning students. In 2011 the program moved to the prime location in the East Village and now runs annually for at least six weeks, during the summer at three different community venues.

Outside of the children’s summer program Vanessa's does work for commercial and private artists. In the fall of 2014 she launched which is a project of www.misterartsee.orgbringing more visual arts to NYC public schools.

Vanessa’s personal sculptures have been exhibited in the US and internationally, notably at the United Nations headquarters and in the permanent collection of the South African Embassy in London. Learn more @