Each year Tephra ICA identifies top visual arts leaders, artists, and practitioners to participate as jurors for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. The jurors will thoughtfully select fine art and fine craft artists to present their works at the Festival and will identify ten artists to receive Artist Awards to be announced at the Festival Party on Saturday, September 11. We are pleased to have Travis Childers, Alissa Maru, and Tiffany Williams join us as 2021 Festival Jurors.
Travis Childers is an artist and curator with over twenty years of museum experience working as a preparator in several of Washington DC’s premier art collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens; and the Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Childers is the founder and curator of Ruby Projects, an independent contemporary art gallery located in Fairfax, VA, that focuses on thoughtfully presenting works of local artists.
Throughout his career, Childers has shown both nationally and internationally, including at Ethan Cohen Gallery in New York, NY; Benrimon Gallery in New York, NY; and the Virginia Museum for Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, VA. His work is featured in many private collections, including some curated by the prestigious Sotheby’s International Artlink Young Artists Program.
Childers has won many grants and awards, including a notable fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, several from Arts Fairfax, and the Liquitex Excellence in Art grant. He has also been selected as a finalist for the Trawick Prize, a Contemporary Art Award in Bethesda, MD, and has been a semi-finalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.
Childers received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and a Master of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.
Alissa Maru is a seasoned art administrator and event producer currently serving as the Public Art Program Coordinator at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities where she oversees grant programs in Public Art.
With over a decade of experience in logistics management, artistic curation, and onsite execution for a wide range of public festivals in Washington, DC, Maru’s major projects include serving as Director of Operations for the Art All Night DC: Nuit Blanche, a one-night art pop-up festival, and Special Events Manager for both The National Cherry Blossom Festival and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District Festivals’ famed Parade and community stages.
Maru has also served as Director at the Dupont Underground, an abandoned streetcar station turned arts event space and gallery, where she grew the performance art programs and curated the digital projection exhibitions.
Maru received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Howard University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Arts degree in Marketing and Communications from the London Metropolitan University in London, England.
Tiffany Williams is a full-time assistant curator for Art in Embassies, an office of the U.S. Department of State based in Washington, DC, and has curated over a dozen exhibitions abroad, including one international collection.
Williams is a passionate advocate for the arts, believing that art acts as a tool for cultural diplomacy, dialogue, critical thinking, and self-expression. She has served as an adjunct professor of Visual Arts Management for George Mason University in Fairfax, VA; a Curatorial Fellow at Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY; and a Museum Ambassador at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, also in Corning, NY.
Williams received her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master of Art from the Smithsonian-George Mason partnership in the History of Decorative Arts.