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Martel Award 2021 | Tania Vega

Tania Vega has been selected as the recipient of the Marian and Speros Martel Award of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). The Martel Award is given annually to a graduating senior chosen by CAMH in consultation with the visual arts faculty at the senior’s high school. The selection criteria include: production of a significant and meritorious body of work during the senior year, plans to attend an accredited college, university, or art school, and exceptional promise in the visual arts and attendant professions. 

Vega’s work is based on an exploration of music and sound. Her profound interest in chromesthesia (the unique brain condition in which one can involuntarily experience color in relation to sound) has led the artist to investigate this connection. Playing the piano from a young age exposed Vega to the idea of how sound could manifest itself in our environment in ways that don’t necessarily exist as just an auditory experience, just like one can observe the mathematical patterns of a musical composition through the orientation of rows of petals in a flower. Vega experiments with how sound and vision work together, merging music and science through concepts such as Lissajous figures, Chladni figures, and the Circle of Fifths–all are tools the artist uses to convey the visual perception of music through geometry and form. Using these unconventional methods Vega creates multimedia works that combine abstraction and figuration with reference to the manipulation of light. She also implements her research of the mathematical correlation between audio frequency and color into her work. When creating a portrait, Vega incorporates elements of science and music to visualize the subject’s favorite song, the portrait can reveal their “true colors.” Similar to how certain notes in a song are harmonious and blend together, when these notes are transcribed into color Vega can see how visually harmonious they are, creating a color palette she has no control over. 

About Tania Vega

Tania Vega is a young artist currently living in Houston, Texas and graduating in June 2021 from the Kinder High School for Performing Arts. In the Fall of 2021 Vega will be attending University of Houston for architecture at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design. Throughout her high school career she has demonstrated an interest in the arts through volunteering, hosting art workshops, setting up exhibitions, sharing her art at events, creating virtual galleries for her school during the pandemic, and taking the opportunities to exhibit her work whenever possible. Vega has been involved in the following: Fringe Fest Club, Spanish National Honor Society, National Honor Society, Middle Eastern Club, Gallery Club, Artists Sharing Kindness, and Yearbook Committee. Her work has been shown at a variety of school-based exhibitions and also in her community including at the LyondellBasell Tower, The Jung Center, Texas Art Supply, and the Hattie Mae White Building. Vega is very involved in volunteer work and has been the recipient of many awards including Outstanding Excellence in Spanish for Native Speakers, WASH Merit Art Award, HSPVA Friends Merit Art Award, AP Scholar Award, Regional Scholastic Gold Key Art Award among others. Vega’s dual interest in music as well as visual art has bolstered her love for creating art as she experiments with different mediums and constantly collaborates with others to make her work.