Miami, FL (April 18, 2022)Juan Jose Cielo has been named the 2022 recipient of YoungArts’ Jorge M. Pérez Award. Cielo, a visual artist, was chosen for his thoughtful, multi-disciplinary artistic excellence and promise of future achievement. Cielo will receive an unrestricted prize of $25,000.

“We are deeply grateful to The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation for their unwavering commitment and support for artists like Juan Jose Cielo, who exemplifies unique creative vision,” said Lauren Snelling, YoungArts Artistic Director. “Excellence and experimentation are both central to YoungArts’ mission, and we look forward to being a resource for Juan Jose throughout his artistic journey.”

“At a time when creative expression is more important than ever, we are proud to support emerging artists like Juan Jose Cielo as he furthers his artistic vision and mission,” said Jorge M. Pérez, a globally recognized collector and philanthropist and one of the nation’s top real estate developers. “Helping transform communities into thriving, equitable arts ecosystems is core to our purpose. As such, we’re honored to continue supporting YoungArts in their mission of empowering artists across the nation no matter where they are in their career.”

Juan Jose Cielo, a 2015 YoungArts winner in Visual Arts, is a Colombian-American artist based in New York who works in the medium of painting, photography, and short films. In 2017, Cielo was selected as an artist-in-residence with scientists and researchers at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. MDRS is a full-scale analog facility simulating living on Mars that receives partial research funding from NASA. Cielo is a graduate of The Cooper Union in New York, with studies at the École nationale supérieure beaux-arts in Paris. His work has been exhibited at The Coral Springs Museum of Art, the Alliance Française Bogota, PennPlaza Pavilion, the Consulate of Colombia in New York, and the XVII Festival Internacional de la Imagen in Colombia. He is a recipient of the 2021 YoungArts Creative Microgrant. His work was recently published in National Geographic Traveler magazine June 2019 issue and has been featured on Univision 41 evening news.

A panel of judges – including Jorge Pérez and his art director Patricia Hanna – selected Cielo based on his portfolio of work, which demonstrates depth of thought and insight by cleverly depicting simulations in painting, photography and short films where futuristic technology is interwoven with the sublime. Through his work, he grapples with the reality of the Latinx experience in the US, explores what it means to have a dual-heritage and creates space where Latin American myth and folklore are part of his vision of a futuristic world.

I am profoundly grateful to Jorge M. Pérez and YoungArts for their faith in my work,” said Juan Jose Cielo. “I aspire to lead an artistic career that meets these great expectations. This award represents the ability to develop new series that encompass entire worlds I hope to create. With this award I aspire to engage deeply with new communities.”

Established in 2019, the Jorge M. Pérez Award, funded by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation, is an unrestricted granting program for emerging and mid-career artists who are YoungArts award winners. Past recipients include Malaika Temba, Chat Travieso, Kathia St. Hilaire, Mateo Nava and Ilana Harris-Babou.