The New York Community Trust Gives Levinson Arts Achievement Award to Rachel Rossin

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The New York Community Trust Gives Levinson Arts Achievement Award to Rachel Rossin

The New York Community Trust awards $50,000 to artist who uses paint and virtual reality.

NEW YORK – An independent committee selected by The New York Community Trust has awarded Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Rossin, 33, a $50,000 grant made possible by Robert A. Levinson and Patricia S. Levinson. 

“On behalf of the advisory committee, it is a great privilege to identify Rachel as the recipient of this year's Robert A. and Patricia S. Levinson Arts Achievement Award,” said Bree Jeppson, chair of the committee. “Her work is at the forefront of the virtual reality medium and she is incredibly talented. Rachel is clearly deserving of our support and encouragement. We hope the financial commitment to her practice will provide opportunities for her creative endeavors and professional development.”

Originally from West Palm Beach, Fla., Rachel Rossin lives and works in Brooklyn. A self-taught coder, Rossin is both a painter and a multi-media artist who creates virtual reality artworks that viewers can seemingly walk through by putting on Oculus Rift goggles. She has also bridged the two media by painting on clear plexiglass panels that she bends to add three-dimensionality. She's shown in solo exhibitions in New York, and in museums in Basel, Riga, Istanbul and Helsinki.

Rossin was chosen by an advisory group that solicited candidates from 30 experts in the field of contemporary visual art who followed the Levinson Award’s guidelines to choose a “promising, young, talented” artist. The advisory group eventually chose Rossin as the recipient from among 35 nominees.

“I find it remarkably difficult to stitch together words that come close to describing the gratitude and humility I feel,” said Rossin. “I am beyond honored. This is reality- and work-affirming in the deepest way imaginable. Thank you.”

Robert Levinson, the award’s funder, served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Museum from 1968 to 1994, and as Chairman from 1972 to 1984. He also served on the board of the National Academy of Design, the National Dance Institute, the Hood Museum of Art, and the Harlem School of the Arts.

“My late wife, Pat, and I have been keen supporters of the arts,” said Levinson. “We’ve been particularly interested in helping young, promising artists, whether visual or performing. With this award, I hope to assist artists to move from relative obscurity to a brighter platform from which they can improve their chances of self-supporting success.”

The Award, administered by The New York Community Trust, is one of five awards funded by the Levinsons. The others support outstanding achievement in international understanding, health policy, children with disabilities and health careers for minorities.

About The New York Community Trust

Through the generosity of New Yorkers who have set up charitable funds with us, we are able to make grants for a huge range of charitable activity so important to the well-being of our city. We are New York City’s community foundation, and one of the largest funders of City nonprofits. Since 1924, The Trust has helped make donors’ charitable dreams come true by funding the nonprofits that make our city a vital and secure place. See



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