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Grayson's Candy Glass has been named a Kentucky Foundation for Women “Firestarter” award winner for her visual and performance art work. (Submitted photo)

The Kentucky Foundation for Women announced Arielle “Red” Biddix and Candy Glass as the recipients of their annual 2019 Firestarter Award.

This award honors artists age 18 to 25 who are taking risks in the creation of new art, engaged in social justice and community engagement, and who demonstrate a developing feminist voice, including new insights and visions and/or fresh approaches to feminist topics or art for social change.

“These young feminist artists are confronting issues of mental health, gender equity and self-expression that are central to a healthy society,” said KFW Executive Director Sharon LaRue. “Each are forging new spaces for dialogue and engagement, thought-provoking performances and community participation. They are breaking new ground with the courage and initiative that marks a true Firestarter.”

Candy Glass, 21, of Grayson, was nominated for her feminist work in both visual arts, including painting and drawing, and performance art for her aerial acrobatics.

Candy graduated Ashland Community and Technical College in 2017 with an Associate of Arts degree and works with visual arts and performance and aerial arts to address topics including mental health, body positivity, LGBTQ+ equality, female empowerment, freedom of expression, desexualizing nudity, chronic illness, sexuality, self-growth, and individuality.

“Her art is created from a unique feminist voice,” the KFW announcement of her award read. “Both her two-dimensional art and her Cirque and Flow dance deal with feminism, equality, and the female form. Her drawings are thought provoking and insightful. Reoccurring themes in her artwork include mental illness, body positivity, desexualizing the naked female body, and female empowerment. She is also a member of the performance art troupe, the Cosmadolls, which is centered around female empowerment, self-love, and social change. The Cosmadolls perform to raise funds for domestic violence shelters and Trans Equality. Candy’s art has exposed subjects considered “taboo” to some audiences, yet she persists. She is not afraid to create art that is provocative, controversial, and feminist.”

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