Maria Cozma is awarded the Vanessa Preger-McGillivray-Prize of the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the City of Vienna

From now on, the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the City of Vienna will award the Vanessa Preger-McGillivray-Preis for a thesis project from the Institute of Fine Arts. The prize is named after the student who was murdered during the terror attack in Vienna’s first district on November 2, 2020. Vanessa Preger-McGillivray started her studies in fine art at the Angewandte in autumn 2020. The prize should remind us of its eponym, celebrate the potentials of studies in art, provide a positive impulse, and reflect the hopes and perspectives of students for a life with artistic fulfilment.


The first prize-winner Maria Cozma convinced the jury with her work titled It’s an early winter evening and even though it’s not particularly late, the time has lent the sky an almost prematurely darkened cast. “The thesis project by Maria Cozma has achieved a precise and poetic frugality, which is centred on absence, and thereby questions how we act and speak,” the diploma jury explains their decision. The jury was headed by Henning Bohl and included the teachers Judith Eisler, Gabriele Rothemann, Paul Petritsch, Hans Schabus, and Jan Svenungsson. The rectorate and the City of Vienna happily accept the suggestion of the jury and warmly congratulate Maria Cozma, the first Vanessa Preger-McGillivray-Preis winner.

“The prize is in memory of a passionate and engaged student and in commemoration of the terrors of this night and its impacts. It should benefit graduates, lend visibility to their talents and skills, and assure them of our appreciation,” states Gerald Bast, the rector of the Angewandte.
“This prize honours a student and an artist – a talent who was abruptly torn from her young and promising life. The prize is also symbolic of the perspectives and future opportunities that Vanessa Preger-McGillivray has been denied. I thank the University of Applied Arts Vienna for this truly respectful initiative,” emphasises Vienna’s City Councillor for Cultural Affairs Veronica Kaup-Hasler.
Endowed with 3000 EUR, the prize will be awarded at the end of each winter semester. Upon a proposal by the diploma jury of the Institute of Fine Arts, the rectorate of the Angewandte and a representative from the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna select a prize-winner on the basis of the submitted artistic thesis works. The awarding of the prize bestowed by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the City of Vienna is initially secured for a period of four years.
In the framework of the graduation ceremony, which will take place in March 2021 online and per video due to COVID-19 measures, the first Vanessa Preger-McGillivray-Preis will be presented to its winner.
VPMcG-Preis Diplomjury 2021, Maria Cozma © DieAngewandte Download
Maria Cozma, Itsanearlywinter 02 © Maria Cozma Download
Maria Cozma, Itsanearlywinter 01 © Maria Cozma Download