Limited-Edition Book and Posters Showcase Winners of Architecture Contest
San Antonio, TX, 23 March 2017 – The San Antonio-based Western European Architecture Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the first-ever public release of a commemorative hardbound book and poster prints of original watercolors and sketches produced by recipients of the organization’s coveted Gabriel Prize. This marks the only time these works of art have been made available to the general public since the institution’s inception in 1991. The book and posters can be purchased at gabrielprize.org.
The Gabriel Prize, awarded annually by the nonprofit Western European Architecture Foundation, offers professional architects a chance to spend three months in France pursuing a program of their own devising. Candidates in the national competition undergo a two-phase selection process and interviews with a jury of experts in the field of architecture. Winners receive a $20,000 grant to study classical architecture and landscape in France, and are required to complete three large drawings by the end of their sabbatical.
The Gabriel program’s focus on France and on finished drawings reflects the vision of founder George Parker Jr., a Texas businessman with successful oil and gas ventures, who had a deep love for France and passion for classical architecture. The Foundation exists to encourage the practice of hand-drawing in architecture, which Parker feared was being lost to computer-aided design software used commonly in modern society.
“We decided to use our 25th anniversary as an opportunity to showcase the exquisite work our winners have produced, but also to spread George Parker’s message with a larger audience,” said Patrick Fleming, president of the Western European Architecture Foundation. “By making the book available for purchase by the general public, we hope to inspire working architects and students of architecture to recognize the importance of freehand sketching as part of the thought process of architectural design.”
Though Parker died in 1998, Fleming and his wife, Carol, who serves as vice president, continue working to ensure his vision is carried out.