Vanessa German is a Multi Disciplinary Artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, born in Wisconsin, raised in Los Angeles, California, and Loveland, Ohio. This photographer, Poet, Actress, Sculptor, Designer and Education believes in the seamlessness of creative process and purpose.
Vanessa received performance training at the Los Angeles Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, South West College, University of Cincinnati, and the Los Angeles Theater Academy.
Vanessa German’s performance credits include the Pittsburgh Premiere of Cassandra Medley’s “Relativity”, which she won an Onxy Award for best actress in a Play for 2007. In 2007 Vanessa also collaborated with a group of artist to create “Rise” a piece she directed and produced and starred in for the Pittsburgh International First Voice Festival; “Rise” was a dynamic fusion of hip hop, spoken word, traditional theater, music and film, it was received in resounding ovation. 2006’s “Fire”, which she also directed and produced and starred in for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Fourth River Projects. “Fire” was a critical success and performed to 4 sold out audience in the TRAF’s inaugural Fourth River Season. 2005’s “Loud” was also written, directed and performed by Vanessa German, the recipient of the Sprout Funds first Fringe Festival Award. Other performance credits include, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, performed at the International August Wilson Theater Festival at Penn State University. August Wilson’s “ The Piano Lesson”, with Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company, “The Vagina Monologues” with University of Pittsburgh, “ Mahaila Jackson, Standing on Holy Ground” and “The Billy Holiday Story”, both performed with Pittsburgh’s oldest Black Theater Company, Kuntu Repertory Theater, “ Harriet Tubman Loved Somebody”, with Penn Avenue Theater, “ Pure, Nine Stories of the Oklahoma city Bombing” at Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide when the Rainbow Was Enuf” Pittsburgh Black Repertory Theater, “Steal Away” with Kuntu Repertory Theater and the Black Arts Collaborative of Cincinnati. As a playwright Vanessa’s play Pieces won Best Play in the 2004 Black and White Theater festival.
Vanessa also toured with Los Angeles based Silyian Theater and Dance Company in the award winning multimedia performance of “Maii Lost”.
A nationally recognized performance poet, Vanessa ‘s spoken word poetry invokes the transcendent and indefatigable power of the human spirit. Recent performances include: 2007’s PopTech! The internationally recognized futurist and innovation conference in Camden, Maine. (www.poptech.org) Vanessa brought the audience to not one, but two standing ovations, the first of the 4 day conference.
“We, the World!” New York City. Vanessa has performed around the world and throughout America. Winner of the 2008 Hip Hop Award for best spoken word poet, Vanessa’s recent performances include, Roosevelt University, University of Pittsburgh, “Let Freedom Sing” Urban and Suburban Concerts for Martin Luther King Day, The League of Young Voters, Beautiful Noise (covered by the New York Times), Franklin Pierce University, Penn State University, Indiana State University, among some. Vanessa is the National Slam Bush Champion, the soundtrack which is available on Hard Knock Records, The National Ink Tank Slam Champion, and the winner of ALL the Berlin International Spoken word Slams. Vanessa is also the Fair Housing partnership Slam Champion. Vanessa is also the founding artist of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s, “She Said: words by women” poetry performance series, which has in the last 5 years brought, Nikki Giovanni, Erica Jong, and Sonia Sanchez to Pittsburgh to share their stirring words with us.
Vanessa is also an award winning mixed media sculptor and photographer. Her first solo exhibition, 2007’s “objectification” was a social and critical success. Recent exhibitions include “Gilt Trip” at Gallerie Chiz, “Celebration of Visual Tradition”, with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Up coming exhibitions include “Black Clay”, with the August Wilson Center, and a 2008, two person show with internationally recognized outsider artist Daniel Bellardini. Vanessa is winner of the 2007 Duquesne Light Leadership Award Winner for contributions to Arts and Culture. Her work is in public and private collections nation wide.