Artists, we need your help imagining a more inclusive world.

Valor is an Atlanta-based venture capital firm that believes the next trillion-dollar market-cap companies will come from the diverse, inclusive and sustainable world we are building together. Our partners include foundations, organizations, wealthy families and individuals who are investing in this future.  Each holiday season, we celebrate our work together with a gift of art that inspires. That is how the annual Art of Inclusion Art Commission was born.


Applications are open the entire year.

The cut-off to apply for Artist of the Year 2024 is September 30, 2024.

The individual who earns the commission will be notified in early October. Through October, the final piece will be completed if it is not already finalized by the time of notification.

Generally, the piece is reproduced in the first 3 weeks of November.

The art gifts are mailed the first week of December so Valor partners receive them in time for the holiday season and New Year.

Previous Valor Artists


Austin Blue

Austin is a native of San Francisco who is now based in Atlanta.

His work has been featured in places like Super Bowl Live, City of Atlanta, Atlanta Zoo and Lyft, among others.

Through his art Austin delves into the concepts of contrast and harmony, utilizing shapes, colors, and space to convey these ideas. His preferred style involves painting compositions of geometric shapes, often featuring subjects such as animals or human, frequently alternating between representational and abstract approaches, seeking to explore diverse artistic expressions.

“While I am self-taught, I prioritize continuous learning and growth in my craft. I strive to constantly expand my knowledge and skills, ensuring that I never let much time pass without acquiring something new related to my artistic practice. As a result, each artwork I create holds personal significance as a milestone in my artistic journey. I am driven by a perpetual desire to learn, improve, inspire, and push the boundaries of my creativity. Ultimately, my goal is to captivate viewers with my work, sparking their curiosity, offering fresh perspectives, and igniting their own creative endeavors.”


Alisa Barry

My work is a study, practice and exploration of the relationship between the sacred and the mundane. I am interested in rethinking repetition and how discipline as devotion can transform everyday ordinary activities into meaningful ritual. I inves- tigate these themes through a movement meditation practice using Japanese ink on paper. The practice is a meditation in motion, a prayer on the page. A portfolio of work is shown at the Bella Cucina storeXstudio in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia and in select exhibition shows.
Ensō is a prevelant symbol in the Japanese arts culture, known as Michi or Japanese arts and ways, which is universally known as the circle of infinity & enlightenment . It is a traditionally Zen practice studied repetitively for years, perfecting the calm and grace to realize the full potential and spiritual expression of ki or chi, energy. The brushstroke is one of deliberate and focused attention; a reflection of the artist’s state of consciousness on the page.


Ashley Daramola

Ashley is a fine artist from Atlanta who started doing commercial murals about 5 years ago when she left her prior career in mental health.

“The legacies of ancient civilizations have been portrayed through their motifs and art that we now use to define who they may have been. Today, we easily recognize the people represented in tribal motifs from around the world. The artistic direction of this piece was inspired by my personal understanding of inclusion as a black minority female founder in Atlanta, visually conveying the lens of my own experiences. In using freehanded patterns, designs, and vibrant colors in a repetitive way, I am inspired by what I see in my own culture. As one of hundreds of minority founders with promising startups in Atlanta, I’ve cultivated how I express the world as I see it and take this opportunity to establish a legacy within my own community. “


Brandon Sadler

Brandon aka Rising Red Lotus is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A in illustration.

He is renowned for his public murals and his solo and group exhibitions have brought him accolades as one of Atlanta’s most prolific artists. His work has been collected by individuals as well as the High Museum of Art. In addition to contributing to the fine art world, he has also worked with several major brands to successfully bring his unique vision into the commercial space. Brandon’s work on the set of MARVEL Studio’s Black Panther hasbrought great attention to his creative versatility in recent years. Recognized for his work on the film and career to date, he was awarded SCAD’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.


Nicole Kutz

Nicole Kutz is an artist and curator based in Nashville, TN. She received her MFA in 2017 from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a concentration in painting.

Her work meditates on life’s transience by using handmade pigments and dyes to create ethereal abstract worlds. She frequently draws inspiration from Wabi-sabi, as well as the Japanese artforms of shibori and kintsugi, and ultimately finds beauty in the work’s imperfections. Her pieces have been shown in galleries, corporate institutions and private collections throughout the world including: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London. Https://

Applying for the Valor Annual Art of Inclusion Commission

The individual selected will receive:

  1. $5,000.
  2. Their art, bio and contact information will be reproduced and shared with Valor’s partners as a holiday gift. The Title will be memorialized on a web page with the art, creating a series of art focused on inclusion over time. The work will be celebrated in social posts and announcements.
  3. The artist will be interviewed on the art and its inspiration on the Atlanta Startup Podcast, reaching thousands of innovators.
  4. The artist will be invited to Valor’s signature in-person events in the following year.

Applications for 2024 are OPEN!


  1. An original idea
    Original Art that helps people experience a new level of understanding of and appreciation for the transformative power of inclusion, and that respects the last year’s mood in Georgia. For example, for 2020, our art was themed around healing. In 2023, we sense themes of uncertainty vying with themes of opportunity from the economy, AI, and an election year on the horizon. We’re looking for an artist that can work with the now, and create something timeless.
  2. The artist
    Working artists who embody inclusion in their art, background and life experiences. Full time artists, emerging artists and student artists are especially encouraged to apply.
  3. Geography.
    This commission is limited to artists who live in Georgia. You are not visiting–Georgia is your residence.
  4. Media. 
    This award is media agnostic. However, because the artwork will be reproduced as a limited  signed and numbered series, we do need it to be reproducible for no more than $50 per copy.
    Surprise us! Watercolor, silk painting, laser cutting, 3D printing, lost wax, wearable art–if it’s a visual media or wearable and we can give it to our partners, it’s a great media for this commission. We will reproduce ~70 limited, numbered editions of the original work that we will ask the artist to autograph.