The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces that applications for the 16th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize are now open. The prestigious competition awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Greater Baltimore region. Approximately six finalists will be selected for final review for the prize. This year, the finalists’ work is scheduled to be exhibited at the Walters Art Museum.
The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 11, 2021.
The finalists’ exhibition is scheduled to be on view Thursday, May 27 through Sunday, July 18, 2021 at the Walters Art Museum, located at 600 N. Charles St. Admission to the exhibition is free. In the case of continuing COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition will occur on the online platform Kunstmatrix, with curatorial support from the Walters Arts Museum.
Additionally, works by the remaining semifinalists will be selected by BOPA curator Lou Joseph for a separate exhibition during the summer of 2021. The 2021 jurors are Naz Cuguoğlu, Michelle Grabner, and Meleko Mokgosi.
Past distinguished recipients of the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize are Laure Drogoul (Baltimore, MD) in 2006; Tony Shore (Baltimore, MD) in 2007; Geoff Grace (Baltimore, MD) in 2008; Baltimore Development Cooperative (Baltimore, MD) in 2009; Ryan Hackett (Kennsington, MD) in 2010; Matthew Porterfield (Baltimore, MD) in 2011; Renee Stout (Washington, DC) in 2012; Gabriela Bulisova (Washington, DC ) in 2013; Neil Feather (Baltimore, MD) in 2014; Wickerham & Lomax (Baltimore, MD) in 2015; FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (Baltimore, MD) in 2016; Cindy Cheng (Baltimore, MD) in 2017; Erick Antonio Benitez (Baltimore, MD) in 2018; Akea Brionne Brown (Baltimore, MD) in 2019; and LaToya M. Hobbs (Baltimore, MD) in 2020.
In 2020, in response to COVID-19 restrictions, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize competition occurred fully online with a virtual exhibition and an online award ceremony, during which LaToya M. Hobbs was announced as the winner. The ceremony is available to watch on BOPA’s YouTube.
Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Estimated Timeline
Application Deadline: Monday, January 11, 2021
Announcement of Semifinalists: Mid-February 2021
Announcement of Finalists: Mid-March 2021
Finalist Studio Visits with Exhibition Curators: Late March 2021
Finalist Exhibition Press Preview: Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 10 AM
Finalist Exhibition: Thursday, May 27 – Sunday, July 18, 2021
Finalist Interview: Saturday, July 10, 2021
Award Announcement: Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 7pm; Galleries open at 6pm
2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Jurors
Naz Cuguoğlu is a curator and art writer, based in San Francisco Bay Area and Istanbul. She is the co-founder of “Collective Çukurcuma,” experimenting with collaborative thinking processes through its reading group meetings and international collaborative exhibitions. She held fellowship positions at the KADIST and the Wattis Institute; researcher positions at de Young Museum and SFMOMA Public Knowledge; and worked as a projects and exhibitions manager at Zilberman Gallery, Maumau Art Residency, and Mixer. Since 2017, she has been working as an artist advisor for Joan Mitchell Foundation. She received her BA in Psychology and MA in Social Psychology from Koç University, and another MA from California College of the Arts’ Curatorial Practice program. She has curated exhibitions internationally, at institutions such as The Wattis Institute (San Francisco), 15th Istanbul Biennial Public Program, Framer Framed (Amsterdam), Kunstraum Leipzig, Red Bull Art Around Istanbul, among many others.
Michelle Grabner (born 1962 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin) is an artist, writer, and curator based in Wisconsin. She is the Crown Family Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she has taught since 1996. She has curated several important exhibitions, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art along with Anthony Elms and Stuart Comer, and FRONT International, a triennial exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio in 2018. In 2014, Grabner was named one of the 100 most powerful women in art and in 2019, she was named a 2019 National Academy of Design’s Academician, a lifetime honor.
Meleko Mokgosi (born in Francistown, Botswana; lives and works in New York, NY) is an artist, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art, and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program. He received his BA from Williams College in 2007 and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study program from 2007-2008. Mokgosi received his MFA from the Interdisciplinary Studio Program at the University of California Los Angeles in 2011. He participated in the Rauschenberg Residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Captiva, FL in 2015 and the Artist in Residence Program at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY in 2012. By working across history, painting, cinematic tropes, psychoanalysis, and post-colonial theory, Mokgosi creates large-scale project-based installations that interrogate narrative tropes and the fundamental models for the inscription and transmission of history. In 2018 he co-founded the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program in New York City.
Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize
The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who were instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today. Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years. His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City. Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor. He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.
Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children. After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School. She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.
The 16th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with the Walters Art Museum. The 2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous annual support of presenting sponsor M&T Bank. Additional funds come from an endowment established with the support of the Abell Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation, Amy and Chuck Newhall, Brown Advisory, Caplan Family Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Greater Baltimore Committee, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Rosemore, Inc., Rouse Company Foundation, Sigmund & Barbara Shapiro Philanthropic Fund, John Sondheim, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and Patricia and Mark Joseph/The Shelter Foundation. BOPA would additionally like to thank the more than 40 individuals who contributed to the Sondheim Prize Endowment Fund in 2017 in honor of former BOPA CEO Bill Gilmore.