Dollar General, Olney, Illinois, 2017
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASOB) are happy to announce the recipient of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize, Nate Larson. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, Nate will use the $6,000 award to work on his project “Centroid Towns,” a long-term photographic project documenting towns that have been the mean center (meaning the geographical point that describes a centerpoint of a region’s population) of the United States. This travel grant will facilitate travel to two towns in Indiana to continue his work focusing on issues of immigration, incarceration and their relationship to national identity.
Currently based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Nate Larson is a contemporary artist working with photographic media, artist books and digital video. Most of his current artwork, research, and collaborations explore the linkage between human experience and the site on which it happened through technological, cultural, and historical threads.
His projects have been widely exhibited across the United States and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Guardian, The Picture Show from NPR, Slate, CNN, Hyperallergic, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed News, Vice Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, Hotshoe Magazine, Flavorwire, the BBC News Viewfinder, Frieze Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, APM’s Marketplace Tech Report, The Washington Post, and Art Papers. His artwork is included in the collections of High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.
photo courtesy Sean Scheidt
“I am very grateful for the Artist Travel Prize and thank the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Municipal Art Society for their support,” said Larson. “It will empower me to work on “Centroid Towns,” a long-term social documentary project studying the cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The travel prize will fund fieldwork in two small towns in Indiana to examine the ways in which they have been affected by immigration and incarceration. The larger project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America.”
The Municipal Art Society of Baltimore was founded in 1899 as part of the City Beautiful movement. It is one of only two remaining societies to be operating under its original charter “to provide sculptural and pictorial decoration and ornaments for the public buildings, streets and open spaces in the City of Baltimore, and to help generally beautify the City.” Artistic contributions to the City span more than one hundred years. In 2016 the MASOB embarked on a path to provide new opportunities to Baltimore artists and art places within the City, including this Artist Travel Prize and an annual Public Art Prize.