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Baltimore Museum Announces Matthew Poterfield as Winner of $25,000 Sondheim Artscape Prize
Matthew Porterfield, Still from Days Are Golden Afterparty. Courtesy of the artist.

BALTIMORE, MD.- Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announces that Matthew Porterfield is the winner of the 2011 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented on July 9th's evening awards ceremony at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Works of art by the prizewinner and four other finalists are on view at the BMA through Sunday, August 7.

“What an incredible honor this is for artists living and working in Baltimore,” said Porterfield. “Grants like the Sondheim Artscape Prize and the Baker Artist Awards make living this a must.”

Porterfield studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently teaches screenwriting, film theory, and production at The Johns Hopkins University. His first feature, HAMILTON, which he wrote, directed and edited on 16mm film, was released in 2006. METAL GODS, his second feature script, won the Panasonic Digital Filmmaking Grand Prize at IFP’s 30th Annual Independent Film Week in 2008. His latest film, PUTTY HILL, premiered at the Berlinale’s International Forum of New Cinema in 2010 and was released by Cinema Guild in 2011. His films and videos have been screened in several venues and film festivals including AFI, The Wexner Center, Centre Pompidou, the Swedish Film Institute, the George Eastman House, Viennale, Edinburgh, and SXSW. Locally, Porterfield’s photographs have been shown at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore’s Current Gallery, and Gallery 229. He has been awarded a media grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and was a Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize finalist in 2010.

The Sondheim prize is part of Artscape, America’s largest free celebration of the arts, taking place July 15-17 along Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. It is designed to assist area visual artists in furthering their careers by allowing them to pursue tracks in their work that may not otherwise be possible. The winner was determined by an outside panel of three jurors: Polly Apfelbaum, a New York-based artist; Isolde Brielmaier, an independent curator and writer; Lucy Gallun, a curatorial assistant in the Photography department of The Museum of Modern Art; and Tina Kukielski, a member of the team curating the 56th Carnegie International, a leading global survey of contemporary art.

The finalists exhibition at The Baltimore Museum of Art includes works of art by all five finalists for this year’s prize— Stephanie Barber, Louie Palu, Mark Parascandola, Matthew Porterfield, and Rachel Rotenberg. The BMA’s exhibition is organized by Kristen Hileman, Curator of Contemporary Art. Another exhibition of semifinalists will take place at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Decker and Meyerhoff Galleries from July 15-17. The exhibition is presented by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with The Baltimore Museum of Art.

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