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Tyler School of Art, Temple University Announces Finalists in Inaugural Jack Wolgin International Competition

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Tyler School of Art at Temple University has announced the three finalists in the inaugural Jack Wolgin International Competition in the Fine Arts, which will award its recipient a prize of $150,000, the world's largest given to a visual artist in a juried competition. The finalists, chosen from a panel of nominees by three distinguished jurors, are Sanford Biggers, Michael Rakowitz, and Ryan Trecartin, all of whom will present works in an exhibition to be featured at Temple Gallery from October 1 through October 31, 2009. The three jurors were Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society, New York, Paolo Colombo, Art Advisor to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and Managing Director of Dorje Film, Rome, and Ingrid Schaffner, Senior Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The recipient of the inaugural Jack Wolgin Fine Arts Prize will be announced at a reception at Temple Gallery in Tyler School's new 234,000-square-foot facility on Thursday, October 22, 2009.

Prior to the prize reception, the three finalists will take part in a two-day artist-in-residence program, interacting with the students across disciplines at Temple University, and on October 23, a day after the prize reception, the recipient will present a lecture open to the student body and the public.

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970, Los Angeles) is a native of Los Angeles, California, and current New York resident, who uses the study of ethnological objects, popular icons, and the Dadaist tradition to explore cultural and creative syncretism, art history, and politics. An accomplished musician, Biggers often incorporates performative elements into his sculptures and installations. Based in Chicago and New York, Michael Rakowitz's (b. 1973, New York) art practice is characterized by its exploration of and symbolic interventions with problematic urban situations, as well as endeavors to make visible other urgent moments of silence, invisibility, and marginality. Ryan Trecartin (b. 1981, Webster, TX) lives and works in Philadelphia, PA, where he structures his art practice in varying collaborative ways. Trecartin has established a singular video practice that, in both form and in function, advances understandings of post-millennial technology, narrative and identity, and also propels these matters as expressive mediums.

The Inaugural Competition
Created earlier this year by the real estate developer, banker and philanthropist Jack Wolgin of Philadelphia, the Jack Wolgin International Competition in the Fine Arts was established at the Tyler School to recognize an emerging artist with a significant studio practice who critically and creatively engages with existing histories and images, and whose work transcends traditional boundaries. Inspired by the diversity of Temple University and its unique connection to the thriving art communities of Philadelphia, Mr. Wolgin chose the Tyler School to host and administer the competition.

Considered for the Jack Wolgin Competition were artists from around the world, working in painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, ceramics, metals, glass, and fibers, all forms of media that correlate to the diverse curriculum available at the Tyler School. Nominees were selected by a group of nine prominent international art world figures from museums and educational organizations, representing the range of media eligible for consideration. The 14 nominees were then invited to submit an application, which was reviewed by the three-person jury.

Jack Wolgin
Born and raised in Philadelphia, real estate developer, banker, and philanthropist Jack Wolgin is one of the most prominent figures in the city's cultural landscape. An active civic leader, Mr. Wolgin helped found the Theatre of the Living Arts and has held leadership positions with the City of Philadelphia Art Commission, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Federation of Jewish Agencies, the Philadelphia Fellowship Committee, the Mayor's Commission on Higher Education, the Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In Israel, where he has made several transformational gifts, Mr. Wolgin is a board member of the Israeli Museum, the Jerusalem Foundation, and the American Friends of Hebrew University.

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