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Three Contemporary Art Exhibition Concepts to Be Realized Through Major Award to Curators

NEW HAVEN, CT.- The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation is announcing the winners of the 2010 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award, which is granted to contemporary art curators in partnership with a museum or an established non-profit exhibition space. Three contemporary art exhibition concepts will be realized through this major award. The awardees selected from 70 applications are Steven Matijcio receiving $85,000 for Paperless at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Joćo Ribas receiving $150,000 for Man In The Holocene at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Sue Spaid receiving $150,000 for Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Applications for the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award were received from curators working with both established museums and alternative exhibition spaces. The Foundation’s selection was determined through a three-person jury including Deborah T. Cullen-Morales, Director of Curatorial Programs at El Museo del Barrio, New York; Jens Hoffmann, Director, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and independent art consultant Andrea Spaulding Norris, former Director, Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

The biennial Exhibition Award – established in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine, a life-long collector of contemporary art – rewards innovation and experimentation at the curatorial level by supporting strong thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Past recipients of the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award include Material World: Painting and Sculpture as Environment curated by Susan Cross at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; How Many Billboards? curated by Kimberli Meyer, Lisa Henry, Nizan Shaked and Gloria Sutton at MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Los Angeles, California; Black Is, Black Ain’t curated by Hamza Walker at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago,Chicago, Illinois; Down The Garden Path: The Artist’s Garden After Modernism curated by Valerie Smith, at Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York.

Guidelines for the 2012 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award will be available online at, in late 2011.



Steven Matijcio, Curator of Contemporary Art
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Steven Matijcio, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, was awarded $85,000 by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation for Paperless tentatively scheduled to be mounted in September 2011. Paperless congregates emerging and unheralded artists wrestling with the implication of paper as artifact. The exhibition proposes that paper’s endangered status is accelerating in an increasingly digitized and environmentally conscious world. Yet, even as paper struggles against its purportedly imminent extinction, artists around the world are paying homage to its precarious and fragile empire. Paperless will celebrate these refugees of the information age, with elegiac and anachronistic art that redefines the notion of “works on paper.”

Joćo Ribas, Curator
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Joćo Ribas, Curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, was awarded $150,000 by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation for Man in the Holocene, tentatively scheduled to be mounted in February 2012. The exhibition will explore how contemporary art acts as a speculative science of objects and phenomena… as a form of inquiry into how we perceive and configure our physical world. Reflecting a developing turn in contemporary philosophy towards ‘speculative materialism’– away from language and towards objects themselves – the exhibition proposes that contemporary art contributes to the ongoing development of human knowledge through the insights of the eye and hand. While attempting to expand the imaginative potential of what can be contained within the domain of science, the exhibition also seeks to shift the understanding of aesthetics away from conventional ideas of pleasure, beauty or taste and foreground what contemporary artists reveal about our understanding of the world. By turning to new currents of thought, Man in the Holocene looks to expand the set of references and interpretative models brought to the discussion of contemporary art.

Sue Spaid, Independent Curator
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sue Spaid, an independent curator in partnership with the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, was awarded $150,000 by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation for Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots tentatively scheduled to be mounted in September 2012. Green Acres aims to be the first museum exhibition solely devoted to the cultivation and distribution of edible foodstuffs. The exhibition will explore a global art movement that has been developing over the past 40 years wherein artists have developed and realized novel farming practices to inspire self-reliance, improve food quality, demonstrate sustainable farming techniques, engender community actions and foster local identities. These acts -- whether of resistance, empowerment and/or genuine pleasure on the part of artists and participants alike -- offer viable alternatives to the standard corporate farms upon which we depend . Green Acres combines an indoor exhibition of historically significant works, including the refabrication of Newton and Helen Harrison’s Survival Series (1970-1973), a completely functioning indoor farm, a photography installation and live video feeds to farm-as-art projects in New York, Thailand and Israel, as well as six on site outdoor sculptures.

The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation | 2010 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award | Deborah T. Cullen-Morales |

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