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Studio Museum announces 2012 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize awarded to Jennie C. Jones
Jennie C. Jones, Electric Clef with Accent #2 (right) (detail), 2012. Courtesy the artist and Arratia Beer, Berlin.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Studio Museum in Harlem has awarded the seventh annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to Jennie C. Jones. The Wein Prize, one of the most significant awards given to individual artists in the United States today, was established in 2006 by jazz impresario, musician and philanthropist George Wein to honor his late wife, a long-time Trustee of the Studio Museum and a woman whose life embodied a commitment to the power and possibilities of art and culture. The $50,000 award recognizes and honors the artistic achievements of an African-American artist who demonstrates great innovation, promise and creativity.

Inspired by his wife’s life-long support of living artists, George Wein envisioned the Wein Prize as an extension of the Studio Museum’s mission to support experimentation and excellence in contemporary art. Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden and more than 700 guests will celebrate the seventh Wein Prize at the Museum’s Gala 2012 on February 4, 2013. The Gala was originally scheduled for October 29, 2012, but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.

Jennie C. Jones creates visual and sonic abstractions that explore the histories of music and sound. Calling her artistic approach “listening as a conceptual practice,” Jones creates work in many forms—from drawing and painting to sculpture and sound installation—investigating how sound and music can be portrayed with a sparse visual language. Jones is particularly interested in the simultaneous innovations in art and music of the 1950s and 60s, drawing upon the influences and aesthetics of experimental jazz and Minimalist art as she embraces improvisation, readymade objects and the material culture of music.

Born in 1968 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jennie C. Jones lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991) and an MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts (1996). She has completed residencies at The Lower East Side Printshop (2011), The American Academy in Rome (2008), the Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities (2003−04), the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (1999) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1996), among others. Jones has exhibited her sculptures, drawings and audio works nationally and internationally at institutions including Artists Space, The Aspen Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen, The Menil Collection, and The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her work was included in the Studio Museum exhibitions Freestyle (2001), 30 Seconds off an Inch (2010) and Shift: Projects, Perspectives, Directions (2012). Solo exhibitions of her work will open at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2013 and at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston in 2014.

Along with Jennie C. Jones, the Joyce Alexander Wein Prize has honored the work of and facilitated the artistic growth of six previous recipients: Leonardo Drew (2011), Leslie Hewitt (2010), Glenn Ligon (2009), Nadine Robinson (2008), Trenton Doyle Hancock (2007), and Lorna Simpson (2006). In some cases, such as with Drew, Ligon and Simpson, the prize recognized and saluted decades of important work by
midcareer artists. Hancock, Hewitt and Robinson, on the other hand, received the prize relatively early in their careers, providing both broadened attention and a resource for experimentation. In all cases, the prize’s direct cash grants to artists, now totaling $350,000, has had an unprecedented impact on contemporary African-American art.

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