The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announced the launch of the Virtual Finalists Exhibition for the 15th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The six 2020 finalists participating in the exhibition are: Miguel Braceli, Hoesy Corona, Phylicia Ghee, Muriel Hasbun, LaToya M. Hobbs, and the artist group strikeWare, consisting of Mollye Bendell, Jeffrey Gangwisch, and Christopher Kojzar. The exhibition is presented on Kunstmatrix, an online platform that allows for publicly viewable digital galleries that simulate the setup of three-dimensional galleries. The virtual finalists exhibition is available now
through Monday, August 31, 2020.
The award ceremony, a special highlight for the arts community in Baltimore every summer, will also occur virtually this year. Join BOPA, the jurors, and the six finalists for the big reveal of the winning artist on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM on BOPAs YouTube page. The competition will award a $25,000 fellowship over twelve months to the winner, with each of the remaining finalists receiving an M&T Bank Finalist Award of $2,500. Semifinalists will be awarded a $500 honorarium, also partially financed by a gift from M&T Bank this year. The 2020 jurors are Gary Carrion-Murayari, Nona Faustine, and Diya Vij.
Miguel Braceli (Baltimore, MD) is a multidisciplinary artist working at the intersection between art, architecture and education. His practice is focused on participatory projects in public space. Most of these projects have been large scale works, developed in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, México, Spain, Sweden, United States, and Venezuela. These works explore notions of borders, migrations, homelessness, national identities and social-political conflicts, working from the geopolitical geography to a human scale. He has exhibited in galleries, biennials, and important group shows in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. His most recent recognitions include Leslie King Hammond Fellowship Award MICA (USA, 2017), Young Artist Award of the Principality of Asturias (Spain, 2018), Supertrama Public Art Competition Award (Spain, 2017), AICA International Artist Award (2017) and the AICA Emerging Artist Award (Venezuela, 2014). He is currently a Fulbright Scholar at Maryland Institute College of Arts.
Hoesy Corona (Baltimore, MD) is a multidisciplinary artist working in both visual and performance art. He creates uncategorized works that draw from his personal experiences as a queer Mexican immigrant in the United States. His works oftentimes confront and delight viewers with some of the most pressing issues of our time. Recurring themes of race/class/gender, otherness, celebration, nature, isolation, and the climate crisis are all present throughout his work. His colorful sculptural works fitted to the human body have been presented at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, Gilcrease Museum, and The Reach at The Kennedy Center. Recent honors include a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, a Merriweather District Artist in Residence, a Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship, a Rubys Artist Grant, a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, and an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant. He lives and works in Baltimore, MD and Tulsa, OK. www.hoesycorona.com
Phylicia Ghee (Baltimore, MD) is an interdisciplinary visual artist and photographer. Ghee received her BFA in Photography with a Concentration in Curatorial Studies from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Taught by her Grandfather at a very early age, she works in photography, performance, video, fibers, mixed media, installation & painting. Ghees artwork documents transition, explores healing, ritual, ceremony & personal rites of passage. Ghee has curated numerous exhibitions, events and public programs centered around issues of identity, healing and community. Ghees work extends beyond her personal practice and engages collaboratively with community. She brings art-based ritual to various communities in the forms of intergenerational storytelling, performance, ceremonial rites of passage, installation, sensory therapy and deep meditative rest experiences. In 2017, Ghee received recognition from First Lady Yumi Hogan & the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration for her art and activism in raising awareness on issues surrounding mental health and substance use disorder. Ghee was named 2019 Best of Baltimore' in the category of Artist and 2020 Baker Artist Award Finalist.
Muriel Hasbuns (Silver Spring, MD) expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on issues of cultural identity, migration and memory. Through an intergenerational, transnational and transcultural lens, Hasbun constructs contemporary narratives and establishes a space for dialogue where individual and collective memory spark new questions about identity and place. Her work activates the space across borders, generations and cultural divides, and has become increasingly interdisciplinary and socially engaged. Her commitment to enacting more culturally responsive and equitable sites of dialogue, healing, learning and creativity has grown through her founding and directing Laberinto Projects, a transnational, art, culture and education nonprofit that fosters contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its U.S. diaspora. Hasbun is professor emerita at the GWU Corcoran School of Arts & Design, and visiting artist/distinguished practitioner with the Hartford Art Schools Nomad MFA program. Hasbun will be the Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at Rutgers University in the fall and her work will be included in Art for the Future at Tufts University. Hasbuns work is represented by RoFa Projects.
LaToya M. Hobbs (Baltimore, MD) is an artist, wife, and mother of two currently living and working in Baltimore, MD. She received her BA in Painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and MFA in Printmaking from Purdue University. Hobbs work deals with figurative imagery that addresses the ideas of beauty, cultural identity, and womanhood as they relate to women of the African Diaspora. She creates a fluid and symbiotic relationship between her printmaking and painting practice producing works that are marked by texture, color and bold patterns. Her exhibition record includes several national and international exhibits. Hobbs work has also been featured in Transition: An International Review, a publication of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Other accomplishments include a 2019 Individual Artist Award in the Works on Paper category from the Maryland State Arts Council, a 2019 Artist Travel Grant awarded by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore and she is the recipient of a 2020 Artist in Residence award at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA. Additionally, Hobbs devotes her time to teaching and inspiring young artists as a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
strikeWare (Baltimore, MD) lives on the line between human and user experience. strikeWare works and plays with VR/AR, time-based media, customized hardware, digital fabrication, interactive media. Mollye Bendell makes digital and analog sculptures to connect with digital and analog worlds. Her work uses the intangible nature of electronic media as a metaphor for exploring vulnerability, visibility, and longing in a world that can feel isolating. Christopher Kojzar creates interactive art in response to encounters he has with other people when he enters active public spaces and openly engages in artistic practices such as drawing or recording with wearable technology. Jeffrey L. Gangwisch works with the interaction of digital and physical media with a focus on the human figure. His work blends photography, cinematography, animation and new media technologies to create time-based installations and interactive experiences.