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The first annual Mary Sawyers Baker Artist Awards will be awarded tonight, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. The ceremony will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television. Don’t miss this unique event celebrating the artists of the Baltimore region.

No one really knows what to expect from this Juried Prize/ communal artist website. Members of the community have voted for their favorite artists for several $1000 ‘artist choice’ prizes, but a secret panel of judges will choose the three $25,000 winners. Who are the jurors? Who are they accountable to? How do we know they even counted the votes? Nobody knows and this seems at odds with the community-based comment-encouraging interactive website.

However, I am not one to complain when someone wants to give out thousands of dollars to artists. If you want to give away over $75,000 a year, you can afford to make the rules. Like hundreds of other Baltimore artists, I posted my work on the site. Why not? There’s nothing to lose and it was free to participate.

Compared to any other online source, the Baker Artist Awards Website is an excellent and easily navigable way to educate oneself on the local Baltimore art scene and a great way for curators to put exhibitions together. The website is a prize in itself. To browse the Baker Artists Website and to peruse the potential winners, go to www.bakerartistawards.com.

May the best artists win! Or the most popular ones? How DOES this thing work?

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