This year marks the 15th for the annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, administered and funded by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and was originally scheduled to be hosted at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. This year, 35 artists were selected for the semifinal round by 2020 jurors Gary Carrion-Murayari, Nona Faustine and Diya Vij. The competition awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Greater Baltimore region.
The six 2020 Sondheim Finalists include five interdisciplinary and visual artists and one three-person artist collective. This year’s finalists include Miguel Braceli, Hoesy Corona, LaToya Hobbs, Phylicia Ghee, Muriel Hasbun and strikeWare (Christopher Kojzar, Mollye Bendell, and Jeffrey Gangwisch).
According to BOPA’s announcement, “Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) crisis, certain elements of the Sondheim Artscape Prize have been adapted to maintain the core of the program and to provide funding for artists and enable them to focus on their practice during this challenging time. The Sondheim Artscape Prize will be presented through a virtual finalists’ exhibition on Kunstmatrix, an online platform that allows for publicly viewable digital galleries that simulate the setup of three-dimensional galleries. Finalists’ work will be viewable on desktop and mobile. Additionally, materials provided for the finalist selection will be included in a 30-minute-long video interview with the judges. The finalists’ exhibition will launch on Monday, July 6, 2020 and continue through Monday, August 31, 2020. The exhibition links will be available at www.promotionandarts.org.”
The award ceremony, previously announced to be held at the Walters Art Museum, will now occur virtuallys, so we are all invited to join BOPA, the jurors, and the six finalists for the big reveal of the $25,000 prize winner on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM on BOPA’s YouTube page.
Earlier this year, BOPA announced a new development to the annual Sondheim Prize – the Sondheim Creative Residency, a six-week long, fully funded residency at La Civatella Ranieri in the Umbria region of Italy, to be awarded to one of the remaining finalists not selected for the Sondheim Prize. Each finalist not selected for the prize is presented with an M&T Bank Finalist Award of $2,500. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Creative Artist Residency at Civitella Ranieri in Italy has been postponed.