Smithsonian American Art Museum Announces Artists Nominated for its Contemporary Artist Award

August 6, 2012
News Release

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced today the nominees for its contemporary artist award, established in 2001 to recognize an artist younger than 50 who has produced a significant body of work and consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity. The 15 nominees are Matthew Buckingham, Kathy Butterly, Christina Fernandez, Amy Franceschini, Rachel Harrison, Oliver Herring, Glenn Kaino, Sowon Kwon, Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Jaime Permuth, Will Ryman, Ryan Trecartin, Mark Tribe, Mary Simpson and Sara VanDerBeek. Nominated artists work in a diverse range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film and video.

Artists must be nominated by a juror to be considered for the award; there is no application. The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist’s future development and experimentation. Previous winners were Pierre Huyghe (2010); Mark Dion (2008); Jessica Stockholder (2007); Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation (2006); Andrea Zittel (2005); Kara Walker (2004); Rirkrit Tiravanija (2003); Liz Larner (2002); and Jorge Pardo (2001). From 2001 to 2008, the award was known as the Lucelia Artist Award. The award is part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to contemporary art and artists through annual exhibitions, acquisitions and public programs.

“The artists nominated this year draw on a wide range of cultural and aesthetic experiences to create work that is both visually stimulating and conceptually rigorous,” said Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Marsh is coordinating the jury panel selection and the nomination and jurying process. Five distinguished jurors, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary American art, were selected from across the United States. The panel nominated the artists and will determine the award winner in a day of discussion and review, remaining anonymous until the winner is announced in October. Past jurors have included John Baldessari, Klaus Biesenbach, Lynne Cooke, Richard Flood, Elizabeth Murray, Jerry Saltz, Rochelle Steiner, Nancy Spector and Robert Storr, among others.

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building, a dazzling showcase for American art and portraiture, is located at Eighth and F streets N.W. in the heart of a revitalized downtown arts district. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Dec. 25. Admission is free. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website: