Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize

  • Christos Palios

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist

  • Darcie Book

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist

  • Eric Kruszewski

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist

  • Force: Upsetting Rape Culture

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist

  • Theo Anthony

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalists

  • Stephanie Barber

    Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist

Applications for the 12th Annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize are now open!

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is excited to announce the 12th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.  Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious competition which awards a $25,000 fellowship to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region.  The deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 17, 2017.  The application is available on www.artscape.org.  An exhibition of the finalists’ work will be featured in the Special Exhibition Galleries at the Walters Art Museum.  An award ceremony and reception takes place Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7pm at the Walters Art Museum, located at 600 North Charles Street.  The prize is held in conjunction with the 36th annual Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival taking place Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23, 2017 along Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. 

Approximately six finalists are selected for the final review for the prize.  Their work is showcased in the Special Exhibition Galleries at the Walters Art Museum from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, August 13, 2017.  Additionally, an exhibition of the semifinalists’ work is shown in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries of MICA on Friday, July 21 through Sunday, August 6, 2017.  An opening reception for the semifinalist exhibition takes place Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm at MICA, located at 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue.  

The fellowship winner is selected from the Walters Art Museum exhibition after review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors.  Jurors will be announced prior to the application deadline.  Artist collaborators, if chosen as the winner or finalist, receive a single $25,000 prize that is equally divided among the members of the group.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline 
Application deadline: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Announcement of semifinalists: Late February 2017
Announcement of finalists: Mid-April 2017
Finalists Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum: Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, August 13, 2017
Award announcement: Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7pm; Galleries open at 6pm
Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA: Friday, July 21, 2017 through Sunday, August 6, 2017
Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm
Artscape: Friday, July 21-Sunday, July 23, 2017

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize
The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn.  Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.

America's largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees, offers concerts on multiple outdoor stages, art exhibitions, an artists’ market, a full schedule of dance, theater and opera, jazz, classical, folk and experimental music, children’s activities, exhibitors, and an extensive variety of local food and beverage vendors on Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. 
The 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Amy & Chuck Newhall, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, M. Sigmund & Barbara Shapiro Philanthropic Fund, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.


2016 Winner

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) are proud to announce that FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is the winner of the 2016 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at this evening’s awards ceremony at The Baltimore Museum of Art. The six other finalists—Theo Anthony, Stephanie Barber, Darcie Book, Larry Cook,  Eric Kruszewski, Christos Palios—will receive a $2,500 honorarium established this year by M&T Bank in partnership with BOPA.  Works of art by the winner and finalists are on view at the BMA through Sunday, July 31.

FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture describes itself as a “creative activist effort to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent.” The organization was founded in 2010 by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle, community organizers and artists living in Baltimore. The group deploys its messages against sexual violence through public art projects and events, as well as through the Internet and media campaigns.

On view is a small portion of FORCE’s The Monument Quilt, a growing compilation of the stories of survivors of sexual violence presented on 8-foot by 8-foot squares of red fabric. In 2017, FORCE seeks to bring 6,000 of these quilt squares (produced in workshops across the country) to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they will spell out the equally cautionary and consoling phrase “Not Alone.” Accompanying the quilt squares at the BMA is video footage documenting earlier presentations of the quilt. FORCE will also conduct a public awareness program as part of its Sondheim exhibition contribution.

The Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2016 Finalists exhibition is held in conjunction with Artscape and is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.  It is one of the summer’s most highly anticipated exhibitions. It is designed to assist visual artists in the Greater Baltimore region in furthering their careers by allowing them to pursue tracks in their work that may not otherwise be possible. The artists were selected by an independent panel of jurors, who reviewed the exhibition and interviewed each artist to decide the winner.  This year’s jurors are: Tim Griffin, Executive Director and Chief Curator at The Kitchen; Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum; and Mia Locks, Co-Curator of The Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2017 Whitney Biennial.


More Information

For more information on the Sondheim Artscape Prize, visit artscape.org.

2016 Finalists

Theo Anthony (Baltimore, MD) is a filmmaker and photographer whose documentary work has been featured by The Atlantic, Vice, Al Jazeera, Agence France-Presse, and other international media outlets. His films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and Anthology Film Archives. He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), as well as the Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School. He was recently named to Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” for 2015. His first feature film will be released in 2016.  Anthony is a 2012 graduate of Oberlin College.

Stephanie Barber (Balitmore, MD) is an American artist and writer. She has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media. Her videos are concerned with the content, musicality and experiential qualities of language and her language is concerned with the emotional impact of moments and ideas. Barber’s films and videos have been screened nationally and internationally in solo show and group shows at The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), Tate Modern (London, England), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), The Paris Cinematheque (Paris, France), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA), The Wexner Center for the Art (Columbus, OH), among other galleries, museums and festivals. Her books Night Moves and These Here Separated were published by Publishing Genius Press (Atlanta, GA) in 2013 and 2010 respectively. Her recent collection of very short stories All The People was published by Ink Press Productions (Baltimore, MD) in 2015. Barber is currently a resident artist at The Mount Royal School of Art MFA for Interdisciplinary Art at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and a teaching artist at The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY).

Darcie Book (Baltimore, MD) is a painter and installation artist whose work explores paint as object and architecture. She attended the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in April 2015. Book’s work has been featured in exhibitions locally and nationally including Manifest Gallery’s FRESH PAINT Biennial (Cincinnati, OH) and the Maryland Artist Registry Juried Exhibition at Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD) as well as at Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery (Annapolis, MD), Samson Gallery (Boston, MA), Current Gallery (Baltimore, MD), Metro Gallery (Baltimore, MD), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD), The Art Barn Gallery (Santa Fe, NM) and The Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD). Her exhibitions have been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, and the Baltimore City Paper. She has had three solo exhibitions in Baltimore, MD, including Borderlands at the Hamilton Gallery (Baltimore, MD). Her work is featured in collections in Ireland and Nigeria as well as across the United States. Established in 2011, Book is a founding member of A.M. Art Collective. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004.

Larry Cook (Landover Hills, MD), a 2013 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist and former Hamiltonian Fellow (2013-2015), has been included in various group shows including How We Lost DC at the Honfleur Gallery (Washington, D.C.); The Image of Black at Galerie Myrtis (Baltimore, MD) and Artist Citizen at Hemphill Fine Arts (Washington, DC). Cook has also had solo exhibitions at Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, D.C.), (e)merge art fair (Washington, D.C.), Stamp Gallery (College Park, MD) and Pleasant Plains Workshop (Washington, D.C.). In 2014, he had a large-scale public artwork on view as part of Ceremonies of Dark Men, part of the 5 X 5 Project Public Art, curated by A.M. Weaver and organized by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. A native of Landover, MD, Larry has taught Photography at The George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), American University (Washington, D.C.) and is currently a visual art teacher at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. He is represented by Galerie Myrtis located in Baltimore, MD. Cook received his Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University in 2013.

FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (Baltimore, MD) is an artist and activist collaboration whose mission is to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent. Founded in 2010, FORCE is led by Hannah Brancato (Baltimore, MD) and Rebecca Nagle (Baltimore, MD)—creative educators, organizers, and activists. Nationally known for producing large-scale public art projects and campaigns, FORCE believes that a more difficult and honest conversation needs to happen in America to face the realities of sexual violence, and to envision a world where sex is empowering and pleasurable rather than coercive and violent. FORCE’s work has been covered by dozens of news outlets, including The New York Times, Fast Company, CNN, MSNBC and NPR. Brancato teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD), where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Community Art in 2011. Nagle is the founding director of the No Boundaries Coalition, a resident-led organization bringing neighborhoods together across race and class lines, and has exhibited internationally exhibited artist who has shown at the New Museum (New York, NY), Ssamzi Art Warehouse (Seoul, Korea), Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY), Dixon Place (New York, NY), La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (New York, NY) and the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, MD).

Eric Kruszewski (Washington, D.C.) is an editorial photographer and videographer whose documentary and journalism work focuses on people who have undergone transitions in life, individuals and groups who are marginalized by society and unique subcultures that might not receive mainstream attention. His work has been published by such organizations as National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, CNN, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, ABC News, AARP and World Wildlife Fund, among others. Eric’s imagery has received awards from National Geographic, the Lucie Awards, International Photography Awards and Travel Photographer of the Year, among others. His photographs and videos have been featured in group exhibitions, including the Lucie Awards at Carnegie Hall (New York, NY), International Photography Awards at Smashbox Studios (Los Angeles, CA), Occupy Wall Street at the Museum of New York (New York, NY), International Photography Awards at Splashlight (New York, NY) and Travel Photographer of the Year at the Royal Geographic Society (London, England). Eric’s work is represented by National Geographic Creative.

Christos J. Palios (Baltimore, MD) is a Greek-American photographer whose work probes ideas and aspects of identity, memory and isolation within urban, industrial, and natural spaces and has exhibited his work locally and nationally. Venues include the Barrett Art Center (Poughkeepsie, NY), Kadoya Gallery (Pueblo, CO), PhotoPlace Gallery (Middlebury, VT), the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (Albuquerque, NM), and the Athenaeum (Alexandria, VA). His work has been reviewed by online photography publications such as F-Stop Magazine and Dotphotozine, and it resides in several private and public collections throughout the nation including The Museum of Life and Sciences (Durham, NC), LinkedIn (Chicago, IL), T. Rowe Price (Baltimore, MD), Hotel Indigo (Baltimore, MD), and the Veterans Affairs Regional Headquarters (Atlanta, GA).  Palios received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.