Artist Prize Roundup: Nairobi-Based Wajukuu Art Project Wins Top Award at Documenta 15, Frieze L.A. Releases Call for Entries for Impact Prize, and More

Awarded this year on the occasion of the quinquennial exhibition Documenta, this year’s Arnold Bode Prize 2022 has gone to the Nairobi-based Wajukuu Art Project. The prize, which comes with €10,000 and is awarded by the City of Kassel, where the exhibition takes place. Founded in 2004 in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum, the Wajukuu Art Project was established by a group of artists as “a place where children can thrive and to create employment through the production and sale of quality artworks,” according to the Documenta 15 website. At Documenta, the group presented an installation at the Documenta Halle called Killing Fear of the Unknown that included multimedia works by artists affiliated with Wajukuu.

In a statement, Susanne Völker, head of Kassel’s culture department, said, “I am delighted that this year we are able to award the prestigious prize to Wajukuu Art Project. In doing so, the Board of Trustees is following the guiding principle of documenta fifteen, which is to highlight collectives with artistic work that has a positive effect on the common good as a specific form of organization and production.”

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Ahead of its upcoming edition next February, Frieze Los Angeles has announced a call for entries for its Frieze Impact Prize 2023, which will be done in partnership with Define American, a nonprofit focused on sharing the stories of immigrants. For the prize, artists are asked to propose works, to be shown at Frieze L.A., that look at inequity within the U.S. immigration system. U.S.-based artists, regardless of citizenship status, are eligible to apply for the prize, which comes with $25,000. The winner will be selected by a jury consisting of artist Tanya Aguiñiga, Define American founder Jose Antonio Vargas, and Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, Frieze’s parent company. The deadline to apply is November 27, and more information on the application process is available on Frieze’s website.

Black and white portrait of a white woman with long hair. On of her arms holds her neck.
Jenny Holzer.

Jenny Holzer will be awarded the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2023 award next January. The award, established in 2014, is given annually to an artist “who has made a profound contribution to a particular medium, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists,” according to a release. Past winners have included Joan Jonas, Peter Doig, and Mona Hatoum. In a statement, Whitechapel Gallery director Gilane Tawadros said, “We are delighted that Jenny Holzer will be Whitechapel Gallery’s Art Icon in 2023 in recognition of her ground-breaking practice as an artist who has consistently addressed social justice issues with elegance and humour throughout her decades-long career.”

The 2022 Berresford Prize, which is administered by Chicago-based nonprofit United States Artists, will go to writer and artist Louise Erdrich. The prize is awarded annually to “cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, wellbeing, and care of artists in society,” according to a release. Erdrich has published 28 books that range from novels to poetry to children’s book and she is the founder of Birchbark Books and Native Arts in Minneapolis. In a statement, Erdrich said, “My vision was that we would serve to bring awareness to Indigenous writing, further Indigenous language revitalization, and that we would support artists by selling the beautiful and creative art that Native people make, often on isolated reservations. Over the years the bookstore has also become a place for artists and writers to find a job that brings them into a community. This prize will help us to more fully realize our vision and I thank you from my heart.”

The Studio Museum in Harlem announced the winners of both the 2021 and 2022 editions of its annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize at its fall gala last month. They are Chicago-based artist Caroline Kent and Harlem-based artist Robert Pruitt, respectively. Each winner receives an unrestricted monetary award of $50,000.

Composite image showing two artist portraits. At left a Black man in a sweater, scarf, and cap, touches with one hand a wooden sculpture. At right, a white man in a blue workshirt and iron stands in a room and touches a printing press.
From left, Thaddeus Mosley and Daniel Brush.

The 2022 Isamu Noguchi Award will be given to two artists this year, Daniel Brush and Thaddeus Mosley, who will be honored at the Noguchi Museum’s fall benefit on November 17. “The Isamu Noguchi Award was created to recognize exceptional individuals whose creative practice shares a boundary-transcending point of view found in Isamu Noguchi’s work, and extends his ideals into our own times,” Noguchi Museum director Brett Littman said in a statement. “We are delighted to present this year’s Award to artists Daniel Brush and Thaddeus Mosley. With long and prolific careers, Daniel and Thaddeus both have a profound attention to material and process, and dedication to craftsmanship and sincerity in their work.

To mark the opening of the 2022 Singapore Biennale, the Japanese company Benesse Holdings, in partnership with the Singapore Art Museum, which hosts the Biennale, has awarded the 13th Benesse Prize to artist Haegue Yang. Since 1995, the prize has “recognize[d] the artistic endeavours of outstanding artists and support those who embody the corporate philosophy of the Benesse Group, which is ‘Well-Being,’” according to a release, and it comes with JPY 3 million and to have their art be collected and exhibited at the Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan, or to create a commissioned work for the Site. In a statement, this year’s jury commended Yang for a “practice [that] interweaves cross-cultural knowledge, a moving regard for materiality and tradition, through a playful visual language. Yang has consistently experimented with form and has challenged the known orientations and functions of materials to create new experiences and aesthetics.”

Four men and two women pose for a photo in an industrial setting.
proppaNow members (from left): Tony Albert, Jennifer Herd, Gordon Hookey, Megan Cope, Richard Bell, Vernon Ah Kee.

The 2022–2024 Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice, which is administed by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics in New York, was recently awarded to Indigenous Australian art collective proppaNOW for their exhibition “OCCURRENT AFFAIR” at the University of Queensland Art Museum in St. Lucia, Australia. The prize comes with $25,000 and an editioned work by Yoko Ono, as well as the opportunity to organize “a series of in-depth activities over two years that spawn new scholarship and strengthen teaching and learning opportunities on the role of the arts in advancing social justice,” according to a release. The winning exhibition will also be shown at the Vera List Center next October.

In a statement, the prize’s jury, which was chaired by artist Simone Leigh, said, “Founded in 2003 to combat the invisibility of urban Aboriginal contemporary art that addresses the issues of our time, [proppaNOW] has broken with expectations of what is proper (‘proppa’) in Aboriginal art; created a new sovereign space for First Nations artists internationally outside colonial stereotypes, desires for authenticity, and capitalist capitulations; and opened new political imaginaries. Confronting the ongoing presence of settler colonialism, proppaNOW’s work demonstrates the synergy of the struggles for artistic representation and social change.”

Matt Mullican, who is based in Berlin and New York, recently won the Possehl Prize for International Art, which is awarded every three years and comes with €25,000, as well as an exhibition at the Kunsthalle St. Annen in Lübeck, Germany. That exhibition, which is on view until January 8, looks at Mullican’s five-decade career, from his close association with the Pictures Generation to his large-scale pieces that include various cosmologies of his own making.  

A woman with glasses and wearing a red-and-black polka dot shirt poses for a photo in front of a painting.
Alessandra Ferrini.

Alessandra Ferrini has won the third edition of the MAXXI BVLGARI Prize, which is administered by the MAXXI—National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome and luxury brand Bvlgari. Her winning work, Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film (2022), will be added to the museum’s collection. In a statement, the jury, which included Sharjah Art Foundation president Hoor Al Qasimi, praised the film’s “ability to represent the controversial facts of contemporary geo-political history, challenging the official and canonized formulas of historical and journalistic narratives. In particular, for the strength and balance in analyzing documentary materials such as photographs, texts, and films, recomposing them into a new narrative that reflects on the role of research as essential in defense of human rights and global citizenship in the post-colonial age.”

Zurich-based artist Jiajia Zhang has won the Shizuko Yoshikawa Art Award, which comes with CHF 25,000 and is awarded every two years to women artists at the beginning of their careers. In a statement, the five-person jury, which included artist Martin Beck, said, “The jury recognizes Zhang’s originality in exploring media-based imagery and distribution channels of our day. Among the things she looks for in her work are the differences and transitions between lived space, housing, and realty. Overlaying her recordings with found text fragments from various literary and popular sources, including advertising slogans, she is able to mediate between the culturally disparate spheres of cities in Asia and Europe. Zhang’s reflection on an everyday life increasingly informed by self-optimization and adding value convinced the jury.”

The 2022 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award has gone to artist wani toaishara for his photographic work do black boys go to heaven (2021). The prize, which is administered by the cultural center HOTA, Home of the Arts in Gold Coast, Australia, comes with $25,000 for the work’s acquisition. An artist statement accompanying the winning work reads, “This is for the bodies painted spectacle long before they could even speak. For that child who was told that their strength was found in silence because speaking made them weak. For those bones so small that their gravestones outsized their casket. For all those tokens who’ve been called broken as they contemplate their suicide. We are worthy. Here. Still.”

Artadia, which administers several artist awards in various U.S. cities, has named the winners of its 2022 editions for Atlanta and Boston. The Boston winners are Stephen Hamilton, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, and Shantel Miller; the Atlanta winners are Kelly Taylor Mitchell, Ato Ribeiro, and José Ibarra Rizo. Each winner will receive $10,000.

A drawing of a morning glory flower and a rendering of an installation that mimics a morning glory flower installed on a beach.
Paula de Solminihac, Morning Glory, 2022, and a watercolor rendering of site-specific installation at Faena Beach. 

The 2022 Faena Prize for the Arts has been awarded to Paula de Solminihac, who will present her large-scale installation, Morning Glory (2022), at Faena Beach during Miami Art Week later this month. The artist will receive $100,000, and this is the first time the winning work will be presented in Miami, as past editions have been shown in Buenos Aires. In a statement, Alan Faena said, “Actively contributing to Miami Beach as a nurturing site for the community, Paula’s proposed installation—and the artist’s largest-scale work to date—physically embodies this vibrant city Faena Art is deeply committed to.”

The New York–based nonprofit Queer|Art has named the winners of two awards, both of whom were honored at the Whitney Museum on November 10. Alexis De Veaux, a writer, educator, and activist best-known for her 2004 book Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde, has won the Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers, which comes with $10,000. In a statement, the award’s jury, which includes its namesake Pamela Sneed, said, “Alexis De Veaux is a pioneering force within the LGBTQIA community. Her expansive practice is wide-ranging: from poetry and journalism to children’s literature. Alexis has made invaluable contributions to the queer community across mediums. As a writer, educator, and public speaker, Alexis’s longstanding dedication to mentorship is clear across fields and generations. To be in the presence of her generous wisdom and infectious spirit is to be inspired.”

Queer|Art also awarded its 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement to New Orleans community leader Wendi Moore-O’Neal, who is being recognized for her “commitment to organizing and storytelling within Black queer communities in the South,” according to a release. The prize’s jury, which was comprised of Barbara Browning, Lia Gangitano, and Alicia Grullon, stated, “Our choice for awarding Wendi comes from prioritizing a different kind of art making rooted in the traditions found in the Queer community which push up against hetero-normative partiarchial capitalist structures.”

4x2 grid of portraits of artists. They are close up and most of them look at the camera.
The 2022 Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows.

Fellowships & Mentorships

Queer|Art also has named the recipients of its year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows, in which early-career LGBQT+ artists are paired with established LGBTQ+ artists for professional development and to focus “on creative issues and long-term sustainability of artistic practice,” according to a release. The mentorships are given to artists working in visual arts, performance, film, and literature. This year’s cohort includes Lu Yim with mentor Julie Tolentino (Performance), Miller Robinson with mentor Jeffrey Gibson (Visual Art), and Demetri Burke with mentor Camilo Godoy (Visual Art).

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The L.A.-based Crenshaw Dairy Mart has launched a new fellowship program, called the Fellowship for Abolition and the Advancement of the Creative Economy (CDM-FAACE), which will go to Black creatives based in Greater Los Angeles, with a specific focus on Inglewood and South Central. The one-year fellowship comes with a stipend of $100,000 that can be used toward living expenses, studio expenses, or arts supplies and materials, as well as access to healthcare insurance for the entirety of the fellowship. The inaugural cohort consists of Autumn Breon, juice wood, and Oto-Abashi Attah, who will work on projects around the theme of “Inglewood and Prototyping the Abolitionist Imagination,” which imagine a future for the L.A. neighborhood through the lens of an abolitionist framework.

Grants & Commissions

The Forman Arts Initiative, founded by ARTnews Top 200 Collectors Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, has named the 2022 grantees of its $3 million Art Works program, which supports Philadelphia-based BIPOC artists and organizations. For this iteration, the artists grants have increased from $20,000 to $50,000 per grantee, distributed over a two-year period. The four selected artists are Emily Bate, Daniel Park, BL Shirelle, and Cesar Viveros. Additionally, the four selected Philadelphia nonprofits, which have received a combined $500,000, are the Brandywine Workshop and Archives, the Colored Girls Museum, First Person Arts, and the Philadelphia Clef Club. In a statement, Forman said, “Philadelphia has an abundance of talent and organizations that need to be nurtured, fortified and amplified. We trust our commitment to Philadelphia’s creators will resonate both locally and more broadly.”

The Chicago-based grant-making nonprofit 3Arts has named the ten winners of its 15th annual 3Arts Awards, which comes with $30,000 cash grants for each winner. The winners for visual artists are Rozalinda Borcilă and zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o’neal, for teaching artists Peregrine Bermas and Simone Reynolds, for dance Winifred Haun and Sarita Smith Childs, for music Akenya and Nashon Holloway, and for theater Miranda Gonzalez and Omar Abbas Salem.

The Menlo Park, California–based Hewlett Foundation has announced the 10 winners of its fifth and final edition of Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, an $8 million initiative meant to support “artistic expression and public engagement with the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area,” according to a release. The winners, who this year are focused within media arts, will also partner will local nonprofits to complete their proposals. The winners include Stephanie Dinkins (partnering with the Institute of Contemporary Art San José), Postcommodity (Leonardo/ISAST), Susana Ruiz and Huy Truong (Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History), and Skawennati (Gray Area). The full list of winners, descriptions of their projects, and more information on past recipients can be found on the Hewlett Foundation’s website.

Ekin Kee Charles has won the Han Nefkens Foundation – Loop Barcelona Video Art Production Grant 2022. Keen Charles will receive $15,000 toward the production of a new video work that is to be completed by November 2023 and that will then be presented Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 2024. The film will later be exhibited at other partner institutions, including MoCA TAIPEI, ILHAM in Kuala Lumpur, Center d’Art Contemporain in Genève, Art Hub Copenhagen, and Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing. In a statement, the jury said, “Her profound video works explore in an unassuming way the societal pressures that women face every day. We all agreed that her work speaks clearly of a specific place and moment, while at the same time transcending – by virtue of its deep connection with the local – any particular culture, region or country. Her works combine this universality with a sensitive and poetic approach, offering a space for critical contemplation. We look forward to following her next steps.”

Clockwise, from top left: Rebecca Bellantoni, Bhajan Hunjan, Onyeka Igwe, Dominique White, and Zinzi Minott,.


The Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which goes to a woman-identifying artist based in the U.K. and comes with a six-month residency in Italy to work on their project proposal, has announced the five artists who are in consideration for the prize. They are Rebecca Bellantoni, Bhajan Hunjan, Onyeka Igwe, Zinzi Minott,and Dominique White. The prize is administered by the Collezione Maramotti and Max Mara, in collaboration with London’s Whitechapel Gallery; the winner of the prize will be announced in spring 2023. In a statement, Bina von Stauffenberg, chair of this year’s jury, said: “Today, as women’s rights continue to be challenged, it could not be more urgent or relevant to ensure that women artists are championed, and heard on the world stage. For more than a decade, this unique prize has successfully enabled women-identifying artists at different stages of their careers to develop their potential in extraordinary ways.”

Open Calls

Bloomberg Philanthropies has just launched the 2022 Public Art Challenge, in which U.S. cities with 30,000 or more residents can receive up to $1 million in funding to commission temporary works of public art in their cities. Up to 10 winners will be chosen and the projects are to be executed within 24 months. Past winners have included Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Jackson, Mississippi. In a statement, the foundation’s founder Michael Bloomberg said, “The Public Art Challenge provides a creative way for cities to bring residents together, form strong civic partnerships, and make public spaces more inspiring and accessible. As cities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, public art has the power to help revitalize communities. We know cities will have great ideas for this year’s competition, and we look forward to helping their visions come to life.” The deadline to apply is February 15, and applications can be submitted on the Bloomberg Philanthropies website.

The Queens Arts Fund, which is administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Queens Council on the Arts, is accepting applications for its Arts Access Grants, which offer $1,000 to $5,000 for Queens-based small-budget nonprofits or artist collectives, and New Work Grants, which offer $3,000 for Queens-based artists and collectives. The Arts Access Grants are intended for organizations to produce public programs in Queens, while the New Work Grants are meant to support the creation of a new work that has not been produced or presented before an audience previously. Applications for both are accepted until January 5 and can be submitted via the NYFA website.


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