Queer|Art Teams with HBO for First Annual Queer|Art|Prize
New York-based nonprofit Queer|Art is thrilled to present the inaugural Queer/Art/Prize, an unprecedented new award and ceremony honoring the work of diverse emerging and renowned LGBTQ artists. Made possible with support from HBOand developed in collaboration with the Queer|Art artist community, Queer/Art/Prize immediately establishes itself as one of the most significant awards for LGBTQ artists in the world.
A ceremony on November 2 will gather invitees in a space replete with performances, video, and text installations that encapsulate works from some of today's most visionary and UNCOMPROMISING artists (more details arriving shortly). Two awards will be granted during the celebratory event-each including a $10,000 prize-honoring two US-based LGBTQ artists whose work represents a significant contribution to queer culture.
In the area of Sustained Achievement, the award has been granted to Catherine Opie, the Los Angeles-based artist whose formally arresting photographs have, for more than three decades, explored multiform facets of queer American identity and community. Finalists for the Recent Work award, honoring specific projects, include artists working in a number of genres. The Finalists include Yance Ford for Strong Island (2017), a "powerful, personal, and very disturbing" (New Yorker) documentary about the racialized nature of Ford's brother's murder and the ways it was overlooked by the justice system; photographer/House of LaBeija dancer Kia LaBeija forher Self Portraits (2016-2017), expressing with profound frankness moments of both self-love and vulnerability throughout her young life as a woman of color born with HIV; Sarah Schulman for Conflict Is Not Abuse, a "nonfiction call to shift the paradigm around how we communicate about conflict and difference...that basically everyone should read" (B*tch Media); and Reina Gossett for "The Personal Things" (2016), an animated short tribute to trans activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy,released on Trans Day of Resilience/Remembrance.
Nominations for each award were made by a diverse committee of over 40 esteemed arts professionals from around the country, including museum directors, art historians, critics, curators, musicians, visual artists, performing artists, writers, and filmmakers with various intersecting commitments to queer culture. The winner of the Sustained Achievement Award was chosen by a panel of three judges: visual and performance artist Narcissister; performance artist, activist and author Ivan Monforte; and writer and cultural critic C. Carr. The four finalists and the winner of the Recent Work award have been chosen by another panel: speculative fiction author Janani Balasubramanian; critic, curator, and Light Industry founder Ed Halter; and curator and Participant Inc. founder Lia Gangitano.
The Queer/Art/Prize adds yet another dimension to Queer|Art's mission to support of LGBTQ art and artists across generations and disciplines. Says Queer|Art founder, filmmaker Ira Sachs, "A prize that is specifically devoted to LGBTQ artists and that includes a substantial financial award is all too rare. Queer/Art/Prize represents a natural outgrowth of Queer|Art's work and values by honoring LGBTQ artists across generations and disciplines. These awards, and the ceremony that will accompany them, confirm the impact of our programming and support on a national level."
About the Honored Artists
Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1961. Opie investigates the ways in which photographs both document and GIVE voice to social phenomena in America today, registering people's attitudes and relationships to themselves and others, and the ways in which they occupy the landscape. Opie received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1985), an MFA from CalArts (1988), and since 2001 has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has received many awards, including the President's Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Women's Caucus for Art (2009); United States Artists Fellowship (2006); Larry Aldrich Award (2004); and the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts (2003). Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2011); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2008); MCA Chicago (2006); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2002). Catherine Opie lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Yance Ford, who is transgender, is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a MacDowell COLONY Fellowship, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship, and was among Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2011. For ten years Ford was privileged to work as Series Producer for the PBS showcase POV, where his curatorial work helped garner more than 16 Emmy nominations. Ford is also an architectural welder, and while at Modern Art Foundry he helped assemble the sculpture "Maman" by Louise Bourgeois-the series of three spiders exhibited at Rockefeller Center, and now on permanent display at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Reina Gossett is an activist, writer, and filmmaker. Along with Sasha Wortzel, Reina wrote, directed and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha! a short film about legendary trans activist Marsha P Johnson starring Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor. A long-time community organizer, Reina worked as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project from 2010 to 2014 to lift THE VOICE and power of trans and gender nonconforming people and helped lead the successful campaign to end healthcare discrimination against low income trans and gender nonconforming New Yorkers. She also worked at Queers for Economic Justice where she directed the Welfare Organizing Projected and produced A Fabulous Attitude, documenting low-income LGBT New Yorkers surviving inequality and thriving despite enormous obstacles. Reina is a 2007 Soros Justice Fellow, a 2009 Stonewall Community Foundation Honoree, and the recipient of the 2016 Ackerman Institute Community Award. Her work has been supported by the Open Society Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, and the Astraea Foundation's Global Arts Fund. She was a 2012-2013 Queer/Art/Mentorship fellow. Along with Eric Stanley and Johanna Burton, Reina is an editor of the forthcoming New Museum anthology, Trap Door, on trans art and cultural production to be published by MIT Press in 2017.
Kia LaBeija (B.1990) is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the heart of New York City's theatre district, Hellz Kitchen. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art, and activism. As a visual artist she stages digital portraits as theatrical and cinematic re-imaginings of nonfictional events to spark conversation, complicating the way we view her subjects and the spaces they occupy. Her portraiture utilizes the medium of storytelling, to preserve histories, and make sociopolitical commentaries on current events. A performer by nature, LaBeija is an Overall Mother of the Iconic House of LaBeija where she explores the art of Voguing as a performance and community-based practice. She has made a name for herself in the House/Ballroom scene holding titles from The New York Awards Ball, The Latex Ball, and House Dance International to name a few. As a voguer she has performed and curated events in collaboration with MoMa PS1, The Brooklyn Museum, AFROPUNK, H&M, Fergie and Red BULL Music Academy. She speaks frequently in public on the subject of HIV/AIDS and is an advocate for under-represented communities living HIV positive including long term survivors, women, minorities and children born with the virus.
Sarah Schulman is the author of eighteen books: the novels The Cosmopolitans, The Mere Future, The Child, Rat Bohemia, Shimmer, Empathy, After Delores, People In Trouble, Girls Visions and Everything, and The Sophie Horowitz Story, the nonfiction works Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness To a Lost Imagination, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years, and the plays Mercy and Carson McCullers. She is co-author with Cheryl Dunye of the movies The Owls and Mommy is Coming, and co-producer with Jim Hubbard of the feature United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. She is co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project . Her awards include the 2009 Kessler Award for "Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies" from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and two American Library Association Book Awards, and she was a Finalist for the Prix de Rome. She lives in New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York (College of Staten Island) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.
About HBO: Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world's most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services - HBO® and Cinemax® - to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and CineMax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network's internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO's acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and CineMax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
About Queer|Art: Queer|Art launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ artists' perspectives, stories, and identities, Queer|Art gives voice to a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems. The current programs of Queer|Art include: the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship program; the long-running Queer|Art|Film series, held monthly at the IFC Center in lower Manhattan; and Queer|Art|Awards, a new program of grants, prizes, and awards that will provide various kinds of direct support-monetary and otherwise-to LGBTQ artists.
The Queer|Art|Mentorship program, launched in 2010, produces an evolving intergenerational dialogue within the LGBTQ arts community that has a direct impact on the landscape of contemporary art and culture as a whole. The program, which pairs emerging and established artists in a year-long exchange, has propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Queer|Art|Film, which recently celebrated its 100th screening, provides a space for invited artists to honor those who came before them and whose work continues to inspire them, further charting a uniquely queer cultural lineage through cinema to other artistic disciplines. Queer|Art|Awards kicks off this year with the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant and the introduction of the Queer|Art|Prize. Over time, Queer|Art|Awards seeks to include a spectrum of support that will benefit artists working in a variety of fields and mediums, as well as broader categories of support that will survey LGBTQ culture as a whole.
A list of the intergenerational community of artists supported and brought together by Queer|Art includes: Silas Howard, Jennie Livingston, Matt Wolf, Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, Justin Vivian Bond, Jibz Cameron, Trajal Harrell, John Kelly, Caden Manson, Everett Quinton, Geo Wyeth, Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Pati Hertling, Jonathan Katz, Reina Gossett, Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, iele paloumpis, Rebecca Patek, Justin Sayre, Colin Self, Justine Williams, Michael De Angelis, Jacolby Satterwhite, Rick Herron, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.
Photo of Catherine Opie courtesy of Catherine Opie Studio.