The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape prize finalists announced

Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announce the finalists for the fourth annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The six finalists are Baltimore Development Cooperative (BDC), Leslie Furlong, Ryan Hackett, Jessie Lehson, Molly Springfield and Karen Yasinsky.

Awarded by an outside panel of three jurors, the winner of the $25,000 prize will be announced during an award ceremony on July 11 at 7 p.m. at The Baltimore Museum of Art, located at 10 Art Museum Drive. An exhibition of the finalists’ work will be shown at The Baltimore Museum of Art from June 20 to August 16. The prize is in conjunction with the annual Artscape juried exhibition and is produced with The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize 2009 Finalists
The Baltimore Development Cooperative (BDC) is an artist group with an interdisciplinary practice that uses the strategies of art, research and activism to critically engage with urban spatial politics. Co-founded in 2005, the group has produced tours, exhibitions, workshops and site-specific projects in public space. The BDC is dedicated to the analysis of neo-liberal urbanism and the invention of alternatives based on social, economic and ecological justice in the city. The core members of BDC are Scott Berzofsky, Dane Nester and Nicholas Wisniewski.

Leslie Furlong is a photographer and video artist from Baltimore, Md. She received a Bachelor of Arts in photography from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Digital Imaging from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Much of her work explores the subject of our ever-transforming landscape: how we experience it and in turn how that experience shapes our direct relationship that landscape. Most recently, her work was exhibited at the Bridge Art Fair Miami 2008 and The Berliner Liste 2008. Locally, she has displayed her work at the C. Grimaldis Gallery, Maryland Art Place, Goucher’s Rosenberg Gallery and the Contemporary Museum. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artists Awards. In addition to her experimental video works she has participated in public art projects and non-fiction documentary work.

Ryan Hackett received his Bachelor of Arts in studio art from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999, he then co-founded the Washington D.C. based artist collective Decatur Blue. Decatur Blue served as curator, art collective and gallery, blurring the lines between art and institution. Hackett received his Master of Fine Arts from San Francisco Art Institute in May 2007. He was recently included in a sound collaboration for the exhibition “This Case of Conscience” Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance at the Queens Museum of Art in New York and in a solo exhibition titled Interspecies Transmission at G Fine Art in Washington, D.C. Hackett lives and works in Kensington, Maryland.

Jessie Lehson received a Master of Fine Arts from the Rinehart School of Sculpture in 2008 and her Bachelor of Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2002. Recent one and two person shows include: Dirt Floor/Living Roof, Greater Reston Art Center, Reston, VA, 2008; Jessie Lehson, Oxford Occasional, Philadelphia, PA, 2008; Healing Environments, Fox3 Gallery, Baltimore, MD 2008; Dirty, Sub-Basement, Baltimore, MD, 2007; re:place, curated by Angela Jerardi, Gateway Corporation, Silver Spring, MD, 2004; and Jessie Lehson, Spare Room, Baltimore, MD, 2004. Selected group shows include: I Heart Art, DUMBO Art Center, Brooklyn NY, 2009; A Clean Break, an exhibition of modern prefab architecture, high design, low waste innovations for the urban environment, Minima Gallery (outdoor location,) Philadelphia, PA, 2008; Art Under the Bridge Festival, DUMBO Art Center, Brooklyn, NY, 2008; Once Again, Again, curated by Annie Gawlak, McLean Project for the Arts, Mclean, VA, 2008; The Baltimore Sculpture Project, Baltimore, MD, 2008, Rotunda Redevelopment, Public Sculpture Commission, Design Associates, Baltimore, MD, 2008; and MakeBakeCake, curated by Duff Goldman, Load of Fun Studios, Baltimore, MD, 2007. Lehson lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

Molly Springfield lives and works in Washington, D.C. Her recent exhibitions include solo shows at Mireille Mosler, Ltd., New York; Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco; and Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago, as well as group shows at galleries and museums in New York, London, Berlin, Miami, and Los Angeles. Her work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, ART PAPERS, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. Molly received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2006. She was awarded a DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for 2009 and was a finalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize in 2008.

Karen Yasinsky is an artist working primarily with animation and drawing. Her video installations and drawings have been shown in many venues internationally including MoMA, NY; Mori Art Musuem, Tokyo; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art, NY; UCLA Hammer Museum, L.A.; Kunst Werke, Berlin; the Sculpture Center, NY and at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio. Her animations have been screened worldwide at various venues and film festivals including the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the New York Underground Film Festival. Her work can be found in several books including No. 1: First works by 363 Artists, Armpit of the Mole and >>fast forward: Media Art Sammlung Goetz. She is the recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Foundation grant and teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Film and Media Studies. She works with Mireille Mosler, Ltd., NY and Tanja Pol Galerie, Munich. She is also a founding board member of the Gunk Foundation, a private foundation for public art and was a finalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize in 2007.

Finalist interviews July 11
Award announcement July 11, 7 p.m.
Finalist exhibition at BMA June 20-August 16
Semifinalist exhibition at MICA July 17-August 2
Artscape July 17-19

The 2009 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize is made possible in part by grants from The Abell Foundation, Alex Brown Charitable Foundation, Anonymous, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellie Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Legg Mason, Hect-Levi Foundation, The Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Under Armour Baltimore Marathon, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

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