Houston's branch of Artadia, an organization that promotes local artists with cash, has announced its 2010 awardees. Among the seven winners is visual artist J. Hill of the Glassell School of Art, who received a $15,000 award.
Hill, who creates installations and event-based art, says he'll used the money to add a few extra finishing touches to a project he's about to complete and to start his next project. But he makes it clear that the money, while helpful, wasn't the motivating factor for his entry.
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"There's a part of your brain that says, 'I really hope I get to make a trip to the bank,' but there's a bigger part of you just hoping that someone will see your work and say, 'Ah ha, I get it.' Having the opportunity to walk through when and how and where of [my projects] with a set of curators is really as much a bonus as any of the rest of it."
"I don't find myself in that situation on a really regular basis, having that much attention paid to what I'm doing by a set of curators sitting in my studio. In some ways, I think that might have more legs," he says. "The money helps -- we can't do what we do without it. But that money's not going to last forever, the other benefits have the potential of having longer life spans."
Hill was originally one of 230 entries, which is a record number of applicants for Houston. Three jurors, including Deborah Cullen (director of curatorial programs for El Museo del Barrio), Adam Pendleton, and Toby Kamps (senior curator of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) cut that list down to 15 finalists.
After that, three jurors Móncia Ramírez-Montagut (curator of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum), Sandra Jackson-Dumon (adjunct curator for the Seattle Art Museum) and Kamps, visited each of the 15 finalists in their studios. They determined the seven awardees, two at the $15,000 level (HIll and duo Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher) and five at the $3,000 level (Bill Davenport, Augusto De Stefano, Nathaniel Donnett, Nestor Topchy and David Aylsworth).