The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, offered annually to a visual artist or collaborators in Baltimore, was awarded Saturday to FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, according to the Baltimore Museum of Art. This prize provides a $25,000 fellowship and operates in partnership with Artscape.
Through July 31, the seven finalists for the prize currently have their artwork on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Here’s a look at the work:
Theo Anthony, originally from Baltimore, generates his work through photography and film from both his native city as well as Africa. His powerful images address topics such as the response to Freddie Gray’s death, the April 2015 uprising in Baltimore, and themes such as masculinity. Many of his images feature men in helmets, be they football players, police officers, or children in Masisi, a city in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Stephanie Barber, who works in Baltimore, creates art that reflects the interaction of the wild and civilized worlds. She utilizes various media — including text, film and video — to illustrate the ways in which human beings have interacted with and come to understand nature. Her pieces on view at the Sondheim exhibit offer viewers a compelling narrative in both words and images as they seek to explore this crucial relationship between people and the world around them.
Darcie Book is a Baltimore artist who works to combine painting and sculpture through her creations. Her artwork often includes an aspect of three-dimensionality, and she creates installations that feature columns covered with various colors and striking, luminescent walls behind and around them. The effect is made by attaching gold leaf to the walls, and the columns are then reflected in their color.
Larry Cook, from Landover, Maryland, creates artwork that incorporates various media, including text, photography, and video, making for an impactful message. His work addresses the issue of identity, and specifically the issue of identity for Black Americans. His pieces also address how the history of race relations, slavery, and religion have influenced their lives.
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is a Baltimore-based organization co-founded by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle in 2010. The group seeks to spread its message against sexual violence through public art projects and the Internet. At the Sondheim exhibit, a portion of their work, The Monument Quilt, is on display, and it illustrates a powerful and ever-growing collection of stories — mounted on red fabric squares — of those who have survived sexual violence.
Eric Kruszewski is based in Washington, D.C., and his work at the Sondheim exhibit revolves around his time spent learning about the LEAD ministry begun by Saint Matthew Catholic Church in Baltimore. LEAD stands for LGBT Educating and Affirming Diversity, and supports the members of the LGBT community who are parishioners as well as those who are a part of the community at large. Kruszewski interviewed members of of Saint Matthew’s community and explored and documented the work of Father Joseph Muth Jr., the director of LEAD. Kruszewski’s footage on view at Sondheim is displayed as a film altarpiece, with pews situated around it.
Christos Palios lives in Baltimore and takes photographs of the United States and Greece, the country of his ancestry (as he is a first-generation Greek-American). His photos in the collection Un-Finished // Contemporary Ruins depict crumbling and eerie-looking buildings in Greece that have been abandoned during construction. In Conversations, a still life collection of Palios’s, various tables following a meal are frozen in time in his photographs, strewn with the remnants of the food consumed and a cell phone to denote the contemporaneity of the images.