Sondheim Artscape Prize finalists exhibit launches online

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An image still of the virtual gallery for Hoesy Corona’s “The Nobodies.”

While there may not be an Artscape this year due to COVID-19, the prestigious Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is continuing on.

Starting today, art-lovers can view the works of the finalists online and tour submissions as if walking through a curated art gallery, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts announced.

Five of the six exhibits are online now, with visual artist and photographer Phylicia Ghee’s work expected to post soon.

Miguel Braceli’s exhibit directs viewers to the website for his project “Geopolitical Games,” a game featuring players of different nationalities and cultures hitting red and blue inflatable beach balls.

“It is a game where the balls are not held by the political parties but by citizens and non ‘citizens’,” Braceli writes on the site. “It is a game that reduces all the borders of the world to 6 feet, where the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčnationality is diluted by the fatuity of this action.”

The other four exhibits–the group strikeWare has two rooms–present the artwork on the walls of a virtual gallery. Viewers can use the arrow keys on their computer to move around the rooms and rotate with their mouse or touch pad.

Users can stand in front of a work head-on by clicking on it, which also allows for cycling through each piece in the exhibit like a photo gallery. A menu in the top right corner provides a list of the works and information about the artist.

Multidisciplinary artist Hoesy Corona’s exhibit features a collection of photos and collages highlighting his sculptural garments and performance pieces that document “the journeys of displaced immigrants and marginalized peoples,” according to an exhibit description.

The collection, dating from 2010-2020, is called the “The Nobodies” and includes readings of “Los Nadies,” by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, in both English and Spanish.

Portrait artist LaToya M. Hobbs has more than two dozen prints and paintings that address “the ideas of beauty, cultural identity, and womanhood as they relate to women of the African Diaspora,” according to BOPA.

Silver Spring-based artist Muriel Hasbun’s show is titled “Pulse | Pulso” and features constructed photographs that call back to El Salvadoran culture during the 1980s and 1990s. Using the archives from a gallery established by her mother, her own photographs from that period and the seismographic record of the country, Hasbun strives to create a new “thirdspace” of memories and experiences, according to an artist’s statement.

The group strikeWare, which includes members Mollye Bendell, Jeffrey Gangwisch and Christopher Kojzar, used augmented reality to create an exhibit called “Augmented Church & State.

The images and audio in the exhibit show “how Black citizens were perceived by the state as opposed to within their own communities,” according to a description.

It’s accompanying piece, “Renovations,” explores Black education in Baltimore, dating back to when the present-day Peale Center was the first high school to accept African-American students.

While Ghee’s exhibit is not yet online, a bio from BOPA notes that her work “documents transition, explores healing, ritual, ceremony and personal rites of passage” and that Ghee has curated exhibits and programming “around issues of identity, healing and community.”

BOPA and the jurors will announce the winner of the $25,000 prize in a ceremony broadcast on YouTube on July 25 at 7 p.m. All the other finalists receive a $2,500 prize.

The virtual exhibit will remain online through Aug. 31.

Brandon Weigel


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