|2008 SECA Art Award winners (left to right) Jordan Kantor, Tauba Auerbach, Desirée Holman and Trevor Paglen; photo: Drew Altizer Photography|
The purpose of the SECA Art Award is to provide recognition to innovative and talented Bay Area artists whose work has not been accorded substantial institutional recognition.
Since 1967 SECA has honored numerous Bay Area artists with the biennial award, which includes an SFMOMA exhibition, an accompanying catalogue, and a modest cash prize. Recipients are chosen during a process over several months involving the local arts community, artists, SECA members, and museum staff. The final selection is made by SFMOMA's two SECA Art Award curators.
The 2012 iteration of SFMOMA's distinguished biennial award features artworks presented outside the gallery context. Nominated artists were invited to submit a proposal for an off-site solo commission as part of their application materials. The four 2012 award recipients, Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, and David Wilson, created projects in various locations around the Bay Area for the award exhibition, presented in the fall of 2013. This award cycle coincided with the start of construction on SFMOMA's building expansion; through early 2016, SFMOMA is on the go, presenting a range of art experiences around the Bay Area while the museum building is transformed.
Funding for the award exhibition and catalogue is provided by SECA and SFMOMA; the cash prize accompanying the award was initiated in 1984 through the Robert Huston Fund, which is named in memory of a former SECA member and dedicated supporter of young Bay Area artists. Recent SECA Art Award recipients include Mauricio Ancalmo, Colter Jacobsen, Ruth Laskey, and Kamau Amu Patton (2010); Tauba Auerbach, Desirée Holman, Jordan Kantor, and Trevor Paglen (2008); Sarah Cain, Kota Ezawa, Amy Franceschini, Mitzi Pederson, and Leslie Shows (2006); Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Simon Evans, Shaun O'Dell, and Josephine Taylor (2004); and John Bankston, Andrea Higgins, Chris Johanson, and Will Rogan (2002).
|SECA Co-chair Marcus Keller and 2010 SECA Art Awardee Colter Jacobsen; photo: Winni Wintermeyer Photography|
The SECA Art Award program is based on nominations made by members of the local arts community and SECA; a review of applications from more than 250 artists; studio visits with finalists led by SFMOMA's two SECA Art Award curators and open to all SECA members; and final selection of one to four artists by the curators. While the ultimate purpose of the program is the selection of SECA Art Award winners, the process offers opportunities for artists to show their work to a variety of individuals who are active in the local arts community.
To be considered for the SECA Art Award, artists must be based in the Bay Area and out of school at the time of the award announcement. Artworks in all media are considered. As studio visits are essential to the search process, artists must reside in the Bay Area and be available to meet in person with the SECA Art Award curators and SECA members. SECA members, SFMOMA employees (full-time, part-time, or on-call), and previous SECA award recipients are not eligible for consideration. The award is intended for artists who have not yet been accorded substantial institutional recognition.
Artists recommended for the SECA Art Award are invited to submit an online application, which includes six representative images or digital files of their work, an artist statement, and a resume. For the 2012 SECA Art Award, the application included a proposal for an off-site commission. Examples included, but were not limited to, public installations, performances, screenings, event series, community-based projects, and ephemeral, distributed, online, or site-responsive works. Following application reviews with SECA members, the SECA Art Award curators select finalists for studio visits to discuss their practices.
Studio visits are led by the SECA Art Award curators and are open to all SECA members. The visits occur on Saturdays, with two groups of twenty-five to thirty people attending each artist's studio or another proposed location. Each visit lasts approximately 30 minutes. It is helpful if artists leave time for questions. The main focus should be on recent work and work in progress.
Some artists prefer to discuss their work in an exhibition space or at an installation site rather than in their studio. Every effort is made to accommodate artists' preferences and to make the visits as rewarding as possible for both artists and their visitors.
Following the completion of all studio visits, the SECA Art Award curators select one to four winners.
The SECA Art Award exhibition and publication are handled in the same way as any other SFMOMA-generated exhibition, with the staff of SFMOMA's curatorial, exhibitions, registration, education, installation, and public relations departments managing all details.
For more information contact the SECA coordinator at 415.357.4031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.