Ladies and gentleman, the 2012 winners of The Mary Sawyers Baker Prize:
Each artist will receive $25,000 and be featured in an exhibition at The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) from September – October, 2012.
ALEXANDER HEILNER is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in photography, video, digital imaging, installation, lighting design and sculpture. His work on the Baker Artist Awards website is primarily comprised of aerial photographs from the U.S. and Dubai that transform and abstract the landscape. In addition to his fine artwork, Alex also works selectively in photojournalism and commercial photography. His images have been featured in National Geographic, JPEG, Details, and on websites including public radio’s Marketplace. Alex earned his B.A. at Princeton University and his M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is the Associate Dean for Design and Media at MICA, where he also teaches photography.
NATHAN BELL is a visionary musician who uses a variety of instruments and techniques to create ethereal and poignant melodies. In addition to trumpet, bass, guitar, and drums, he is most known for his transformative work with the banjo on which he uses a bow, finger picks, and clawhammer/frailing styles. “Music is the universal language, a pilgrimage that finds hope, and it is the quest to find light and to share it with others”, says Nathan. In addition to playing solo, Nathan has traveled abroad to work with other musicians. Bands he has performed with include TALL PRAISES HIGH SPIRIT BAND, HUMAN BELL, THE WOODSMEN (Baltimore), LUNGFISH, THE ASSEMBLY, THE BEAUTIFUL LOSERS (Baltimore), 5 KNUCKLE SHUFFLE, LAND SPEED RECORD, GLAZERIDE, FLOOD, GREENHOUSE, SLAPHAPPY, SPACECRAFTS AND WALKING STICKS (Liz Downing and Nathan Bell), and BRASSA BELL (Brazil).
DAVID KNOPP is a lifetime resident of Baltimore and self-taught sculptor. His sculpture work was inspired by his interest in an organic quality of line he discovered while drawing with graphite and charcoal. “A single drawn line can express gesture and movement, direction and depth on a flat surface,” says David. “Moving toward sculpture, I carried these disciplines to another dimension.” Carving into blocks of plywood, David uses the stack-laminated layers found within to emulate the lines in his drawings and emphasize the elegant contours of his sculptures. His large-scale pieces are fluid and carry the organic nature of his drawings into a three dimensional realm.
The announcement was made on a special episode of Maryland Public Television’s ArtWorks This Week with Rhea Feikin and special guest Tom Hall, during an award ceremony and reception at The Metro Gallery. In addition to awarding the Mary Sawyers Baker Prize winners, the 9 b Grant winners from this award season were also celebrated, and their work was featured in special episode of Artworks. Check out the video above for more.
Among the b-grant winners, Smooth Kentucky was awarded an additional prize of $500 in honor of Semmes G. Walsh, whose forty-plus years of service to the Baker Fund were characterized by integrity, common sense and a commitment to artistic excellence and his love of music. Miranda Pfeiffer was awarded an additional prize of $500 honoring Nancy Haragan for her decade of creative service to Baltimore’s arts sector.
Last night’s reception at Metro was a blast, and a big thanks to all of the guests who came out to join us! The Baker Artist Awards has evolved from a grant application process to a thriving online community that reflects the regions rich and diverse cultural offerings. It is always wonderful to see the extraordinary support from Baltimore’s thriving art community, and we’re thrilled with the success of the 2012 award season.
Special thanks to:
The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund Board
The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
The brilliant team at Fastspot
Doreen Bolger and the Baltimore Museum of Art
Maryland Public Television
Aaron Henkin from WYPR and The Signal
Tom Hall from the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and WYPR
The WindUp Space
Sarah Werner and The Metro Gallery
and of course, Joe Squared, for all that delicious pizza!
and most of all, a very special thanks to all the artists who have participated and embraced the site and proven that great things are happening in and around Baltimore!
Although the winners of the 2012 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize have been announced, we have a lot more in store for the Baker community! Starting TODAY, current users with active nominations can now EDIT THEIR NOMINATIONS from now until October, when the site will refresh once more for the new season. Get working on your nomination for the fifth award season of The Baker Artist Awards in 2013! As always, there’s more to come, so