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West Prize 2008–apply online now!

Drew Leshko, 2006, Negro Church, South Carolina, 1936 after Walker Evans, Lambda print. 18x13 1/2" Leshko's piece is included in the West Collection.
Drew Leshko, 2006, Negro Church, South Carolina, 1936 after Walker Evans, Lambda print. 18×13 1/2″ Leshko’s piece is included in the West Collection.

This just in (and thanks Drew Leshko for the heads up!)

 The West Collection — that innovative outfit supporting emerging artists since 1996 — has instituted a prize! The West Prize is a purse of $100,000 to be split among 10 finalists, money earmarked for acquisitions to the West Collection.  There’s an open call for submissions right now — apply on the Collection’s website.

The ten finalists will be featured in an exhibit TEN — with publication — and one among them will win a cash prize of $25,000– a kind of best of show award. The deadline to apply is Oct. 1. And just fyi, images and other information submitted (artist’s statement and bio) will become part of a public database, a resource available to all. It’s free to apply so don’t dally! I put some of the application rules at the bottom of this post.

Alex Da Corte
Alex Da Corte, 2008. Accessory, acrylic fingernails, polish, pins, earrings, seed beads, sequins, Swaovski crystals, glitter. 62x20x20″

I first heard about the West Collection around 2000 and took a tour of the art which is housed on the campus of SEI Investments at Oaks, PA. I met the people involved, Curator Paige West and Director Lee Stoetzel and was smitten with not only the edgy work they were supporting but with the adventurous take-charge spirit. These folks are tastemakers, ahead of the curve in discovering and promoting young talent. And many of their artists are big names now. Vik Muniz has been a favorite of the Collection’s for years, for example. Others included are Marcel Dzama, Luis Gispert, Sarah Charlesworth, Adam Cvijanovic, James Hyde, and Philly artists Alex Da Corte, Mark Khaisman, Tristin Lowe, Norm Paris and Mark Shetabi. You may have seen selections from the West Collection in shows around Philadelphia — at ICA, Rosenwald-Wolf, PAFA. The Collection makes the works available to museums and galleries and always has some significant pieces on the road.

You can tour the collection at Oaks, by making an appointment with Stoetzel. Highly recommended.

Lee Stoetzel, Director
t 610.883.7368
f 610.903.4255

Here are the application rules:

1.  Deadline for submissions is October 1st, 2008.

2.  Submitted works must have been created within the last 3 years.

3.  The West Collection will review works in painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

4.  All works must be available for acquisition at the time of submission.

5.  As the West Collection focuses on emerging work, the maximum price per work is $20,000.

6.  All artists/dealer representatives must disclose accurate value/purchase price of artworks at the time of submission.

7.  All artworks submitted will be part of an online database available to curators, gallerists, and museums.

8.  10 finalists will be selected by December 1st, 2008 and acquisition awards will be negotiated by the West Collection.

9.  $100,000 in acquisition funds will be awarded to ten finalists so that at least one major work by each artist is acquired for the West Collection Lending Library.

10.  December 2008/January 2009:  A color catalogue of all finalist works will be made for the “Ten” exhibition.

11.  February 2009:  Acquired works will be included in the “Ten” finalist exhibition in February 2009.  A grand prize finalist will be selected to receive a $25,000 cash award in addition to the acquisition of a major work by the West Collection.