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Announcing – 2017 New Art Writing Challenge prize winners!

Artblog is proud to announce the cash prize winners and honorable mention recipients in the 2017 New Art Writing Challenge! Stay tuned for the articles, which we will publish here and on our partner sites in the coming weeks.


The New Art Writing Challenge was co-founded by The St. Claire and Artblog in 2015 to encourage experimentation in local art writing and to bring undiscovered talent to the fore through a blind, democratic selection process. Now in its third year, the annual contest, which attracts writers of all ages and walks of life from across the region is still going strong. The reviews, poetry and a experimental essays that we received this cycle addressed a wide-range of topics, from Philadelphia’s hidden architectural gems to exhibitions and events at the ICA, PMA and local galleries. We are encouraged by the response and enthusiasm!

Art Writing Challenge Panelists.
From left to right: Matt Kalasky (moderator), Alexandra Oehmke, Catherine Rush, Carl(os) Roa talk the future of art writing with moderator Matt Kalasky at the annual New Art Writing panel, which was held in the galleries at Moore in October and broadcast on Moore College of Art and Design’s TGMR radio station and podcast on Artblog Radio.

Because fostering collegiality amongst writers has also been a goal of the New Art Writing Challenge, we enlisted the help of our friends at Curate This, Thinking Dance, Title Magazine and Velvet Glove to judge this third installment of the contest, with Artblog underwriting the cash prizes and jurors’ fees. In addition to selecting their own honorable mention and cash-prize winners, partners will publish their selected winners to their respective platforms in the coming weeks. All winners and honorable mentions will also be featured right here on Artblog!

We believe that publicly recognizing excellence and innovation in local art writing makes the entire Philadelphia cultural ecosystem stronger. The best art criticism uses language creatively to help us navigate our complex (and often non-verbal) experiences of objects and images. Recognizing that no experience is universal, it also empowers us to reflect on our individual histories, values and relationships to community. This year’s winners do all that and more. As happened in previous years, we hope the 2017 New Art Writing Challenge will be a springboard to other writing opportunities for these new and exciting voices.

A big “Thank You” to everyone who submitted, and to our partners, Curate This, thINKing Dance, Title, and Velvet Glove. Special thanks to the New Art Writing Challenge co-founder, Matt Kalasky, who remains a dedicated member of the Challenge Team.

2017 New Art Writing Challenge Winners

Artblog Prize Winner
Leah Gallant – Icon of the Infinite Scroll

Curate This Prize Winner
Michael Carroll – The Psyche and Space: More Than Private at Slought

thINKing Dance Prize Winner
Nicole Sonsini – To Signposts and Light Poles

Title Prize Winner
Nishat Hossain – how to save your own life

Velvet Glove Prize Winner
Huewayne Watson – Entering and Exiting Narratives

Honorable Mention
Steve Basel – Paint the Revolution (Title)
Michael Carroll – The Psyche and Space: More Than Private at Slought (Velvet Glove)
Nishat Hossain – Toying with Rocks: Jottings on the Ardmore Cairn (thINKing Dance)
Nicole Sonsini – To Signposts and Light Poles (Curate This)
Huewayne Watson – Entering and Exiting Narratives (Artblog)