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The winners of the inaugural Frieze Impact Prize — which recognizes three artists for creating work that contributes to the movement to end mass incarceration in the United States — were announced on Wednesday, with Dread Scott, Mary Baxter and Maria Gaspar each being awarded $25,000 for their artwork.
The prize, given in partnership with Art for Justice and Endeavor Impact, was selected by a jury including Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, founder of Art for Justice Fund Agnes Gund, Serpentine Galleries CEO Bettina Korek and chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Pilar Tompkins Rivas.
Baxter, Gaspar and Scott will present iterations of their winning artworks at the third edition of Frieze Los Angeles in February 2022. The Frieze Impact Prize aims to expose the inequitable aspects of the criminal justice system and challenge its racially-biased public perceptions. Applications to the Frieze Impact Prize were open to U.S. based visual artists aged 18 or older, regardless of citizenship status, felony convictions, or formal training in art, with special consideration given to justice-involved artists.
“We’re proud that together, Frieze and Endeavor Impact are able to use our position and resources to create visibility for underrepresented artists – and to shine a light on the important issue of criminal justice reform,” Romola Ratnam, senior vp of social impact at Endeavor, said in a statement.
Baxter received the prize for her work “Ain’t I a Woman,” a multi-media installation comprised of audio, video and text, chronicling her life before, during and after incarceration with a look at motherhood and reproductive justice. Gaspar was selected for her project “Radioactive: Stories from Beyond the Wall,” in which she used audio recordings and animations projected onto the exterior of a jail and aimed to amplify the voices of incarcerated people while also creating a channel of communication between those on the inside and those on the outside. Scott was awarded the prize for “Wanted,” a community-based project that addresses the criminalization of Black and Latinx youth in the U.S., and includes public forums on the creation of “wanted” posters for activities that aren’t illegal but for which police harass youth.
The Frieze Impact Prize draws inspiration from Mark Bradford’s “Life Size,” a work created from an image of a police body camera. For Frieze Los Angeles 2020, this image was presented on posters throughout the city, as a large-scale billboard on location at Paramount Pictures Studios and as a limited-edition print series. Proceeds from sales of the print series went directly to the Art for Justice Fund. Founded by Gund, the “de-carceration” fund seeks to disrupt mass incarceration by funding artists and advocates working together to reform the criminal justice system.
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