ArtPrize Grand Prizes Announced – 2014

Intersections wins $300,000 for Anila Quayyum Agha

ArtPrize 2014 thumb

Intersections” won the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize, and shared the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize with another contestant. The $300,000 win for Agha is the largest win in ArtPrize history. Anila Quayyum Agha’s entry drew ArtPrize visitors like no other 3-D entry. (See my earlier review here.)

The creation of “Intersections” has roots in the artwork and architecture of Islam. Agha says the wood carving “emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony…”

The core of the work is an intricately carved cube that is lit to turn the entire room into an artwork. Her work begins with forms from a time and place in Islamic culture that was broadly inclusive. It ends with a work that seems to encircle all its visitors in an intricately balance whole. (See more pictures at

The Hair Craft Project Wins $100,000 for Sonya Clark

The Hair Craft Project is so unusual  ArtPrize 2014  has wrapped up. This is the last of my Observations: ArtPrize 2014.

I couldn’t leave without mentioning three very meaingful works that all focus on the human face:
Soldier” – picturing the vulnerability of soldiers returned from war – was on top five Juror 3D list. “Outcry” – the heart rending picture of a girl trapped in sex slavery – winner of 2-D public vote. “I Love My Beautiful Brain” – a bright view of thinking by a teacher and his elementary student artists.
Find lots of ArtPrize news at 

that I will let the artists words describe it:

“In a 1997 review of my work, Bill Gaskins wrote, “Hairdressing is the primordial fiber art.” I began the Hair Craft Project with his words in mind. Hairdressers are my heroes. The poetry and politics of Black hair care specialists are central to my work as an artist. Rooted in a rich legacy, their hands embody an ability to map a head with a comb and manipulate the fiber we grow into complex form. I reframed the mastery of these artists in a new context, the gallery. Each was supplied with my head of hair and a canvas hand stitched with silk thread. Their challenge was to demonstrate their expertise in a familiar medium, hair, and translate it into a less familiar one, thread on canvas. For the span of the project, I became a walking art gallery donning glorious hairstyles. The photographs document those hairstyles created specifically for the project while the canvases provide a permanent example of the craft.”

The Hair Project,” like “Intersection, is a new art form. It puts materials—human hair, threads and canvas—together in a relationship that honors the human body, and honors the very personal art work of hairstylists. See more pictures at

(See information box above for more entries that honor the human head! And see my “Three Entries With The Message … In The Medium” for other fascinating uses  of materials in ArtPrize entries.)

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