September 17, 2012

Congratulations to the artists! Finalists for the 2012 SECA Art Award have just been announced

SFMOMA assistant curators Jenny Gheith (painting and sculpture) and Tanya Zimbardo (media arts) have just announced the finalists for the 2012 SECA Art Award. This installment of the museum’s biennial award is especially exciting: for the first time in the award program’s history, the museum will be commissioning new work offsite.

Up to four winners will be announced in December. Selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants, the finalists are:

Zarouhie Abdalian

Elisheva Biernoff 

Nate Boyce

Tammy Rae Carland

Anthony Discenza

Liam Everett

Josh Faught

Chris Fraser

Jonn Herschend

Cybele Lyle

Jonathan Runcio

Jesse Schlesinger

Chris Sollars 

Stephanie Syjuco

Lindsey White

David Wilson

Since 1967 SFMOMA and its art interest group SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) have honored Bay Area artists with the SECA Art Award, which includes an SFMOMA exhibition, an accompanying catalogue, and a modest cash prize. This fall the curators will lead group studio visits with each of the finalists to discuss their practices and offsite commission proposals. The SFMOMA offsite exhibition featuring the award recipients’ work will open next fall.


Comments (10)

  • why no painting?
    I was a nominated and was thrilled just for that.

  • Liam Everett rocks! He does great work and we hope he wins. Whatever the outcome, what an honor it is to be nominated. Congratulations everyone.

  • Frank Lostaunau says:

    Artist…hang in there. Keep expressing your opinions. Above, don’t stop making art! su amigo…frank

  • Frank Lostaunau says:

    I believe that Ms. Syjuco and Mr. Discena deserve respect.


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  • Again, if a previous show at the sponsoring institution isn’t “recognition”.. then I don’t know what is. Rewrite the mission statement or pick artists who haven’t already been included in shows in ALL of the major Bay Area institutions.

  • Christine Wong Yap says:

    Hi Frank. Your confusion is contagious. Perhaps the chronology of responses isn’t clear? My comment was a response to Artist’s suggestion that SECA is betraying its mission. Artist interpreted SECA’s mandate to serve “undiscovered” artists; my response encouraged a wider interpretation to include “under-recognized” artists.

    Under-recognition implies an imbalance between the recognition an artists’ work merits and the recognition the artist actually receives. If you’re asking me if I think one ought consider under-recognition in the very act of distributing recognition, then my answer is yes.

    That there are loads of people who happily make art without showing it, doesn’t mean that those of us who choose to be in conversation with each other should be stripped of opportunities for recognition. Nor does it render that recognition meaningless.

    I think the art world is incredibly mystifying to artists and non-artists alike. I’m more interesting in discussing how it works, and why, rather than to question why any of it matters.

    I’m not sure to whom your question about citing Syjuco and Discenza was directed to; as he/she brought it up in the first place, I suspect Artist.

  • Frank Lostaunau says:

    Christine Wong Yap: How come it matters to you that a nominee is “under-recognized”. Millions of artists are “under-recognized”, have never won the SECA Art Award, many have never even exhibited their art, and they continue to make art and live happy productive lives. Many art lovers in San Francisco have never even heard of the SECA Art Award so does it really matter?

    It seems that “Artist” is trying to shape something that may not concern the judges. What’s the big deal about being an innovative, unrecognized talent? Maybe it’s not such a good idea to provide a prize…like a show.

    How come it was important to cite the names of Ms. Syjuco and Mr. Discenza? I don’t understand?

  • Frank Lostaunau says:

    Hopefully, all of the nominated artists will appreciate what it means to be nominated. I have no investment in who wins.
    Congratulations on your nominations. VIVA!

  • Christine Wong Yap says:

    Discenza and Syjuco are not “undiscovered,” but I think they are under-recognized, considering the quality of their work and their longtime commitment to their practices (and to the Bay Area).

    That they had works in exhibitions at SFMOMA before shouldn’t disqualify them from their consideration for an award from an SFMOMA-affiliated (but not SFMOMA-directed) society that encourages contemporary art.

    A lot of artists on this list have paid their dues over many years–providing opportunities for other artists, developing their craft, and working day jobs (often teaching younger artists). That they’ve garnered _inclusion in a show_ for their efforts seems to be a weak criteria for disqualification from one of the most prestigious local awards.

  • “The purpose of the SECA Art Award is to provide recognition to innovative and talented Bay Area artists whose work has not been accorded substantial institutional recognition.”

    SFMOMA has already given shows to Stephanie Syjuco and Anthony Discenza. If SECA has changed its mission, fine. But please, don’t act like you are providing recognition to undiscovered artists.

See all responses (10)
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