Artadia announced today that Regina Agu and Kaneem Smith have been named the winners of the 2017 Houston Artadia Awards. Both artists will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds. This is Artadia’s eighth Houston edition of the prize, which was open to all visual artists who have been based in Harris County, Texas, for two years or more.
“Regina Agu and Kaneem Smith represent two dynamic women working in different mediums, but both are very focused and articulated the vision of their work with grace and passion,” juror Ryan N. Dennis, public art director and curator of Project Row Houses in Houston, said. “Regina, an artist that has a collaborative spirit, is informed by deep research and presents text-based work along with collage and photography, and is weaving narratives together in a refreshing way. Kaneem, who moves between sculpture and fiber works, pushes the viewer to think about African American history and the Diaspora poetically and powerfully. I could not be more thrilled to award these two artists and look forward to seeing what they accomplish with this support.”
The jury also included Claire Gilman, senior curator of the Drawing Center in New York, and Los Angeles–based artist Ryan Trecartin. Together with Dennis, they selected five finalists: Regina Agu, Catherine Colangelo, Gabriel Martinez, Kaneem Smith, and Sarah Welch. In the second round of the judging process, Evan Garza, director of Rice Public Art at Rice University, and Dennis conducted studio visits with the artists before selecting the winners.
Since 1999, Artadia has awarded more than $3 million to more than three hundred artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Next year’s Houston application will be open from April 15 to May 15, 2018.