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Lubaina Himid Wins 2017 Turner Prize

Artist, activist, and curator Lubaina Himid, known for using her practice to address issues such as the African diaspora, the legacy of slavery, and the visibility of black artists, has been named the winner of the prestigious Turner Prize. She will receive approximately $34,000. The sixty-three-year-old artist also made history by becoming the first woman of color, as well as the oldest candidate, to win the prize—2017 marked the first year that artists older than fifty were eligible for the award.

Works by Himid and short-listed artists Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, and Rosalind Nasashibi—who will each receive about $6,700—are on display in an exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, where a ceremony celebrating Himid was held on Tuesday, December 5.

Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Himid studied theater design at the Wimbledon College of Art and earned her master’s degree in cultural history at the Royal College of Art. Currently, she is a professor of contemporary art at the University of Central Lancashire. Recent solo exhibitions of her work include “Navigation Charts” (2017) at Spike Island in Bristol and “Invisible Strategies” (2017) at the Modern Art Oxford.

Chaired by Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, the jury comprised Dan Fox, coeditor at Frieze; art critic Martin Herbert; Mason Leaver-Yap, the Walker Art Center’s Bentson Scholar of Moving Image in Minneapolis and associate curator at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin; and Emily Pethick, the director of London’s Showroom.

In a statement issued by the prize, the jury “praised the artist for her uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today.”