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Mike Henderson, ​In Long of the Way,​ 2019. Courtesy of Artadia.

Mike Henderson and Angela Hennessy Win 2019 San Francisco Artadia Awards

Artists Mike Henderson​ and ​Angela Hennessy have won the 2019 San Francisco Artadia Awards. Open to visual artists who have lived in the Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo for a minimum of two years, the prize comes with $10,000 in unrestricted funds.

In the first round of jurying, independent curator and writer Essence Harden; artist Amie Siegel; and Diya Vij​, associate curator of public programs at the High Line in New York, ​selected five finalists, including Ranu Mukherjee, Dionne Lee, and Sam Vernon. ​Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, an assistant curator of American art at the Cantor Arts Center, and Harden then conducted studio visits with the shortlisted artists to determine the awardees.

“Mike Henderson​’s striking nonrepresentational paintings belong to a long history of Bay Area abstraction,” Harden and Pitchamarn Alexander​ said in a statement. “Though his practice is rooted in embracing chance and improvisation, the final products of his process are so elegant and fully realized they belie such unplanned origins. This award is meant to offer well-deserved recognition of his impressive thirty-year career.”

Commenting on Hennessy​​’s work, they said: “[Her] materially diverse practice elegantly investigates subjects like mourning, ritual, and womanhood. By using hair as her primary material, Hennessy is able to explore its metaphorical and political relationship to blackness in compelling and original ways. Her sculptures are a powerful representation of an artist working at the intersection of total technical expertise and conceptual clarity.”

Since the national nonprofit organization was founded in 1999, Artadia has awarded over $5 million to more than 330 artists in the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Angela Hennessy, ​The Setting of a Black Sun,​ 2018. Courtesy of Artadia.

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