The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland has announced the creation of the Toby’s Prize, a biennial award that will be given to an artist to support a new commission, a solo exhibition at the institution, and a scholarly publication. The prize of $50,000 will provide $25,000 to fund artistic production and $25,000 as a cash award.
The prize is named for philanthropist Toby Devan Lewis, a longtime board member of MOCA Cleveland. Selected by a jury of curators and scholars, prizewinners will be artists who are expanding the boundaries of their practice. The first winner of Toby’s Prize will be announced in spring 2018.
“We are delighted to realize this initiative as we approach MOCA’s fiftieth anniversary,” said director Jill Snyder. “Toby’s Prize reaffirms MOCA’s commitment to artistic experimentation and commissioning of new work. This award expands opportunities to bring national and international artists in dialog with the unique attributes of this Midwestern locale.”
Commenting on the new initiative, Toby Devan Lewis said, “In fostering emerging and established artists, I am proud to advance the visionary legacy of MOCA’s founders, Marjorie Talalay, Nina Sundell, and Aggie Gund. Nothing is more close to my heart than to nurture creative expression.”