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Rodney McMillian Wins the Contemporary Austin’s Inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize

Artist Rodney McMillian has received the Contemporary Austin’s inaugural $100,000 Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize. In addition to the monetary award, McMillian will also be given a solo exhibition at the museum’s downtown space, the Jones Center, with the option to extend the exhibition to the museum’s fourteen-acre outdoor area, the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. Public programming will be scheduled around the exhibition, and a catalogue relating to the show will be published.

The Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize, established in summer 2016, is an unrestricted award conferred every two years to an artist selected by an independent advisory committee made up of curators, art historians, and other contemporary art specialists. Among those on the committee who selected McMillian are the MCA Chicago’s Naomi Beckwith, LAXART’s Hamza Walker, and MoMA PS1’s Peter Eleey.

“The [prize] brings both established and emerging talent—from the US and abroad—to audiences here in Central Texas and visitors from around the world,” said Louis Grachos, the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director and CEO of the Contemporary Austin. He continued: “When I joined [the museum] in 2013, my goal was to bring in artists and exhibitions that added to the ongoing dialogue in the contemporary art world and that would help us bring new ideas to the Austin area. We are so privileged to administer this prize—built through the forward-thinking generosity of Suzanne Deal Booth—which dovetails perfectly with [our] mission to reflect the spectrum of contemporary art through thoughtful exhibitions, commissions, and educational programs.”

For’s 500 Words in April 2016, McMillian spoke with writer and curator Alex Fialho about his trio of solo exhibitions throughout the East Coast, which took place at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.