The Austin Chronicle

Arthouse Texas Prize Finalists

By Robert Faires, March 11, 2005, Arts

One of the biggest local arts stories of 2004 was the establishment of the Arthouse Texas Prize, an award to be given to a Texas-based artist along with a Texas-sized check: $30,000. That made it the largest regional art award in the Union. Arthouse received 129 nominations for the initial prize, to be handed out this year on Nov. 4, and an accomplished jury, after much deliberation (and Arthouse Executive Director Sue Graze, who chaired the jury, can tell you just how much), has named four finalists: Eileen Maxson, Robyn O'Neil, and Robert A. Pruitt, all of Houston; and Ludwig Schwarz of Dallas. Maxson uses installations and video to challenge viewers' perceptions of the media. O'Neil draws strange snowy landscapes populated by middle-aged men, yetis, and spaceships. Pruitt creates objects and images that expound on the black condition in America. Schwarz is a conceptual artist whose recent work involves paintings of photographs, collages, and computer drawings he has sent to a factory of academically trained artists in China. All four will have their work shown at Arthouse in the fall, with Arthouse Adjunct Curator Regine Basha curating the exhibition and coordinating the catalog. The jurors included James Elaine of the UCLA Hammer Museum of Art; Vernon Fisher, artist, Fort Worth; Dave Hickey, art critic and curator, Los Angeles; Kathryn Kanjo of ArtPace in San Antonio; Shamim M. Momin of the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, NY; Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. For more information, call 453-5312 or visit

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