The Lone Star State's two biggest honors for visual artists moved closer to awarding their respective five-figure prizes last week. Finalists for the second Arthouse Texas Prize, presented biennially by the Austin-based statewide contemporary-art organization Arthouse, and the 27th Hunting Art Prize, given annually by the international oil services company Hunting LPC, were announced within hours of one another. Making the final cut for Arthouse's 2007 prize, which comes with a $30,000 check, are Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Bill Davenport, and Katrina Moorhead, all of Houston; Justin Boyd of San Antonio; and Margarita Cabrera of El Paso. This year's jury art historian Frances Colpitt of Texas Christian University; Elizabeth Dunbar, soon-to-be-new Arthouse full-time curator; Eileen Maxson, 2005 Arthouse Texas Prize winner; Debra Singer, director and curator of the Kitchen in New York; Franklin Sirmans, modern- and contemporary-art curator for the Menil Collection in Houston; and Arthouse Executive Director Sue Graze selected these five from 136 nominations offered by professionals in the art world. Art by the finalists will be displayed at Arthouse Sept. 7-Nov. 11, in an exhibition curated by Dunbar, with the big winner being announced at Arthouse's annual gala on Nov. 3. For more information, visit www.arthousetexas.org
A few more folks made the finals for the $50,000 Hunting Prize like 99 more. Yes, the three-person jury which includes our own Regine Basha along with Holly Johnson of Dallas' Holly Johnson Gallery and Valerie Olson with the Glassell School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will choose from a full 104 Texas artists representing 37 communities across Texas. A dozen of those artists come from Austin: Andrew Anderson, Helmut Barnett, Jill Bedgood, Anna Bleker, Erin Curtis, Samantha Krukowski, Mona Marshall, Ender J. Martos, Anna Marie Pavlik, Priscilla Robinson, Naomi Schlinke, and Arthur Simone. And three are from nearby Central Texas communities: Rolando Perdigon, Cedar Park; José L. Rodriguez, Leander; and Keith Sanders, Wimberley. The big winner will be named April 28. For more information, visit www.huntingartprize.com.