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ArtPrize 2014 Awards: Anila Quayyum Agha wins hearts of jurors, public

Artist Anila Quayyum Agha, of Indianapolis, won big at the 2014 ArtPrize Awards, winning the Installation category award as well as both Grand Prizes, taking home $300,000 for her installation “Intersections.”
Anila Quayyum Agha was awarded $300,000 at the 2014 ArtPrize Awards for her installation "Intersections."

Anila Quayyum Agha was awarded $300,000 at the 2014 ArtPrize Awards for her installation "Intersections." /Ana Olvera

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2014 ArtPrize Award Winners

Public Grand Prize: "Intersections" by Anila Quayyum Agha

Juried Grand Prize (tie): "Intersections" by Anila Quayyum Agha and "The Hair Craft Project" by Sonya Clark


Juried categories:

Public categories:

The point of ArtPrize is to get people talking and thinking about art, and it did. Todd Herring, ArtPrize director of marketing and communications, started the awards ceremony with a slow-jam performance about the “tension”-filled comments made on ArtPrize’s Facebook page.

The public, ArtPrize jurors and art critics engaged in critical discourse for 17 days to decide on and discuss this year’s top entries. During that time one artwork managed to charm jurors and public alike for the first time in ArtPrize history: “Intersections” by Anila Quayyum Agha. “Intersections” was the only ArtPrize entry to make it onto both the jurors’ Shortlist and the public’s Top 20 list.

“I’m a humanist; I believe in dialogue,” Agha said after receiving her third award of the night.

Agha won the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize as a tie with Sonya Clark and her entry “The Hair Craft Project,” a series of photographs and sewn canvases. Agha also won the $20,000 Public Installation Award as well as the $200,000 Grand Prize from the public vote.

She says the prize money will be used to fund two or three large projects in the future. “Intersections,” a 6 ½-foot by 6 ½-foot square laser-cut installation, was made using a grant Agha received from Indiana University.

After celebrating her wins, Agha will return to Indiana University to teach at the Herron School of Art and Design.

“I think they’ll give me a high-five,” say Agha of her students’ reactions to her success at ArtPrize. “And I’ll give it back to them. And then right down to business again.”

ArtPrize venue SiTE:LAB @ The Morton won the juried award for outstanding venue. SiTE:LAB also won the outstanding venue category in 2011 and 2012. Two of the artworks located in SiTE:LAB’s exhibit won juried categories. The Juried Time-Based Award was awarded to “respirador (breather)” by Dance in the Annex. The Juried Installation Winner Award was awarded to Julie Schenkelberg. 

The other venue to garner more than one award was at Kendall College of Art and Design, with "The Hair Craft Project" earning not only the Grand Jury Award tied with "Intersections but the Two-Dimensional Juried Category award, and "Tengo Hambre" by Maximo Gonzalez garnering the Thre-dimensional Juried Award.

ArtPrize remains open for the public to view works through Sunday.

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