A few weeks after being named a MacArthur Fellow, artist and designer Walter Hood was recently selected as the 2019 recipient of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious art accolades in the U.S. The prize is presented to a highly accomplished artist from any discipline who “has pushed the boundaries of an art form, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation”. This year's prize is valued at approximately $250,000.
Selected from more than 70 finalists, Hood was praised for his ongoing significant achievements and positive impact of his work that fuses landscape, urbanism, and public art.
“When I look at the artists who have received the Gish Prize, it’s clear to me that this is not your typical award. It’s very much about people having a voice. So I am astonished, and deeply moved, that the Gish Prize jury has heard my voice,” Walter Hood said in a statement. “The work the Studio has done for the past twenty years is often soft-spoken and can go unnoticed. I thank the Gish Prize for helping to bring it into the public conversation.”
In deliberating this year's winner, the Prize selection committee “[asked themselves] similar questions about what an artist might do for people today,” said Oskar Eustic, chair of the committee and artistic director of The Public Theater. “Who could reconnect us with the natural world and help us care for the environment, bring communities together and offer ways to think about our society, give us the experience of beauty we need and meanings we can live with? We realized that every question we asked had the same answer: Walter Hood.”
Hood will be presented with the award during a private ceremony at Columbia University on November 20.
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