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Visual Arts Professor Kara Walker Wins Smithsonian Award
Kara Walker

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced recently that Columbia professor Kara Walker won its annual Lucelia Artist Award, which is given to a leading contemporary American artist younger than 50. The prestigious award, created in 2001 and funded by the New York-based Lucelia Foundation, has a $25,000 honorarium. Walker, an associate professor of visual arts at Columbia's School of the Arts, expressed her gratitude for the award by saying, "It'll be a great help for my studio practice."

Walker is best known for her large-scale silhouettes through which she examines slavery, race and the old South. Her provocative work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art , the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1997, she received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

" Walker has already influenced a generation of artists and produced an impressive body of challenging work in a relatively short career," the Lucelia jurors wrote in their statement.

"Influence of the Recent Dead" (2001), mixed media and paper on board.
Credit: Courtesy Brent Sikkema NYC

Last year's winner of the award was Rirkrit Tiravanija, associate professor of professional practice in Columbia's School of the Arts Visual Arts Division. His works span a range of media and embrace interactivity, inviting the public to eat, cook and sleep.


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Published: May 07, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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