Glasstire’s Board of Directors and staff are pleased to announce that Melanie Shi is the winner of the inaugural Glasstire Art Writing Prize, a competitive award designed to highlight emerging arts writers in Texas.
A student of Philosophy at the University of North Texas in Denton, Shi wrote about The Color Inside, a skyspace artwork by American artist James Turrell. Because the artwork, which is located on the University of Texas’ campus, requires such an active participation by its viewer, Shi’s essay was able to combine personal narrative with her analysis of the piece in an insightful, fresh way. As she wrote in her submission, Eye to Eye:
In a modern way of living that so values productivity and forward advancement via technology, it is difficult to justify taking out an hour in an evening just to watch the sun set. Turrell’s ‘The Color Inside’ offers this experience, and reminds us of why it is important. It encourages the viewer to reflect — to reflect on reflection, to notice the very essence of how she is seeing through color. It does so using the play of light and the viewer’s vision alone, suggesting that artwork can be an event instead of a material thing. In fact, it can only be experienced in person.
In an email to Glasstire, Shi said that her writing was inspired by Glasstire Editor-in-Chief Christina Rees’ recent article Why We Need Art Writers Now (More Than Ever). In addition to the $2,500 prize, Shi will have the opportunity to publish writing on Glasstire. Judges for the 2018 prize include Augustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art; Anne Bothwell, Vice President of Arts for KERA; Rainey Knudson, the founder and publisher of Glasstire; Christina Rees, the Editor-in-Chief of Glasstire; and Brandon Zech, the News Editor of Glasstire.
The inaugural prize has been generously sponsored by Lindsey and Patrick Collins; Laura and Walter Elcock; Elisabeth and Panos Karpidas; Jana and Hadley Paul; and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. 100% of the funds raised for the prize will go to North Texas writers in the coming year.
Knudson said of the prize, “It was very enjoyable reading all the entries, which were quite varied and several of which were very good indeed. People bemoan the state of writing, and art writing in particular, in our country — but if the submissions we received were any indicator, we have cause for celebration, not despair. We are so grateful to our judges and our sponsors for making this prize possible.”
While the 2018 award was only open to North Texas-area undergraduate and graduate students, Glasstire plans to expand the Prize’s scope in the future.