Glasstire Opens Call for its 2020 San Antonio Art Writing Prize

by Glasstire January 30, 2020


Update: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for submissions has been moved to September 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Senior undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years are eligible for the Prize.

Glasstire is pleased to announce the 2020 San Antonio Glasstire Art Writing Prize, a competitive award designed to find and highlight emerging arts writers in Texas. This is the third year of the Prize, which will focus on the San Antonio region this spring. Glasstire also plans to host the third North Texas Prize in the fall of 2020. (It will eventually be Texas-wide.) The winner of the Prize will be awarded $2,500, and their work will be published on Glasstire.

The Glasstire Art Writing Prize is awarded to a senior undergraduate or graduate student at a Texas university. For this open call, students from art history, journalism, studio arts, philosophy, literature, and other departments at participating universities in the San Antonio area will be invited to submit articles, starting today, January 30, 2020. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for submissions has been moved to September 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Senior undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years are eligible for the Prize. Any questions about the prize can be directed to Glasstire’s editorial staff at [email protected].

Judges for this round of the Prize include Dr. Rich Aste, Director of the McNay Art Museum; Anjali Gupta, Director of Sala Diaz; Brandon Zech, Publisher of Glasstire; Christina Rees, Editor-in-Chief of Glasstire; and Christopher Blay, News Editor of Glasstire.

100% of the funds raised for the 2020 San Antonio Prize will go toward San Antonio writing in the coming year. If you would like to donate to the 2020 San Antonio Prize, please contact [email protected].

How to Enter
Entrants must submit one article, with a word count between 750 and 1200 words, about a work of art that they love, and why. Only one submission per author will be considered. Please submit your article as either a Word document or PDF to [email protected]. Let our editor know who you are in your email, but please do not include any identifying information (name, school, etc.) in the text of article you’ve written, as all submissions will be juried blindly. Again, please include a bio and identifying information in the body of your email instead.

Submission is open to all writers currently enrolled in universities and colleges in the San Antonio region (schools within a 50-mile radius of San Antonio, an area that includes San Marcos) who are either undergraduate seniors or are in any graduate-level (Masters degree or PhD) program. Writers will be considered ineligible after five years of relevant art-related employment (for example a curatorial or other professional position in a museum or history of paid arts writing as a freelancer or editor). Allowance can be made for periods devoted to family obligations or extended illness, at the discretion of the jury.

Articles submitted for the prize must be previously unpublished and it is expected that the winning article will be published on Glasstire.

Keep in mind that Glasstire publishes journalistic arts writing. Preference will be shown for interesting, opinionated prose that eschews academic jargon. When writing your article, ask yourself if this is something you would want to read.

Past Prizes
The 2019 North Texas Art Writing Prize winner was Mathieu Debic, a PhD student at UT Dallas, who wrote about David Lynch’s 1984 film Dune.

Here’s an excerpt from his submission, titled Working at the Movies:

“That Dune was a failed experiment has, in a sense, become part of its point. In order for watching movies to not feel like work, there has to exist the possibility of movies like Dune. Without taking the major risks that can lead to a complete flop, both aesthetically and financially, movies (and their makers) nowadays gravitate toward the “easy A” — a compromised product that no one truly loves, but gives no one any reason to complain. This is the compromise that makes movies boring, and like work.”

The 2018 North Texas Art Writing Prize winner was Melanie Shi, a student of Philosophy at the University of North Texas in Denton, who wrote about The Color Inside, a skyspace artwork by American artist James Turrell.

On the importance of arts writing, Christina Rees wrote for the inaugural Prize’s announcement, in her op-ed Why We Need Art Writers Now (More Than Ever):

“The Glasstire Art Writing Prize… can encourage and cultivate the voices who are interested in engaging with the vast amount of visual art that this state churns out. Artists not only deserve honest critical writing about their work. They want it. The best artists, especially, want it. And the glossy lifestyle magazines and ‘curated’ Insta-sites that only embrace the forced glamor and fluff around visual art aren’t giving them (or art fans) this, or starting any meaningful conversation around art and what it can actually do in our culture. Given our current political moment, this problem of lack of real dialogue is especially galling.”

The inaugural 2018 North Texas Prize was generously sponsored by Lindsey and Patrick Collins; Laura and Walter Elcock; Elisabeth and Panos Karpidas; Jana and Hadley Paul; and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky.

The 2019 North Texas Prize was generously sponsored by Laura and Walter Elcock; Lindsey and Patrick Collins; Elisabeth and Panos Karpidas; John and Lisa Runyon; and Eleanor Williams.

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