Betelhem Makonnen’s Tito’s Prize Exhibition Scheduled For March 6

by Christopher Blay March 3, 2020

Bethlehem Makonnen is the winner of the 2020 Tito’s Prize.

The 3rd annual Tito’s Prize Winner Exhibition, this one featuring this year’s winner Betelhem Makonnen, will open with a special reception on Friday, March 6 at Big Medium (the Prize’s host and partner) in Austin. We announced Makonnen’s win last September. 

Makonnen’s exhibition, Rock Standard Time (RST),  aims to “res(e)t” our climate of temporal anxiety. “Feeling exiled from time, rather than being in and of it, it seems everyone is continually chasing after it and never catching up,” reads a line from a press release, via Big Medium. “How can we have time outside of imposed standards and within our best interests? Can we rush, if we must, but slowly?”

The works in the show will include photography, video, text and installation. The works’ focus is “meditative resistance to the internalized ticks and tocks that assert we have no time to respond to ourselves, to each other, nor our world.”

The Tito’s Prize is a partnership between Austin arts organization Big Medium and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. The $15,000 award is intended to help artists support their artistic career and life in Austin.

The curatorial panel that selected Makonnen (unanimously) included Florencia Bazzano, Assistant Curator, Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin); Annette Lawrence, Artist and Professor of Studio Art at the University of North Texas (Denton); and Rigoberto Luna, Director and Curator at Presa House Gallery (San Antonio).

For more on Makonnen, her exhibition’s opening reception dates and times, and the Tito’s Prize, please visit Big Medium’s website here.


Betelhem Makonnen researches questions on perception, presence, and place within a trans-temporal and trans-locative topology that operates on the relational dynamics of diasporic consciousness. In addition to her artistic practice, she is on the curatorial team of Fusebox Festival and co-editor of the online arts periodical Written & Spoken. She is also a founding member of the Austin-based contemporary arts collaborative Black Mountain Project.


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