The 2020 San Antonio Art Writing Prize is supported in part by Caroline and William Carrington.
Christina Frasier is the recipient of the 2020 Glasstire San Antonio Art Writing Prize. Her winning essay is titled Resistance In Place: Christopher Montoya’s Mural of Cesar Chavez, San Antonio; Frasier writes about an exceptional mural’s location and restoration in a San Antonio neighborhood that’s experiencing the forces of gentrification. The $2,500 prize includes the winning essay being published on Glasstire, and a virtual celebration in Frasier’s honor later this week.
Frasier writes to Glasstire about her reasons for entering the open call: “Everyone benefits with access to good, clear writing about art — it can demystify the art world, making it more democratic and accessible for students, artists, and people who want to begin collecting art. It also does the important work of documenting events in the art community. Through online outlets like Glasstire that focus on writing about art, art communities can better advocate for themselves to their larger communities, leading to increased visibility of their cultural value.”
As announced in January of this year, the 2020 San Antonio Glasstire Art Writing Prize is a competitive award designed to find and highlight emerging arts writers in Texas. This is the third year of the Prize, which focused on the San Antonio region this spring, with an extended deadline due to Covid-19. 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 were invited to submit articles with a word count between 750 and 1200 words about a work of art that they love, and why.
Frasier is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Anthropology Department, where she studies cultural sustainability in the face of gentrification.
Judges for this round of the Prize included 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.
Thank you to our supporters of the 2020 San Antonio Prize:
Caroline and William Carrington
Alice & Eric Foultz
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
Mary Elizabeth Heard
AnaPaula & Mark Watson
Patricia Ruiz-Healy, Ph.D.
Glasstire has recently announced open calls for its third North Texas Prize, and its inaugural Greater Houston Prize, both slated for 2021. Each winner of the Prize will be awarded $2,500, and their work will be published on Glasstire.
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.”
100% of the funds raised for the 2020 San Antonio Prize will go toward San Antonio writing in the coming year.