Dallas artist Ciara Elle Bryant has been awarded the inaugural CADD x Maddrey PLLC Artist Prize. Open to Black artists living or working in Dallas County, the prize is awarded by the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas (CADD) and Maddrey PLLC.
The prize awards $5,000 cash, a solo exhibition in 2021, and a Legal Mentorship Package worth $4,500. Jurors were Vivian Crockett, The Dallas Museum of Art’s Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, and Lise Ragbir, Director of Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas.
Ragbir states: “Ciara Elle Bryant’s rich world-building is a refreshing reflection of timeless narratives. Her commitment to her subjects, and to her practice, are evident in her work.” Juror Crockett wrote about Bryant’s curatorial work and how she uses it to help share opportunities with fellow artists, stating, “This prize recognizes not only her artistic accomplishments and evolving potential, but also the immense contributions that Ciara makes to her broader artistic communities.”
“I’m hyped! It’s been a crazy year, and to be closing its with this amazing news is pretty lit,” Bryant writes in an email to Glasstire. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity and receive the recognition. As Vivian Crockett stated, it’s all about the ecosystem for me. I’m not winning until everyone is winning.”
Bryant’s work can be seen in her current exhibition Ciara Elle Bryant: Server 3.0 at Dallas’ Ro2 Art Gallery. The exhibition was featured on Glasstire’s Top Five earlier this week. Bryant was also a Nasher Windows artist over the summer with her exhibition Server: A Streamed Revolution. The initiative from the Nasher Sculpture Center was a “series of weekly exhibitions sited within the Nasher’s entrance vestibule on Flora Street during the period of time the Nasher was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Two runners-up, Hakeem Adewumi and Andrea Tosten, received cash prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively. “Tosten is an emerging artistic voice carving out a compelling interdisciplinary practice. I hope this award can serve as a small gesture of enthusiasm and support for her work,” Crockett says. Ragbir, writing about the trust Adewumi shares with his subject, says, “…when that relationship plays out in front of the camera, combined with Adewumi’s keen sense of light and color, we all win.”
About her solo exhibition work Server, Bryant writes, “Over the last few months, I have been accumulating items from all over the internet to make an edition of Server that reflected what was going on in my world today — from the dire stress of being Black in a pandemic, to the current revolution of Black people in America today. Since early March I have been hoarding digital information from these two events. They are the two things that are directly affecting my day to day life.”
For more on the CADD x Maddrey PLLC Artist Prize, please visit their website here.
Ciara Elle Bryant is a multidisciplinary creative who holds a Masters of Fine Art from Southern Methodist University. Through photography, video, mixed media, and installations, Bryant discusses blackness by focusing on how identity and culture exist in the new millennium. Bryant also teaches and facilitates artist workshops for youth and adults while working as a practicing artist. Bryant’s approach to research and curatorial practice has been integral to her process of furthering conversations surrounding black culture in art as well as historical studies.
The 2020 CADD x Maddrey Artist Prize is made possible through the generous support of Maddrey PLLC, Diane Boddy, Joanne Casullo, Erin Cluley and Tearlach Hutcheson, John Dirba and Brian Morrison, Mike Matthews, Travis Vandergriff and Rodrigo Zepeda, Cris Worley and Erick Swenson, and additional anonymous donors.