Artadia, a nonprofit organization that awards yearly, unrestricted grants to artists, has announced the finalists for its 2021 Houston awards: Verónica Gaona, Jessica Carolina González, Robert Hodge, Cindee Travis Klement (who was also a finalist in 2020), Karen Navarro, and Preetika Rajgariah.
This year’s finalists were selected from a group of applicants that included artists at all stages of their careers; the main requirement for application was that the artists have live and worked in Harris County for a minimum of two years. Jurors for the award include Natalie Dupêcher, Assistant Curator of Modern Art at the Menil Collection; María Elena Ortiz, Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Jami Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.
Ortiz commented in Artadia’s press release about this year’s pool of applicants: “Houston has an incredible artistic community, exemplified with a magnificent pool of applicants. I was impressed by the thematics of the work, the rigorous output, and creative excellency.”
To determined the winning artists, who will be announced in January of 2022, all of the finalists will receive a virtual studio visit. While in past years only two artists have walked away with the $10,000 prize, this year there will be three awardees, who will each receive the unrestricted grant.
Past Houston Artadia awardees have included Valentina Jager and Bria Lauren (2020), Adriana Corral and Vincent Valdez (2019), and Francis Almendárez and Dana Frankfort (2018), among others. The 2021 Artadia Awards are supported by, per Artadia, “The Brown Foundation, John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation, Cecily Horton, the Stolbun Family Foundation, Artadia Board of Directors, and individual donors from across the country.”