$15,000 Tito’s Prize Open Call for Austin Artists

by Jessica Fuentes March 24, 2024

Big Medium, an Austin-based nonprofit art organization, has announced the open call for its 2024 Tito’s Prize. The $15,000 award is funded by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and managed by Big Medium.

The annual award is available to all artists within a 17-mile radius of Austin, including all ten city council districts and other areas surrounding the city limits. Artists working in any medium who are at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply. Along with the monetary prize, the selected artist will have a solo exhibition at the Big Medium Gallery in Spring 2025. Recent winners include Rodell Warner (2023), Tammie Rubin (2022), and Ariel René Jackson in collaboration with Michael J. Love (2021). Mr. Warner’s show is currently on view at Big Medium.

This year, the three-member selection committee is comprised of Dr. Anita Bateman, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Dr. Leigh A. Arnold, Associate Curator at the Nasher Sculpture Center; and Coka Treviño, Curator and Director of Programming at Big Medium. According to the prize guidelines, the panel will consider the strength of the artist’s work, the artist’s background, and the future exhibition at Big Medium, as well as how this award will help the artist’s career growth. Learn more about the panel members below via biographies provided by Big Medium.

The application deadline for the 2024 Tito’s Prize is Monday, May 6, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Read the full guidelines and submit your application via Big Medium’s Submittable page

A headshot of curator Dr. Anita N. Bateman.

Dr. Anita N. Bateman

Dr. Anita N. Bateman (she/her) is the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), where she specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora. With over a decade of curatorial experience, she has collaborated on exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions that showcase the diversity and richness of primarily African diasporic artistic expressions and histories.

Ms. Bateman holds a PhD in Art History and Visual Culture from Duke University, an MA in Art History from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in Art History, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her academic research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Ms. Bateman was the Fall 2022 ARCAthens Curatorial Fellow and a 2022 Graham Foundation Grantee for the publication Where is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances), co-edited with Emanuel Admassu. Her research interests include the history of photography, Black feminism/womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. She is passionate about engaging with artists, collectors, and audiences to foster dialogue around art and culture.

A headshot of curator Leigh Arnold.

Leigh Arnold

Leigh Arnold is a curator at the Nasher Sculpture Center and a scholar of Land Art, Minimal, and Post-Minimal sculpture. In 2019, she curated Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculptures, the first major U.S. museum exhibition of work by the artist duo, and The Four Fs: Family, Finance, Faith, and Friends by the French sound artist, Anne Le Troter, the artist’s first exhibition in North America and her first work in the English language. Starting in 2020, Ms. Arnold has collaborated with her Nasher colleagues to curate numerous solo presentations of works by North Texas-based artists as part of the Nasher Windows (2020) and Nasher Public series (2021-ongoing), including installations by Tamara Johnson, Leslie Martinez, Longhui Zhang, Ciara Elle Bryant, Karla Garcia, Vicki Meek, Shelby David Meier, Jer’Lisa Devezin, Christian Cruz, Liss LaFleur, Celia Eberle, Linnea Glatt, and Trey Burns. 

In 2022, Ms. Arnold curated Lynda Benglis, featuring new and recent work by the artist, as well as the exhibition Matthew Ronay: The Crack, the Swell, an Earth. Ms. Arnold’s exhibition, Groundswell: Women of Land Art, which focused on underrepresented women artists active in the historical Land Art movement, opened in the fall of 2023 and was accompanied by a scholarly publication that significantly revises the male-dominated narrative of the movement. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2016, where she wrote on Robert Smithson’s unfinished projects in Texas.

A photograph of curator Coka Treviño.

Coka Treviño

Coka Treviño is the Founder and Curator of The Projecto, an Austin-based organization fostering cultural connections between Latin America and the U.S. She is the Curator and Director of Programming at Big Medium, an Austin-based nonprofit art organization dedicated to advancing artists’ careers. Additionally, she does Arts Programming at Soho House Austin. Her curatorial practice focuses on uplifting diverse artistic communities with an innovative and respectful approach to culture and contemporary social issues. Her work attempts to intertwine art, music, and social perspectives as often as possible, always with diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of the projects.

Ms. Treviño has worked with ArtPrize as a Curator and Outreach Specialist. She has co-curated events for the Blanton Museum and exhibitions for the Mexican American Cultural Center, the SXSW Art Program, and the Gallery at Austin’s Central Library. Previously, she supported the exhibition department at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, managed and curated exhibitions from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León art collection in Monterrey, and served as a Curatorial Assistant for the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey. Ms. Treviño co-curated a concert with the Austin Symphony, highlighting women of color composers adding these pieces to the Symphony’s repertoire. She co-produced the project Translating Community History, a set of two books and hours of storytelling by Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Austin, which was recognized by the Preservation Merit Awards in 2023. The Mexican American Cultural Center co-sponsored and featured her Spanglish Series in 2020. She co-curated and managed Golden Hornet’s MXTX, a gender-balanced album, concert series, and open-source audio sample library to build cultural bridges between the U.S. and Mexico.

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