The Burke Prize

A new annual award that reinforces MAD’s commitment to celebrating the next generation of artists working in and advancing the disciplines that shaped the American studio craft movement, the Burke Prize is an unrestricted $50,000 award made to a professional artist under the age of forty-five working in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood.

Named for Marian and Russell Burke, two passionate collectors of craft and longtime supporters of MAD, the Burke Prize will be determined by an annual jury of professionals in the fields of art, craft, and design following an open application process.

Eligible applicants are professional artists under the age of forty-five working in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood. Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents, living or working within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands. 

The applications will be reviewed by a jury led by Shannon R. Stratton, William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator at MAD. This fall, the Museum will present an exhibition of work by a selected group of finalists of the Burke Prize, prior to the announcement of the first winner at MAD Ball.

2018 Jurors

Michael Radyk, Director of Education, American Craft Council; Editor-in-Chief, American Craft Inquiry; Artist

Jenni Sorkin, Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara; Art Historian & Critic

Namita Gupta Wiggers, Director, Master of Arts in Critical and Historical Craft Studies, Warren Wilson College; Director and Co-Founder, Critical Craft Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants must be:

  • A US citizen or a permanent legal resident
  • At least 21 years old and not older than 45 at the time of application 
  • A working artist, not a hobbyist, who can demonstrate a commitment to their practice as a professional

Applicants cannot be:

  • An institution or small business
  • A full-time student in a degree-granting program or its equivalent
  • Applicants may not be students at the time of applying, even if graduation is pending the same year
  • A current employee, consultant, board member, or major funder of the Museum of Arts and Design, or an immediate family member of such a person

Why is there an age restriction? 

The prize is meant to celebrate and support young artists who represent the next generation working in the traditional American studio craft disciplines of glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood. In the past, “young” or “next generation” has often meant under the age of 30 or 40. We have expanded this to 45 to accommodate the length of time many artists take to complete schooling as well as the exceptional financial burden that schooling places on young artists today, requiring most to pursue full-time employment before they can fully dedicate themselves to the studio.

We recognize that there are many talented artists over the age of 45, but most (although not all) have had the benefit of time to create a stronger professional network and economic foundation for their practice. By giving visibility to the next generation of artists working in these disciplines, we hope to carry craft into the future both by inspiring artists to pursue these disciplines and by inspiring curators, critics, and collectors to recognize their work. In the end, this impacts the whole field.

Can collectives apply?

We understand that there are many collaborative partnerships in the art world and we encourage you to apply as long as all members of the collective meet the requirements of the application. You can find specific instructions on how to navigate our application as a collective in the application itself. Collectives must demonstrate an extensive collaborative practice.

What is the jury looking for in the winner?

The prize will recognize exceptional artwork in form and concept. Please submit the work that you see as best representing your art practice, and that reflects both your mastery of your craft and your innovation within your field.

Do I have to work solely in one of the five mediums (glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood)?

No, you do not, although these mediums and your skill in handling them, both manually and conceptually, should be evident in your application. Applicants can work in all five mediums, a combination of these mediums, or a combination of these mediums and others not listed, like video or performance.

I don’t have an MFA. Can I still apply?

Yes.

I work in one of the mediums listed, but I focused my schooling on painting (or video, or another studio discipline). Can I still apply?

Yes.

 

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