MAD will be open on Mon, May 6.
MAD is closed today

Get the Latest News

* indicates required

MAD Announces Cannupa Hanska Luger as Winner of the Inaugural Burke Prize

The New Mexico–based artist and activist is known for community-oriented projects focused on issues facing indigenous populations in the US and Canada

Luger is the first artist to win the $50,000 prize in recognition of his achievements in advancing craft disciplines and media in the United States

New York, NY (November 6, 2018)

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is proud to announce Cannupa Hanska Luger as the winner of the inaugural Burke Prize for contemporary craft. Named for craft collectors Marian and Russell Burke, the prize constitutes an unrestricted award in the amount of $50,000, given annually to an artist age forty-five or under working in glass, fiber, clay, metal, or wood. Luger is the first recipient of the Burke Prize, which recognizes the achievements of a young artist working in and advancing the media and disciplines that shaped the American studio craft movement for which the Museum was founded.

MAD Trustee Marian Burke, who endowed the prize together with her husband, Russell, said: "This first iteration of the Burke Prize has been more successful than we could have hoped. Rusty and I congratulate Cannupa on this outstanding achievement. We also congratulate his fellow finalists, all fifteen of whom are impressive representatives of the future of craft. MAD's destiny is sure to be exciting!"

"Honoring an artist like Cannupa reinforces MAD's commitment to illuminating for our visitors the breadth and variety of works being made by young artists nationwide, not just in the major city centers," said Shannon R. Stratton, MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. "We are endlessly inspired by his commitment to creating art and projects that directly and urgently impact people's lives."

A multidisciplinary artist of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent, Cannupa Hanska Luger (United States, b. 1979) was raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, which also serves as the site for several of his works and performances. His work includes community-based projects that focus on issues facing indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada, often addressing environmental issues such as land and water protections, as well as the high rate of assaults and other violent crimes committed against female, queer, and trans members of indigenous populations.

"The Burke Prize is a complete honor to receive, and it has provided critical validation to the direction my practice is heading," said Luger. "Receiving this award supports the future of my work in creating monumental installations which emerge from diverse communal engagements. I am grateful, and I look forward to what is next."

Luger's interests lie in creating monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut paper. He activates his work through performance elements and political activism in order to communicate stories about twenty-first-century indigeneity. Often incorporating calls to action, Luger's multifaceted projects provoke diverse publics to engage with indigenous people and values outside the lens of colonial social structuring. Through his work, he places emphasis on his role as an indigenous maker in the current era. The artist states:

I define craft differently than most institutions or craft practitioners. My exposure to craft is colored by my Indigeneity. The process of surviving in the world as an Indigenous maker is unlike the survival of other craftspeople; the preservation of our people feels urgent and is deeply tied to the survival of our craft traditions.

Mirror Shield Project (2016), of which two components are currently on view at MAD as part of The Burke Prize 2018: The Future of Craft Part 2, exemplifies Luger's focus on craft as a community endeavor. The project began as an instructional video, teaching viewers how to make a mirror shield out of plywood and reflective Mylar. Participants were invited to send the mirror shields to the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) camp at Standing Rock, for use during the 2016 demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In addition to Mirror Shield Project: Mirror Shield (2016), the exhibition at MAD features the video Mirror Shield Project: Water Serpent (2016), which documents the use of the mirror shields by the water protectors at Standing Rock in a performance organized by the artist.

Also on view is the installation Every One (2018), which likewise began as an instructional video, this time for Luger's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Queer and Trans People (MMIWQT) Bead Project. The video invited communities across the United States and Canada to create and donate two-inch clay beads, which Luger fired, stained, and strung together to make a monumental curtain. Each handmade bead in Every One is a memorial to one of the four thousand cases of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, queer and trans people in Canada, thereby humanizing the statistics of the lost members of the indigenous community and bringing awareness to a long history of violence.

The Burke Prize winner was determined by a jury of professionals who demonstrate unparalleled expertise in the fields of art, craft, and design. The 2018 jurors are Michael Radyk, Director of Education for the American Craft Council and Editor in Chief of the journal American Craft Inquiry; Jenni Sorkin, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Namita Gupta Wiggers, Director of the Master of Arts in Critical and Historical Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina.

"Cannupa Hanska Luger exemplifies craft as connected to the past as much as to the future," said Wiggers. "He employs a range of materials, many of which break traditional associations with craft, while still attending to careful making that is as much about form and process as it is content. Most of all, for me, he shows us a contemporary moment in which craft enables indigeneity and modernity to occupy the same space."

In conjunction with the award, MAD is featuring works by Luger and his fellow finalists in the exhibition The Burke Prize 2018: The Future of Craft Part 2, on view through March 17, 2019. The exhibition includes thirty-five works, ranging from jewelry to installation, furniture, and digital media. Representing nine states and thirteen cities across the United States, the winner and the fifteen finalists comprise an ethnically and racially diverse group with an equitable gender breakdown. The Burke Prize and exhibition continue the Museum's founding mission of championing artists working in craft media and methodologies, bringing attention to the breadth and variety of work being made by young artists nationwide. The 2019 Burke Prize application period will open on November 7, 2018.

United States, born 1979; lives in Glorieta, New Mexico

Cannupa Hanska Luger is a multidisciplinary artist of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. Through monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut paper, he interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about twenty-first-century indigeneity. Luger has exhibited internationally at venues such as the Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York; Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC; Art Mûr, Montreal; the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff; Galerie Orenda, Paris; the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles; and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta. He lectures and participates in residencies around the globe, and his work has been collected internationally. Luger holds a BFA in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts and was a 2016 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellow.


Michael Radyk is the Director of Education for the American Craft Council and Editor in Chief of the journal American Craft Inquiry, as well as an artist who has focused his practice on both industrial and hand weaving. Radyk received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and developed his interest in education while studying at RISD and Brown University's Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. He has spent the last ten years exhibiting his work, producing both handwoven and jacquard textiles and sculptures, and teaching at various institutions. His approach incorporates and reflects multilayered sources of inspiration, meaning, metaphor, and research. Radyk's work is included in the textile collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and he has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. Upcoming shows include the 2019 invitational biennial exhibition at the International Fiber Art Fair, Seoul Arts Center, South Korea.

Jenni Sorkin is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who writes on the intersection between gender, craft, material culture, and contemporary art. The recipient of a PhD in the History of Art from Yale University, she has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute. In 2016 she co-curated, with Paul Schimmel, Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016, the inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles. Sorkin is the author of Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2016), which examines American postwar ceramics practices through the lens of gender. She sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Modern Craft, and publishes and lectures widely.

Namita Gupta Wiggers is the Director of the newly launched Master of Arts in Critical and Historical Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina, as well as co-founder and Director of the Critical Craft Forum, an online and on-site platform for dialogue and exchange. Wiggers has taught courses on contemporary craft and theory, the history of graphic design, curating through craft, and theory of objects. As Curator and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Craft between 2004 and 2014, she curated and organized more than sixty-five exhibitions and hundreds of programs, and commissioned critical writing for online and print projects. A member of the Board of Directors of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Wiggers is the Exhibition Reviews Editor for the Journal of Modern Craft and serves on the editorial boards of Garland and Norwegian Crafts. She edited A Companion to Contemporary Craft (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming) and is collaborating with Benjamin Lignel on a research project on gender and adornment.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum's founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum's curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.


Named for Marian and Russell Burke, two passionate collectors of craft and longtime supporters of MAD, the Burke Prize is an annual award that reinforces the Museum's commitment to celebrating the next generation of artists working in and advancing the disciplines that shaped the American studio craft movement. The prize is an unrestricted $50,000 award made to a professional artist age forty-five or under working in glass, fiber, clay, metal, and/or wood. Each fall, the Museum presents an exhibition of works by the Burke Prize finalists; the winner is announced at the MAD Ball, the Museum's annual fundraising gala. The Burke Prize finalists and winner are determined by an annual jury, chaired by Shannon R. Stratton, MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, and comprising professionals in the fields of art, craft, and design, following an open application process.

#BurkePrize @MADmuseum

Left: Cannupa Hanska Luger at Oceti Sakowin camp, Standing Rock, North Dakota, November 2016. Photo: Tomas Karmelo Amaya/Indigenous Rising Media, courtesy the artist. Right: Cannupa Hanska Luger, Every One, 2018 (installation view from The Burke Prize 2018: The Future of Craft Part 2).

Get Updates from MAD

* indicates required
Let us know if you're interested in: