A national awards program, QUEER|ART|PRIZE honors the work of LGBTQ artists in areas of Sustained Achievement and Recent Work, with a ceremony that celebrates the entire Queer|Art community.


Queer|Art|Prize presents two $10,000 awards to LGBTQ artists based in the United States: one for Sustained Achievement and the other for Recent Work. The award is possible through Queer|Art’s ongoing partnership with HBO and was developed in collaboration with the Queer|Art artist community. Featuring a Nominating Committee of over 40 esteemed arts professionals from around the country, Queer|Art|Prize confirms the impact of Queer|Art’s programming and support on a national level and immediately establishes itself as one of the most significant awards specifically created to recognize the artistry and contributions of LGBTQ artists.


Exhibition Opening and Public Awards
Ceremony for the 2018 Queer|Art|Prize Take Place
in One Epic Night

— NOVEMBER 1, 7-10PM —

The Center
208 W 13 Street

The 2017-2018 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual opens with a public reception on Thursday, November 1 from 7-10pm, hosted by performance and theater artists Moe Angelos and Ryan Haddad, who have worked closely together throughout the past year as Mentor and Fellow. The reception will also occasion the production and preview of the 2018 Queer|Art Community Portrait Project, presented as part of an annual series of newly commissioned portraits spotlighting Queer|Art’s diverse and vibrant community of over 150 artists. This year’s commission was given to photographer Lia Clay. The reception will continue with the awards announcements for the 2018 Queer|Art|Prize and will conclude with a dance party as DJ Sissy Elliott brings the epic night of queer revelry, sweat, and celebration to its climax.

RSVP is required, tickets available here.



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In the area of Sustained Achievement, the award has been granted to Vaginal Davis, whose films, performances, and lectures have, for more than four decades, explored multiform facets of queer punk, “terrorist drag”, and Black/Latino experience in a U.S. context.

Vaginal Davis was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles. Davis disrupts hetero and homonormativity as an originator of the homo-core punk movement with her genderqueer art-music performances. Set apart from gallery-centered art, and Hollywood movies, Vaginal Davis’ low-budget performance, experimental film, and video practices critique exclusionary conceits from the outside. In addition, her lecture performances and films refuse to ease conservative tactics within gay and black politics. Her work has appeared in major platforms at the New Museum, New York (2017); Creative Time Summit (2017); Performa 09, New York (2009); and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2008).

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The Finalists for the Recent Work award, honoring specific projects, include Elegance Bratton for My House (2018), a ten-part documentary series on Vice that follows the best voguers in the world as they prepare for competition; Rafa Esparza for cumbre: look as far as you can see in every direction–north and south, east and west (2018), a response to his personal, familial histories of immigration into the United States and the deeply complex history of downtown Los Angeles; keyon gaskin for [a swatch of lavender]: a self portrait (2018), a series of self-portrait performances choreographed in the artists’ apartment in Portland, Oregon, recontextualized for contemporary gallery spaces; and Xandra Ibarra for The Hook Up/Displacement/Barhopping/Drama Tour (2017), a community performance tour and bar crawl of the former sites of San Franciscan queer clubs and venues.


My House (2018) by Elegance Bratton


[a swatch of lavender]: a self portrait (2018) by keyon gaskin


cumbre: look as far as you can see in every direction–north and south, east and west (2018) by Rafa Esparza


The Hook Up/Displacement/Barhopping/Drama Tour (2017) by Xandra Ibarra


The winner of the Sustained Achievement Award was chosen by a panel of three judges: Melissa Anderson, Ted Kerr, and Anaïs Duplan. The four finalists and the winner of the Recent Work award have been chosen by another panel: kara lynch, Allen Frame, and Mx. Oops.



kara lynch (mfa) is a time-based artist living in the Bronx, NY who earns a living as an Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Ambivalent towards hyper-visual culture, she is curious about duration, being in the body, and sonic experience; and through low-fi, collective practice and social intervention lynch explores aesthetic/political relationships between time + space. Her work is vigilantly raced, classed, and gendered – Black, queer and feminist.

Major projects include: ‘Black Russians’ – a feature documentary video (2001), ‘The Outing’ – a video travelogue (1999-2004), ‘Mouhawala Oula’ – a gender-bending trio performance for baladi dance, live video, and saxophone (2009). The current project ‘INVISIBLE’, an episodic, speculative, multi-site video/audio installation – excavates the terror and resilient beauty of Black-indigenous experience.



Allen Frame is a photographer and writer, represented by Gitterman Gallery in New York where he has had solo exhibitions of photography in 2005, 2009, and 2013.  He is a winner of the 2017/2018  Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. His 2013 exhibition Dialogue with Bolaño was presented at the Museum of Art of the Sonora in Hermosillo, Mexico, in 2014. His solo exhibition Innamorato is being presented at the Pratt Institute Photography Gallery on the Brooklyn campus through Dec 14.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Photography at Pratt Institute (MFA) and also teaches at the School of Visual Arts (BFA), and the International Center of Photography in New York. He has taught workshops in photography extensively in Mexico. He graduated from Harvard University and grew up in Mississippi.



Mx. Oops (Wendell Cooper) is a transmedia artist with a focus on multimedia performance, urban dance, and ecstatic disobedience. Their work centers hybridity. They have taught and performed across the United States, Kenya, Burkina Faso, China, Russia, England, Austria, and the Netherlands. They have performed their work in NYC venues such as: Santos Party House, The Box, Joyce Soho, Abrons Art Center, Dixon Place, Little Field, and Free Candy. They have performed in the work of Nicholas Leichter, Rashaad Newsome, Jeffrey Gibson, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Collective, Yozmit, Narcissister, Maida Withers, and the Erick Hawkins Dance Company among others. They are currently a Resident Artist at CultureHub, and teach at the City University of New York, in Lehman College's Department of Music, Multimedia, Theatre, and Dance.



Anaïs Duplan is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). Their poems and essays have been published by Hyperallergic, PBS News Hour, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, Bettering American Poetry, and Ploughshares. Their music criticism has appeared in Complex Magazine and  THUMP.

Duplan is a curator who has facilitated artists’ projects and exhibitions in Chicago, Boston, Santa Fe, Reykjavík, and Copenhagen. Duplan’s video art has appeared or is forthcoming in exhibitions at Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in L.A. Duplan is the founder of the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, and is currently a joint Public Programs Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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Canadian born Theodore (ted) Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer, organizer and artist. He is a founding member of What Would an HIV Doula Do? collective which is beginning a screening and reading series called “Uneasy Medicine“ at Abrons Arts Center for Fall 2018. He was the Programs Manager at Visual AIDS. He currently teaches at The New School. His writing has appeared in the Village Voice, Women’s Studies Quarterly, The New Inquiry, BOMB, CBC, Lambda Literary, POZ Magazine, The Advocate, Cineaste, The St. Louis American, IndieWire, HyperAllergic, and other publications. 



Melissa Anderson is the film editor of 4Columns. From November 2015 until September 2017, she was the senior film critic at the Village Voice. Formerly the film editor at Time Out New York, Anderson has written for Film Comment, Sight & Sound and served on the New York Film Festival’s selection committee from 2009 to 2012. She is a frequent contributor to Artforum and Bookforum.


Nominations for each award were made by a diverse committee of over 20 esteemed arts professionals from around the country, including arts residency directors, art historians, critics, curators, choreographers, cultural organizers, visual artists, performing artists, teaching artists, writers, producers, directors, and filmmakers with various intersecting commitments to queer culture.


2017 Queer|Art|Prize Ceremony Recap

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