Sondheim Artscape Prize

Baltimore's most prestigious artist award. Artscape 2018 information coming soon!

Sondheim Artscape Prize
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) are proud to announce that Cindy Cheng is the winner of the 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at the Walters Award Museum on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The six remaining finalists—Mequitta Ahuja, Mary Anne Arntzen, Sara Dittrich, Benjamin Kelley, Kyle Tata, and Amy Yee—each received a $2,500 honorarium supported by M&T Bank Charitable Foundation in partnership with BOPA. Works of art by the winner and finalists are on view at the Walters through Sunday, August 13, 2017.

Cindy Cheng (Baltimore, MD) creates complex constructions and installations that investigate the relationship between drawings and objects and are incubators for history, memory and reflections on the physical and abstract self. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at St. Charles Projects (Baltimore, MD, 2016), ‘sindikit (in collaboration with Cheeny Celebrado-Royer) (Baltimore, MD, 2016), Present Junction (Toronto, Canada, 2015), Thomas H. and Mary K. Williams Gallery at Mount Saint Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, MD, 2016), Flashpoint (Washington, DC, 2014), E-merge Art Fair (Washington, DC, 2013) and has an upcoming solo show at Ditch Projects (Portland, OR, 2017). Cheng received her BA from Mount Holyoke College. Cheng received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2008 and then earned her Masters of Fine Art from MICA’s Mount Royal School of Art in 2011. She is currently teaching at MICA in the Drawing Department, and has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and at the Anderson Ranch Artist Residency (Snowmass Village, CO). In 2016, Cheng and was a finalist for the Trawick Prize and in 2013 a semifinalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.

The prize is held in conjunction with the 36th annual Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival taking place Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23, 2017 along Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. Additionally, an exhibition of the semifinalists’ work is shown in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries of MICA on Friday, July 21 through Sunday, August 6, 2017.  An opening reception for the semifinalist exhibition takes place Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm at MICA, located at 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue. 

Mequitta Ahuja
Mary Anne Arntzen
Cindy Cheng
Sara Dittrich
Benjamin Kelley
Kyle Tata
Amy Yee

Semifinalists participating in exhibition:
Carolyn Case
Heather Clark
Shannon Collis
Hoesy Corona
Rachel Debuque
Selina Doroshenko
Tim Doud
Mary Early
Colin Foster
Emily Francisco
Bryan Funk
Tatiana Gulenkina
C. Harvey
Murial Hasbun
Taha Heydari
Ricardo Hoegg
Nathaniel Lewis
Giulia Livi
Kelly Lloyd
Bruce Mckaig
Scott Pennington
James Singewald
Julia Smith
Beau Vasseur
Katya Villano
Jessica Walton
Xiaofu Wang

The fellowship winner is selected from the Walters Art Museum exhibition after review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors. Artist collaborators, if chosen as the winner or finalist, receive a single $25,000 prize that is equally divided among the members of the group.

In celebration of the 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize exhibitions, a free shuttle will be available on Sunday, July 23 between 12pm-5pm to transport Artscape festival-goers between the Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA’s Decker and Meyerhoff galleries (1303 W. Mount Royal Avenue), the Finalist Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum (600 N. Charles Street) and The Dog and Pony Show, an exhibition featuring Sondheim Prize Finalists from years past, located at Area 405 (405 East Oliver Street.) The shuttle, courtesy of MICA, will depart from each destination every 30 minutes.

Shuttle Stops

Artscape - Sondheim Semifinalist Exhibition Intersection of McMechen St & Mount Royal Ave

Area 405 - The Dog & Pony Show
405 E Oliver St, right out front of the gallery

The Walters Art Museum - Sondheim Finalist Exhibition
600 N Charles St, right out front

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline
Announcement of semifinalists: Late February 2017
Announcement of finalists: Mid-April 2017
Finalists Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum: Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, August 13, 2017
Award announcement: Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7pm; Galleries open at 6pm
Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA: Friday, July 21, 2017 through Sunday, August 6, 2017
Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm
Artscape: Friday, July 21-Sunday, July 23, 2017

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize
The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.

America's largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees, offers concerts on multiple outdoor stages, art exhibitions, an artists’ market, a full schedule of dance, theater and opera, jazz, classical, folk and experimental music, children’s activities, exhibitors, and an extensive variety of local food and beverage vendors on Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street.

The 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Amy & Chuck Newhall, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, M. Sigmund & Barbara Shapiro Philanthropic Fund, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

For more information on the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, call 410-752-8632.

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