The Ruth Foundation for the Arts (Ruth Arts) is elated to announce the Ruth Awards, a new prize awarding four contemporary artists working across North America with $100,000 of unrestricted funds. The awards acknowledge extraordinary, critically engaged artists who approach their practices with continuous inquiry, imagination, and rigor, and who are deserving of greater recognition for the fullness of their practice. The new program echoes the ethos of Ruth Arts’ annual flagship grant program, Artist Choice, in which artists are asked to recommend organizations that have deeply influenced their own creative practices and have contributed to the ecosystem of artmaking and community, to receive unrestricted grants and to move into the Ruth Arts granting pool. Similarly, the Ruth Awards takes a relational approach in honouring artists, in which the awardees were nominated by twelve esteemed curators. It is with great excitement that the Ruth Foundation awards the inaugural prizes to Candice Lin, Joe Minter, Kite, and Rose B. Simpson.
To launch this prestigious award, Karen Patterson, Executive Director of Ruth Arts, and Kim Nguyen, Program Director of Ruth Arts, gathered a group of curators revered for exceptional approaches to exhibition making and their affinity for relationship building within the contemporary art landscape. The 2024 distinguished list of nominators are: Dan Byers, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University; Ryan N. Dennis, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Adrienne Edwards, Whitney Museum; Lauren Haynes, Queens Museum; Katherine Jentieson, High Museum of Art, Bana Kattan, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Wanda Nanibush, Independent Curator; Sara Raza, Independent Curator, Reuben Roqueñi, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art: Victoria Sung, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gaëtane Verna, Wexner Center for the Arts; and Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, Independent Curator and Writer.
“These awards underscore Ruth’s lifelong belief that artists should be appreciated for much more than their finished artwork,” says Executive Director Karen Patterson. “Artists are makers, thinkers, teachers, neighbors, and organizers working across material intersections and through the most complex ideas. Artists have the capacity to reveal who we are as a people: past, present, and future, and we’re so proud to support these four artists who are rigorous in practice and thought, while epitomizing the broad impact artists have on our lives.”
“We received an impressive list of nominations from the curators this year, replete with thoughtful, engaged artists working across geographies and in distinctive forms.” shares Program Director Kim Nguyen. “Their nomination descriptions were tremendously moving-a testament to the meaningful relationships formed between artists and curators. The inaugural awardees teach us that operating with mutual respect, trust, and care is perpetually rewarding. and that navigating the complexities of this world requires a dedication to making, being in relation with one another, and endless imagination.”