Martha Wilson and Christine Tohme have been announced winners of the 2015 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. Named since 2012 after Audrey Irmas, board member of the Center of Curatorial Studies Bard College and the philanthropist behind the $25,000 prize, the CCS Award for Curatorial Excellence has been celebrating the work of influential curators internationally for 18 years. The 2015 award, designed by artist Lawrence Weiner and based on his 2006 commission Bard Enter, will be presented at a gala and dinner on 15 April
Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director. Along her artistic practice exploring female subjectivity through photo and video works, she is the founding director of Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space founded in 1976 supporting the exploration, promotion, and preservation of artist books, temporary installation, performance art, as well as online works. Grants and awards include: fellowships for performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; Bessie and Obie awards for commitment to artists' freedom of expression; a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts; and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (2013).
Christine Tohme is an independent curator and founding director of Ashkal Alwan – the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts. Founded in Beirut in 1993, Ashkal Alwan is committed to the production, research, and circulation of contemporary artistic and intellectual practices, through initiatives such as Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices (2002), a multidisciplinary platform bringing together artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and choreographers, for a public program of exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, and performances, as well as the Home Workspace Program (2011), an annual tuition-free art-study program. Tohme received a Prince Claus Award in 2006 for her contribution to the development of critical culture in Lebanon and beyond, and is a board member of Marsa (Beirut), a sexual health center that provides specialised medical services for the general public as well as at-risk youth and marginalised communities, and of SAHA (Istanbul), an association supporting contemporary art from Turkey.
24 February 2015.