The Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship is pleased to announce that the 2016 Fellowship Jury has selected Richard Medina, 17, as this year’s winner. Since its founding in 2014, The Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship has sought to empower young artists to realize extraordinary independent projects. A merit-based award of up to $10,000, the Fellowship calls upon young artists from any background or country to submit proposals for the independent creation of artworks. As in previous years, the 2016 Fellowship was open to young artists aged 14-18.
Homeschooled in Palatine, Illinois, 2016 Fellowship winner Richard Medina proposes to travel this summer to an acre of desert land in northeastern Arizona that he purchased through an online auction for $436, and to create a sculptural work based on the 150-foot dry riverbed on the property. In his winning proposal, Richard wrote, “I am drawn to the ideas of the American West as a space for roles and rituals of masculinity. I am especially interested in a duality I see between the exploration of the Wild West in the 1800s and the emergence of Land Art in the 1970s. Both, one a historical event and one an artistic movement, deal with concepts of land and land ownership; have people moving west in search of precious materials (gold and oil, or for artists the land itself); and involve monumental transformation of the landscape. It is with this duality in mind that I propose a sculptural work that would allude to both histories and tie into my personal westward expansion.”
Medina’s proposal was chosen by a distinguished jury including independent art dealer Helena Anrather; photographer Antonio Bolfo; artist Ben Thorp Brown; artist Ian Cheng; artist Meena Hasan; Kelly Kivland, Associate Curator, Dia Art Foundation; Gracie Mansion, Senior Specialist, artnet Auctions; artist Rachel Rose; Xiaoyu Weng, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Lucas Zwirner, Editor, David Zwirner Books.
The annual Fellowship Dinner, hosted by Jeffrey and Priscilla Ahn, will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at The Metropolitan Club of New York. The evening’s program will honor Medina and acknowledge the contributions of the Fellowship’s Patrons and the 2016 Jury, with opportunities for attendees to pledge gifts to the Fellowship. The festivities will include an award ceremony; remarks from a member of the Fellowship’s Board of Directors, comprised of Priscilla Ahn, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, and Melissa Ko; and a special benefit raffle donated to the event by Americana Manhasset. The event will also feature a look back at 2015 Fellow Beckett Fine’s completed project, All of the World and Your Future, an installation and performance piece which was exhibited as a solo show at 171 Elizabeth Street on October 23 and 24, 2015.