Springfield Art Museum awards $3000 to emerging Regional artist


On Friday, August 24th, during the opening reception of the Springfield Art Museum's biennial Four by Four: 2018 Midwest Invitational Exhibition, juror Jennifer Scanlan will award one of the exhibiting artists $3000. 


The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to announce the return of the biennial Four by Four: 2018 Midwest Invitational Exhibition (4x4). This exhibition recognizes and encourages artists working in all media who reside in the four-state region of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. The exhibit features a body of work by four artists – one from each state. This year's exhibition will include work by Shawn Bitters (Kansas), Jason Cytacki (Oklahoma), Dawn Holder (Arkansas), and Meghan Rowswell (Missouri). This focused exhibition provides an in-depth study of each artist’s work, a rich conversation about their connection to the region, and the placement of their work in the larger context of contemporary art.

A juror of awards is selected on a rotating basis from one of the four states – this year’s juror is Jennifer Scanlan, Curatorial & Exhibitions Director at Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City. Scanlan is tasked with awarding a $3,000 cash prize to one artist for their body of work. This award is meant to propel an artist’s studio practice, providing funds for equipment, study, travel, or other needs that will help them in their career. This year’s award will be announced at the exhibition’s opening reception on Friday, August 24, 2018 from 5:30 to 7 PM at the Springfield Art Museum. This event is free and open to the public.

The 2018 iteration of 4x4 presents four unique investigations into landscape, ranging from explorations into the character of the Midwestern/near Western landscape, to personifications of Earth's geologic structures, and an examination of the unsettling and disturbing signs of localized climate change. These interactions span media including textiles, printmaking, ceramics, painting, and site-specific installation. The Museum has acquired work from both previous 4x4 exhibitions including Kansas City artist Anne Austin Pearce's monumental ink and acrylic on paper, Loosened #3 in 2016, and St. Louis artist Sage Dawson's lithograph, Summerville: Natural Disasters During the Winter of 2011 in 2014.

Springfield Art Museum Curator of Art Sarah Buhr notes, “It begins to feel as though the earth itself is responding to the physical, emotional, and civic turmoil coursing through the world. One way to process both cataclysmic world events and seismic personal conflicts is through art. Contemporary artists across the globe are creating work that engages directly with political and social issues. It is hardly a wonder then that the four artists in this exhibition are similarly engaged. Although the future may seem bleak, each of the artists also presents us with hope.” Buhr was awarded the Association of Midwest Museum’s 2016 Promising Leadership Award, in part due to her advocacy of the best in emerging and under-recognized contemporary artists in the Midwest through the 4x4 exhibition.

See 4x4: 2018 Midwest Invitational Exhibition from August 25 through November 18, 2018 at the Springfield Art Museum, located at 1111 East Brookside Drive in Springfield, Missouri. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.