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|Dave Bown Projects
The initiatives of the privately held U.S. company focus on advancing the field of visual arts by conducting research, buying works of art for the Collection of Dave Bown Projects, and providing unrestricted monetary awards to visual artists.
Dave Bown grew up in upstate New York. He received a congressional nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point by a New York State Congressman. However, he never matriculated. He took a three year hiatus from formal academics to reside predominantly in Cali and Medellin, Colombia. After he conducted research in East Africa, Europe, and Poland, he earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University. Shortly after graduation, he founded and continues to direct Dave Bown Projects.
Dave Bown has held a few positions via professional memberships at various levels that include, but are not limited to the following:
American Alliance of Museums, Washington, DC
Contributing Member, Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), Washington, DC
Supporting Patron, International Center of Photography, New York
Acquisitions Committee, Young Collectors Council, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Jeremy Adams, Executive Director, CUE Art Foundation, New York
Cindy Buckner, Associate Curator, Grand Rapids Art Museum
Claire C. Carter, Curator of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Brian Paul Clamp, Director, ClampArt, New York
Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator, New Museum, New York
Janet Dees, Assistant Curator, SITE Santa Fe
Kathleen Goncharov, Curator of Contemporary Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art
Karl Hecksher, Owner and Director, K5 Editions, New York
Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator for Collections, Guggenheim Museum, New York
Kashya Hildebrand, Galerie Kashya Hildebrand, Zurich
Irene Hofmann, Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe
Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography
Paddy Johnson, Editorial Director, Art Fag City, New York
Andrea Karnes, Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Kelly Kivland, Associate Curator, Dia Art Foundation
Daneyal Mahmood, Private Art Dealer, New York
Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Dominic Molon, Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum
Diane Mullin, Senior Curator, Weisman Art Museum
Margot Norton, Assistant Curator, New Museum, New York
Mary Kate O’Hare, Curator of American Art, Newark Museum
Marina Pacini, Chief Curator and Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Marisa J. Pascucci, Curator of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art
Katherine Pill, Assistant Curator of Art after 1950, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
Ron Platt, Chief Curator, Grand Rapids Art Museum
Richard Polsky, Author and Art Dealer
Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, Curator, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
David S. Rubin, Curator of Contemporary Art, San Antonio Museum of Art
Kelly Shindler, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Anna Stothart, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, San Antonio Museum of Art
Christina Strassfield, Director and Chief Curator, Guild Hall Museum, New York
Peter Surace, Founder, RARE Gallery, New York
Reto Thüring, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Museum of Art
Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Note: Each juror is listed with the job title and organization they held while serving as a juror for Dave Bown Projects.
|What our past jurors are saying|
|“I was extraordinarily pleased to select twenty-five artworks for the Dave Bown Projects 10th Semiannual Competition. The striking diversity and quality of the works was evident immediately. It is a rare opportunity to examine artworks only outside of their social context and unencumbered by other qualifiers. Judging the competition was a rewarding experience to consider and compare artworks based on their most essential elements: visual aesthetics, media, and dimensions. Mr. Bown is a well-respected patron of museums and individual artists alike and I applaud his investment in supporting emerging artists by providing unrestricted awards to artists.”
— Claire C. Carter, Curator of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
“From all the submissions, what struck me was the number of works, and paintings in particular, grabbling with topologies in contemporary imagery that we most often encounter through digital media. Works that stood out by Buket Savci, Joshua Hagler, and Danny Ferrell span the figurative and the abstract, but are all distinctly iconic scenes taken from a popular cultural imaginary.”
— Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator, New Museum, New York
“I was impressed with the quality of the work and very glad to see so much video and installation work. I was particularly intrigued by the idea of bringing 1,200 artificial flowers to Switzerland, FACTORyAL LANDSCAPE by Sujin Lim, and its global economic implications. I also appreciated seeing the wide variety of the types of work presented from figurative painting to conceptual projects such as the playful Rube Goldbergesque video Getting the Hang of It by Paul Howe.”
— Kathleen Goncharov, Curator of Contemporary Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art
"The artists who applied to Dave Bown Projects capture the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary art today. Across the candidates, there was little evidence of any overarching trends; save, perhaps, that artists are still looking for ways to transform everyday experience or material into something new and worthy of discovery. Artists like Sarah Kabot and Allison Svoboda display a mastery of mundane materials, transforming paper, ink, and the act of collage into wildly different but similarly engaging studies of space and structure and organic form, respectively."
— Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator for Collections, Guggenheim Museum, New York
"The work that most stood out to me in this group of submissions was Etsuko Ichikawa's video Echo at Satsop. With the decommissioned Satsop nuclear facility as a powerful stage set and protagonist, Ichikawa creates stunning visuals that evoke a haunting mix of fear and poetry."
— Irene Hofmann, Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe
"Emphasized in the impressive range of submissions was work that poignantly addresses acute personal approaches to the predicaments of contemporary life. From the conceptual play of gravity in Millicent Young’s Luminous Room, a floor-to-ceiling grid installation of golden horsehair strands that speaks to the impossibility of measuring our fragility, to Joe Horton’s Depths, a broad-stroke figurative painting in which the heavy, unstable drips attempt to upend the intensity of a woman’s gaze. I was also compelled by the inventiveness of Desirée Holman’s video-performance work, Heterotopias—a semi-narrative journey that explores our entanglement with the deception of technology, specifically our increasing fascination with popular archetypes in a culture that’s based on youthful escapism."
— Kelly Kivland, Associate Curator, Dia Art Foundation
"So much of our typical experience of visual art must contend with the loud, insistent, and highly influential voice of context. Lingering somewhere between historicization and overdetermination, the first encounter with an art object has already been shaped by site, citation and surrounding objects. Dave Bown Projects offers something different for both artists and jurors, creating a frontier where one confronts art in an open, relatively unencumbered space outside the comforts of the caption. Rarely does looking feel so foreign, and refreshing.”
— Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
“Equal parts performance documentation and otherworldly cinematic experience the mesmerizing video Echo at Satsop by Etsuko Ichikawa reveals the dramatic potential of a simple gesture made in an extraordinary setting. I was not only struck by the professional and creative cinematography, but also by the powerful soundtrack. Nearly every shot would make a compelling still image; the meditative sound could also stand alone. Both contribute to a sense that this clearly real place could be on earth or elsewhere — in the past, present, or far-off future.”
— Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“This year's entrants [2014, 8th Semiannual Competition] represent the wide range of subjects, mediums, and aesthetic approaches we've come to expect in our truly global and multidisciplinary art world, but the quality was high across the board. The 25 works that rose to the top reflect the compelling intersections of nature and abstraction, "fine art" and craft, words and spaces, staged and organic arrangements. The persistent power of paint, the deeply anthropomorphic capabilities of objects, and the ability of talented artists to chart new paths across well-worn visual territory are all evident here. Dave Bown Projects welcomes art and artists of all types and then rewards innovation with the kind of unrestricted generosity and opportunity that has become all too rare in today's market-driven art culture. Congratulations to this year's winners [2014, 8th Semiannual Competition], you deserve it.”
— Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“The artist submissions to the Dave Bown Projects 9th Semiannual Competition reflect the continued emphasis in contemporary art on sustaining multidisciplinary, technical prowess and proficiency, and a broad range of subjects and sensibilities. The most impressive and successful presentations demonstrate a profound sophistication in their use of materials, an ability to communicate on either a quietly modest or a wildly ambitious scale, and a knowing sense of aesthetic balance and proportion.”
— Dominic Molon, Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum
"It was an honor to be asked to jury this project. The variety of submissions was impressive, ranging from intimate figurative drawings to large-scale abstract paintings and from sculptural constructions to gallery-sized installation work. The creative impulse evident across the works was inspiring. I hope this important program will continue to grow and reach more artists in the future. It is a rare, generous, and much needed support for artists."
— Diane Mullin, Senior Curator, Weisman Art Museum
“It was truly thrilling to judge the multitude of submissions for Dave Bown Projects 6th Semiannual Competition. I applaud Dave for his commitment to championing the visual arts and presenting unrestricted awards to practicing visual artists. The reach and reputation of Dave and his organization are outstanding as evidenced by the overall impressive quality of the works submitted.”
— Marisa J. Pascucci, Curator of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art
“The submissions for the 11th Semiannual Competition were strong, and many entrants had work that was immediately arresting. I saw a nice array of mediums, with some truly unique materials that were tremendously evocative. The artists who most stood out to me were those fearlessly combining media. Jessica Harvey’s use of emergency blankets in her installation, for instance, and Alex Trimino’s mix of neon lights and craft materials. It was a pleasure to see this work, and to support an initiative that provides unrestricted monetary awards to visual artists.”
— Katherine Pill, Assistant Curator of Art after 1950, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
“My favorite work among the submissions is the sculpture, Sun Reflector by Zac Skinner. I love Sun Reflector because it embodies intelligence, ingenuity, absurdity, and a tough spirit. There is something poignant about our ongoing attempts to control universal elements, despite the futility of the exercise. Sun Reflector acknowledges this dynamic yet demonstrates the vitality of creative energy.”
— Ron Platt, Chief Curator, Grand Rapids Art Museum
“It was a pleasure to review such a diverse range of work. I was particularly impressed to see that traditional mediums such as painting and drawing continue to endure with much success, and clearly hold their own in the company of newer and more experimental mediums involving digital technology. Many of the strongest works were those where the artists were thinking outside the established box, be it in their process, materials, or vision.”
— David S. Rubin, Curator of Contemporary Art, San Antonio Museum of Art
“With its heterogeneous materiality and playfulness of form and scale, Alex Trimino refreshes the contemporary practice of creating “unmonumental” sculptures from everyday things. Recalling Mike Kelley’s fiber experiments and Dan Flavin’s neon installations, her totemic sculpture brings the organic and inorganic together to create a visually wondrous theater in space. It was an honor to participate in selecting her among the recipients of an unrestricted monetary award to further their promising lines of artistic inquiry.”
— Kelly Shindler, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
"It was truly a pleasure to review the submissions for the Dave Bown Projects 10th Semiannual Competition. The twenty-five finalists reflect the incredible breadth and quality of work being generated today. Of particular interest were the works that tackled traditional genres in innovative ways. In Joyce Ho’s Prelude, the fiberglass legs of a young girl peek from behind a rose-colored monochrome 'painting' while Matthew Cronin’s Combined Landscape, a black-and-white photograph of tangled branches, recalls the 'all-over' paintings of Jackson Pollock. It was such a rewarding experience to give these artists well-deserved recognition. Thank you Dave Bown for the opportunity and congratulations to all of the finalists!"
— Anna Stothart, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, San Antonio Museum of Art
"Eliza Burke Greene is a wonderful colorist. The painting Sleep Walker is vibrant and has inner energy that pushes to the surface of the canvas and has extended her reach far beyond the four corners of that canvas. The work has figurative elements but if one does not note the title of the piece it also reads as a well constructed abstract work."
— Christina Strassfield, Director and Chief Curator, Guild Hall Museum, New York
“Being a juror a couple of years ago  for the Dave Bown Projects 2nd Semiannual Competition was an informative and enjoyable professional experience for me. I was impressed with the number of high-quality submissions which required me to be very attentive and thorough in my deliberations. I would be delighted to serve as a juror if ever asked again.”
— Peter Surace, Founder, RARE Gallery, New York
|Unrestricted monetary awards to visual artists (past prize recipients)|
Jeffrey Michael Austin
Jesse Morgan Barnett
Eliza Burke Greene
Christina La Sala
Candice Smith Corby
Gabriela Torres Ruiz
Brenda Hope Zappitell
|What our past prize recipients are saying|
|Video by Etsuko Ichikawa (past Grand Prize recipient, 12th Semiannual Competition).
© 2016 Etsuko Ichikawa
|Video by Austin Ballard (past Award of Excellence recipient, 10th Semiannual Competition).
© 2016 Austin Ballard
|"last years  award simply made a huge difference in my ability to make new work"
— Austin Ballard
"Being awarded unrestricted funds enabled me to move forward on an artists' book project The Jungle Journals and purchasing materials to create several preliminary to-scale models of the book itself."
— Giovanna Cecchetti
“Winning the Dave Bown Projects was very special. Of course anytime you are a winner while being reviewed next to so many great international talents and voices it can only be described as a privilege. The monetary funds received were unexpected and have assisted in the production of new works. A very special thanks to Dave Bown for the efforts, passion and most of all high quality in these juried competitions.”
— Marcus Jansen
"receiving an unrestricted monetary award is extra money, and extra money is art money. i didn't spend it slowly. i spent it immediately. i bought two things that i needed: 5 days in a darkroom and a roll of 40" photographic paper. the large photographs that i've created recently have become some of my most successful work thus far."
— Liz Nielsen
"Having my work acknowledged incentivizes me to look for new questions relative to my production and to cross boundaries, amplifying my thinking."
— Flavia Ribeiro
"Any day that I get to spend focusing on my work and not stressing about finances is a great gift. Being a prize recipient greatly fueled my practice and gave me a much needed boost in confidence. When you are doing something different, it is easy to get lost or forget that anyone sees what you are doing as culturally significant. Now, when I reflect on receiving the prize, it helps me continue and maintain my persistence of vision. Thank you so much Dave Bown Projects."
— Aurora Robson
“With the prize you gave me last year  at Dave Bown Projects I was able to make two trips (one to Poland and one to France) this year  to continue with the theme of silence, in which I've been working during the last years. Thank you once again!!”
— Gabriela Torres Ruiz
"Being a prize recipient with Dave Bown Projects expanded my ambition and resources as an artist and bolstered my confidence in the encouragement that exists for contemporary art today."
— Josh Welker
"Receiving an unrestricted monetary award from Dave Bown Projects was a very pleasant surprise for me. It afforded me the opportunity to be able to buy additional supplies I needed, in particular, larger panels to paint on. Also, the recognition on their web site gained me more web site traffic and I got the opportunity to work with a new gallery as a direct result of the recognition from the award."
— Brenda Hope Zappitell
|What artists that are featured in our online Shop are saying
|“I am honored to have my work selected for the Shop alongside this group of talented artists it is a great way to feature exclusive prints of my work for sale, first print sold earlier this month [July 2015]! So thank you Dave Bown Projects for the opportunity, looking forward to our continued association.”
— James Long
“Dave Bown Projects was the first institution in the art world to buy one of my photos. In the years since, it has continued to support and encourage my development creatively and professionally. That ongoing recognition has been very meaningful. Having my work included in the Dave Bown Projects shop is an extension of that. It's an opportunity for my work to be seen and owned by more people than I could ever reach on my own. I'm honored to be one of the first artists to have an edition featured in the shop.”
— Harry Newman