THIS MORNING, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta announced Amy Sherald is the recipient of the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize. Sherald is celebrated for her imaginative portraits of real people and in the past few years has received wide-spread recognition for her distinct work. Recently, she was commissioned to paint First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
“Sherald is a remarkable talent who in recent years has gained the recognition she so thoroughly deserves as a unique force in contemporary art,” said Rand Suffolk, director of the High Museum. “We are honored to select her as this year’s recipient and to support her incredible work, which celebrates America’s diversity and rich cultural heritage.”
The Driskell Prize honors early- and mid-career artists and curators for their contributions to the field of African American art or art history. Established in 2005, the prize includes a $25,000 cash award. Last year’s recipient was Naima J. Keith, deputy director of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. This year, Sherald will receive the prize at an April 27 dinner at the High Museum. The event benefits the David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Funds, which are dedicated to the purchase of works by African American artists for the museum’s collection.
Georgia-born, Baltimore-based Sherald was announced as a new member of the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art last month. In May, she is presenting a solo exhibition of her portraits at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Next Monday, Feb. 12, Sherald’s painting of the first lady will be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, along with a portrait of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. CT
TOP IMAGE: Amy Sherald. | Photo courtesy the artist and Justin T. Gellerson
Two years ago, Amy Sherald won first prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The catalog “The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016: American Portraiture Today” accompanied the exhibition and features her work on the cover. Sherald was also included in “Fictions,” the recent emerging artist exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
AMY SHERALD (American, born 1973), “A clear unspoken granted magic,” 2017 (oil on canvas). | Collection of Denise & Gary Gardner, Chicago. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago
AMY SHERALD (American, born 1973), “Try on dreams until I find the one that fits me. They all fit me.,” 2017 (oil on canvas). | Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago