The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner the Philadelpia-based Greenfield Foundation, has just awarded the 2016 Greenfield Prize to interdisciplinary artist, writer and teacher Coco Fusco

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COCO FUSCO ACCEPTS 2016 GREENFIELD PRIZE

Sarasota, FL: The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner the Philadelpia-based Greenfield Foundation, has just awarded the 2016 Greenfield Prize to interdisciplinary artist, writer and teacher Coco Fusco. The Greenfield Prize, given annually since 2009, to a major American artist rotates between visual art, music and theater. The Prize is in the form of a commission for a new work of art to be completed within two years. Recipients receive a $30,000 cash award, residency time at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to create the work, a premier or opening exhibit with a professional venue and assistance in showcasing the work so that it might have a life beyond the first presentation. Fusco is the third visual art recipient following Trenton Doyle Hancock (2013) and Sanford Biggers (2010). Her new work will open at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Spring, 2018.

“Winning this prize is a great honor,” Fusco commented. “I am grateful to all those involved: the people who nominated me, the jury, the Hermitage staff, the benefactors and The Ringling staff willing to work with me. It feels wonderful to know that there are human beings out there who feel I deserve support! I am going to use the prize to continue my work in Cuba. I will make a film with Cuban director Juan Carlos Cremata. I am hoping to be able to shoot in the US and Cuba, so that the work can shed light on the connections between neighboring countries that have been divided for so long.”

Coco Fusco, one of four finalists for the Prize, was chosen by a prestigious jury of curators that included Franklin Sirmans, director of the Perez Art Museum, Miami; Wassan Al-Khudhairi, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama; and Jose Carlos Diaz, curator of exhibitions for the Bass Museum, Miami and newly appointed curator for the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Non-voting members included Greenfield Foundation Representative Joni Greenfield, facilitator and Executive Director of the Hermitage Bruce E. Rodgers, Hermitage Greenfield Prize Coordinator and Program Director Patricia Caswell and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Ringling Matthew McLendon.

In Diaz’s introduction at the award celebratory dinner, he said Fusco was selected because her finger is on the pulse of what is happening today. When all was said and done, the jury realized the other finalists had all been influenced by her work. It became clear that she was the best choice to receive the award. Fusco accepted the award after an inspiring keynote address by photo conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas. “The mission of the Greenfield Prize is to bring into the world works of art that will have a significant impact on the broader or artistic culture,” remarked Rodgers. “We cannot imagine a more appropriate winner than Coco Fusco, whose remarkable and brave work has always had a strong message, powerfully and authentically portrayed. We look forward to helping her bring this latest compelling project into the world.” The Greenfield Prize is administered by the Hermitage Artist Retreat, a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. All Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by the Women’s Exchange and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. In addition to the Greenfield Prize, the Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the summer Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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