The Studio Museum in Harlem has awarded the tenth annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to Njideka Akunyili Crosby. The Wein Prize, one of the most signi cant awards given to individual artists in the United States today, was established in 2006 by jazz impresario, musician and philanthropist George Wein to honor his late wife, a long-time Trustee of the Studio Museum and a woman whose life embodied a commitment to the power and possibilities of art and culture. The $50,000 award recognizes and honors the artistic achievements of an African-American artist who demonstrates great promise and creativity.
Inspired by his wife’s life-long support of living artists, George Wein envisioned the Wein Prize as an extension of the Studio Museum’s mission to support experimentation and excellence in contemporary art. “The Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, now in its tenth year, is an amazing opportunity to provide meaningful support to an African-American artist of great innovation and promise,” said Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden. “Selecting Njideka Akunyili Crosby this year was especially meaningful, as she is an alumna of our signature Artist-in-Residence program and truly represents the global nature of the Studio Museum’s mission and reach. Her work embodies the ideals of innovation and promise that were so important to Joyce Alexander Wein. George Wein’s support of the prize is a tting tribute to his late
wife Joyce Alexander Wein and an incredible force in the lives of the artists who have received it.” Thelma Golden and more than 800 guests celebrated the tenth annual Wein Prize at the Museum’s Gala 2015 on Monday, October 26, 2015.
Born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1983, Njideka Akunyili Crosby received her BA from Swarthmore College (2004) and her MFA from Yale University School of Art (2011). Her work is currently being exhibited in Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Beautyful Ones at Art + Practice, Los Angeles, in conjunction with Hammer Projects: Njideka Akunyili Crosby at the Hammer Museum. Akunyili Crosby’s work is informed by her Nigerian heritage, contemporary postcolonial African cosmopolitanism and her life in the United States. The tension between these experiences is critical to her work.