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Smithsonian American Art Museum Announces Lucelia Artist Award Nominees for 2005

Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced today (Jan. 28) the nominees for the museum's 2005 Lucelia Artist Award. Nominated artists show a sustained commitment to distinctive work that challenges conventional thinking and expectations about the nature of art. This award is part of the museum's continued commitment to contemporary art and artists through awards and acquisitions.

The 15 artists nominated for the award this year are Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Andrea Fraser, Tom Friedman, Ellen Gallagher, Roni Horn, Byron Kim, Maya Lin, Jennifer Pastor, William Pope.L, Fabian Marcaccio, James Siena, Catherine Sullivan, Lisa Yuskavage and Andrea Zittel. Nominated artists work in a diverse range of media including architecture, film, installation, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and video.

"The Smithsonian American Art Museum is pleased to acknowledge the significant contributions by these selected artists to the vibrant conversation taking place in the contemporary art world today," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director.

The Lucelia Artist Award, established in 2001, annually recognizes an American artist under the age of 50 who has produced a significant body of work and consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity. Jurors nominate artists who will be recognized as one of the most important and influential artists of his or her time. The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist's future development and experimentation. Previous winners were Kara Walker (2004), Rirkrit Tiravanija (2003), Liz Larner (2002) and Jorge Pardo (2001).

The award winner is determined each year by a panel of five distinguished jurors selected from across the United States, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary American art. Jurors determine the award winner in a day of discussion and review and remain anonymous until the winner is announced. Past jurors have included John Baldessari, Dan Cameron, Lynne Cooke, Richard Flood, Gary Garrels, Elizabeth Murray, Jerry Saltz and Robert Storr.

Sidra Stich, executive director for the Lucelia Artist Award, invites jurors to participate and coordinates the nomination and jurying process. Since the 1970s, she has specialized in contemporary and modern art as a curator, teacher and writer. Stich is also the director of "art•SITES," a series of contemporary art, architecture and design handbooks published in San Francisco.

Applications are not accepted for this award. The 2005 winner will be announced in April.

The New York-based Lucelia Foundation, which funds the award, supports the visual arts, specifically 19th-century American and contemporary art.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings, with approximately 40,000 artworks in all media, spanning more than three centuries. The museum's historic main building, located at 8th and F Streets NW, is currently under renovation. The museum will reopen on July 4, 2006.