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Lucelia Artist Award

2008—Mark Dion

Mark Dion

Mark Dion is the eighth annual winner of the Museum’s Lucelia Artist Award.

Dion was recognized by an independent panel of jurors for his prolific creativity and impressively varied body of work, which includes mixed-media installations, sculptures, and public projects that explore the relationship between art, science, and history through pseudo-scientific methods of investigation and display.

The jurors wrote in their decision: "His archeological digs and museum interventions celebrate the value of exploration and learning, and invite audiences to embark on their own journey of intellectual discovery. This approach, coupled with a prodigious commitment to visual creativity, has inspired a generation of artists and established Dion as one of the most innovative contemporary artists working today."

Dion's work has been shown widely at museums and galleries as well as nature centers, parks, and gardens in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Recent major exhibitions and installations have been on view at Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, the Natural History Museum in London, the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, In Situ gallery in Paris, and the Tate Britain in London. In 2006, Neukom Vivarium, a permanent installation commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum, debuted in Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park. Dion is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York.

Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1961. He received a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1986 from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn.; he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in 2003. Dion participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program in New York from 1984 to 1985. In 2001 he received the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award. Dion lives and works in Pennsylvania.


Mark Bessire, director, Bates College Museum of Art

Allan McCollum, artist and senior critic in sculpture, Yale University School of Art

Nancy Princenthal, senior editor, Art in America

John Ravenal, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, director and chief curator, Aspen Art Museum

Pictured: Mark Dion, The Octagon Room, 2008, mixed-media installation. Photo by Christopher Burke Studio, courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York