Phoenix Art Museum Announces 2011 Contemporary Forum Awards

Last night, Phoenix Art Museum's Contemporary Forum awarded eight local artists who've made a mark in the contemporary scene.

The annual event recognizes up to seven emerging Arizona artists with $1,500 grants to purchase materials and one mid-career artist with $5,000 plus a special exhibition of his or her work alongside past award winners.

Artists grants recipients include Peter Bugg, who's currently showing at eyelounge gallery in downtown Phoenix, architects Cy Edgar Keener/Jay Atherton, photographer William LeGoullon, multimedia artist Melissa Martinez and Aaron Rothman, sculptor John Tuomisto-Bell, and mixed-media artist Lisa Corine von Koch.

The Contemporary Forum's Mid-Career Artist Award was given to Gregory Sale, whose artwork has taken over Arizona streets and prisons.

Sale's current project, It's Not Just Black and White, is on view (and up for participation) at ASU Art Museum in Tempe. Sale explains that his vision for the project is a social experiment; he's led tours through tent city, hosted inmates for workshops in the gallery, invited local and national corrections experts and activists to engage with the community, and created a space for public discourse on the Arizona crime and corrections system.

His four-month residency at ASU Art Museum ends this weekend, and his work will soon hang in the Phoenix Art Museum alongside previous recipients including the 2010 winner, Mayme Kratz.

For more information on the awards and organization, including applications for 2012 grants, visit the Contemporary Forum website.

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