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Arts and Entertainment

Best Curatorial Mess

Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2013 Finalists

The Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibition of finalists is an annual highlight for Baltimore’s contemporary artists, but not because it features a select handful of the area’s best artists. Truth be told, it’s actually a Hunger Games-style deathmatch for artists, a group show where participants are pitted against one another for a $25,000 prize. This year, the exhibit was hosted by the Walters Art Museum’s Special Exhibition Gallery to mixed reviews. Some of the problems stemmed from the subjective decisions of out-of-town jurors who chose four photojournalists and two installation artists as finalists, an inaccurate representation of contemporary art in the area, while others resulted from awkward curatorial placements which distracted rather than enhanced. Regardless, the show continues to capture the public’s attention every year, spawning a serious betting pool and results that are always shocking.

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