Orlando Museum of Art postpones Florida Prize, announces artists selected for 2021 exhibition


In lieu of the 2020 exhibition, this summer, the museum will host a series of virtual studio visits with the selected artists.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Orlando Museum of Art has postponed its annual summer exhibition, “Florida Prize in Contemporary Art,” which is now scheduled to open in May 2021. The current exhibition, “Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen,” will be extended to run in its place. 

Originally slated to run from May 29 to Aug. 16, 2020, the 7th annual Florida Prize was to showcase 10 emerging and mid career artists who live and work throughout the state.  Each year, the exhibition opens with a preview party to reveal the works of each artist and announce the winner of the Florida Prize. In recent years, the preview party has welcomed more than 800 guests into the galleries. This year, nearly 1,000 attendees were expected to attend opening night -  a principal reason for postponing the event.  

“While the Florida Prize has become one of OMA's most highly anticipated and popular exhibitions, we could not disregard the well-being of our members and guests, as well as that of this year’s participating artists,” said OMA Senior Curator Hansen Mulford. 

Instead, the selected artists for the 7th Annual Florida Prize will be featured in the 2021 exhibition. They are as follows: 

Tra Bouscaren, Tallahassee; Matthew Cornell, Orlando; Richard Heipp, Gainesville; Sean Miller, Gainesville; Lauren Mitchell, Orlando; Marielle Plaisir, Miami; Robert Rivers, Maitland; Anastasia Samoylova, Miami; Clara Varas, Miami; Kedgar Volta, Jacksonville. 

In lieu of this year’s Florida Prize exhibition, OMA’s curatorial team will conduct virtual studio visits, which will be packaged into a series of videos released throughout the summer months. The video series will delve into the wide range of artistic practices and media used by this year’s selected artists. Viewers can expect a diverse expression of ideas from participating artists. Bouscaren and Volta, for example, will provide a glimpse into their interactive, immersive digital media experiences. Rivers will walk viewers through the process of creating a 400-foot drawing about a soldier killed in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. A guided look at Plaisir’s captivating paintings and tapestries will offer insight on the conflicted history and culture of the Caribbean and her homeland, Guadeloupe. This summer’s Florida Prize video series - which will be delivered via newsletter and the museum’s social media channels - aims to illustrate why each of the selected artists deserve recognition for their exemplary work.

By continuing to highlight and support the artists who live and work in our state, the team at OMA looks forward to carrying on the tradition of “The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art” as well as the museum’s commitment to the art of our time.

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Lede image: 
Marielle Plaisir
J.BAKER, In the Malediction of Cham
Printing on Duratrans paper, backlit transparent archival film
48 x 30 in.

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