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Amy Sherald Named Winner of High Museum’s David C. Driskell Prize

Amy Sherald.

COURTESY THE ARTIST AND JUSTIN T. GELLERSON

The painter Amy Sherald has won this year’s David C. Driskell Prize, which is given annually by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The prize comes with $25,000 and is presented to a person who has made a contribution to the conversation about work by black artists.

Sherald has received wide acclaim recently for her portraits of black Americans, and was chosen last year to paint Michelle Obama’s portrait, which will be unveiled on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Sherald’s first solo museum show will follow at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis this coming May. Last month, the Baltimore Museum of Art added Sherald to its board of trustees.

Past winners of the Driskell Prize include artists Mark Bradford and Rashid Johnson and California African American Museum deputy director Naima J. Keith. Sherald was chosen by a jury that included Spelman College Museum of Fine Art director Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, and High Museum curator Michael Rooks.

In a statement, Rand Suffolk, the director of the High Museum, said, “Sherald is a remarkable talent who in recent years has gained the recognition she so thoroughly deserves as a unique force in contemporary art. We are honored to select her as this year’s recipient and to support her incredible work, which celebrates America’s diversity and rich cultural heritage.”

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