The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has named Cannupa Hanska Luger the first-ever recipient of its Burke Prize for contemporary craft, which includes an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize. The award, which is named for and endowed by craft collectors Marian and Russell Burke, is given annually to an artist aged 45 or younger working in glass, fiber, clay, metal, or wood.
Shannon Stratton, chief curator of MAD, said in a statement, “Honoring an artist like Cannupa reinforces MAD’s commitment to illuminating for our visitors the breadth and variety of works being made by young artists nationwide, not just in the major city centers. We are endlessly inspired by his commitment to creating art and projects that directly and urgently impact people’s lives.”
Luger’s practice includes community-based projects and large-scale mixed-media installations focusing on issues facing indigenous peoples living in the United States and Canada. The New Mexico–based artist and activist was raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, which has served as a site for several of his works and performances, and he has shown his work at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Galerie Orenda in Paris, and elsewhere.
“The Burke Prize is a complete honor to receive, and it has provided critical validation to the direction my practice is heading,” the artist said in a release. “Receiving this award supports the future of my work in creating monumental installations which emerge from diverse communal engagements.”
A current exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design spotlights work by Luger and the 15 finalists for the prize, who include Tanya Aguiñiga, Merritt Johnson, and Jordan Nassar, among others. Two pieces by Luger are on view in the show.
The Burke Prize finalists and winner were selected by a jury chaired by Stratton that included Michael Radyk, director of education for the American Craft Council and editor-in-chief of the journal American Craft Inquiry; Jenni Sorkin, associate professor of contemporary art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Namita Gupta Wiggers, director of the critical and historical craft studies masters program at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
MAD will begin accepting applications for its 2019 Burke Prize on November 7.