The American Academy in Rome has named the winners of its Rome Prize for the 2023–24 cycle. Of the 36 selected in 11 disciplines, seven are artists. They will receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the Academy beginning in September.
The winning artists are Kamrooz Aram, Nao Bustamante, Mike Cloud, Zachary Fabri, Jeanine Oleson, Estefania Puerta Grisales, and Dread Scott. Additionally, Turin-based artist Fatma Bucak will be this cycle’s Italian fellow in visual arts. This cohort was selected by a jury chaired by Guggenheim Museum chief curator Naomi Beckwith and artist Fred Wilson, who were joined by artists Shimon Attie, Anna Betbeze, Karyn Olivier, and Deborah Willis.
Scott, who is also on the faculty of the School of the Visual Art’s MFA program, is best-known for his 1989 work What Is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag, which included an American flag displayed on the floor. Upon its initial exhibition, in response to controversy surrounding the work, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, which made discretion of the American flag illegal; it was overturned by a 1990 Supreme Court ruling.
Bustamante, who is a professor at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, is a celebrated performance artist who enlists humor and irony to explore issues related to her identities as a queer Chicana woman. Among her most well-known pieces are Indigurrito (1992), America the Beautiful (2000), and Teach Me Spanish/Enséñame al Español (2018).
The winners were selected from nearly 1,000 applications, and this year’s cohort represents the Academy’s most diverse one in its history, with 50 percent of the winners identifying as people of color.
Founded in 1894, the Academy has hosted artists for much of its history, including contemporary artists like Carrie Mae Weems, Nari Ward, Lyle Ashton Harris, Terry Adkins, Jenny Holzer, Vija Celmins, Joyce Kozloff, and Tony Cokes, who won last year. The full list of this year’s fellows can be accessed on the Academy’s website.
In a statement, Mark Robbins, the Academy’s president and CEO, said, “This class of Rome Prize winners once again includes some of America’s most gifted scholars and artists. Their fellowship experience, living and working in a multidisciplinary community in Rome, has an enduring impact individually and on the wider intellectual and cultural sphere.”