Grant Winners Announced!

Published by: The Hopper Prize | 4-Sep-2020
The Hopper Prize is thrilled to announce recipients of our Spring 2020 individual artist grants and an accompanying shortlist.
The Hopper Prize is a granting agency that provides individual artists with grant awards, a platform for visibility, and an opportunity to get their work in front of cutting edge contemporary art curators.

Twice per year, during Spring and Fall, The Hopper Prize awards 5 individual artist grants in the amount of $1,000 to artists selected through their open call. These awards are available to artists the world over, working in any and all media.

We are thrilled to announced our Spring 2020 grant winners, selected by our guest jurors Amber Esseiva, Associate Curator, Institute for Contemporary Art VCU and Leila Grothe, Associate Curator for Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art.

The collection of Hopper Prize applicants affords an opportunity to consider a cross section of voices that articulate the current moment.
“ Leila Grothe

These artists inspired me to think and dream and most importantly to question dominant and pervasive logics so familiar to our visual culture.
“ Amber Esseiva

This cycle's 5 grant winning artists are:

Andrea Ferrero
Mexico City

Artist Statement
Materialized through architectural castings, replicas and representations of imagined constructions of what could have been', my work analyses elements of colonial architecture that are inscribed in Latin American landscape. It examines structures of power through the creation of fictional scenarios, using archival material, castings, 3D models and historical accounts as raw material. The intention behind this process is to suggest new possibilities and alternative narratives to official histories.

Christopher Desanges

Artist Statement
"Shapeshifter" is a photographic project that reflects on the challenges of moving through wildly different social spaces while discovering my own identity as a black, queer, first-generation American. Code-switching, micro-aggressions and moments lost in translation have generated a psychological labyrinth that I navigate on a daily basis. I have often found myself in demeaning and paradoxical scenarios in which people think they know me be better than I know myself. Through these photographs I explore the chasm between my true self and people's imagined versions of me.

I reenact acts of violence by manipulating the appearance of my male subjects through shadowing, cropping, and digitizing, removing their agency and identity. The anonymous figures become archetypal versions of themselves, blank canvases for the viewer to project their own notions of a black/masculine/queer identity and experience. Some images show deep space only to be revealed as illusions and through these illusions, I aim to cultivate a disorienting sense of spacial awareness. These disquieting and unstable spaces reflect the nature of shapeshifting, as I juggle multiple versions of myself at the same time

Dominic Hawgood

Artist Statement
Ritual, reality, performance and staging have been constant in Dominic Hawgood's art practice for the better part of a decade. His work has explored hypnosis, glossolalia (speaking-in tongues), exorcism, shamanism and hallucinogenic drug trips. In every case, he has devised a mode of image making not merely to record an altered state, but to produce a visual analogue for it. Whether the objects and actions are genuine, staged, or somewhere in between, the work has an intensity that invites viewers themselves into altered states. Since 2014, the artist has focused not merely on images, but on environments; sculptural installations that envelop the audience with light and sound. As Hawgood's work has moved into 3 dimensions and moving image he has delved deeper into the digital realm, playing with the potential of realistic imagery untethered from the constraints of real-world physics or optics, and opening up an investigation of the means of digital image production. The resulting work focuses less on depicted content than on the experience of the viewer. 'Casting Out the Self' (submitted to the Hopper Prize) has been his most ambitious project to date, evolving like software though several different iterations, and oscillating between real and virtual forms. The ostensible subject matter is the paraphernalia found on the altars of urban shamans. These are the rattles, beads, pipes and idols used by those journeying in search of alternate worlds, with or without the assistance of mind-altering substances such as Ayahuasca or DMT. Key to the project is its equal reliance on imagery from the science of digital imaging and CGI such as 3D scanning rigs, or the chrome and black balls used to record the full spectrum of light for high dynamic range images (HDRI). The props of Ayahuasca and of the scientific imaging test are united in that they are both the apparatus for a ritual transformation: from this world to the shamanic world, from the analogue to the digital, from the real to the virtual.

Kira Dominguez Hultgren
San Francisco Bay Area

Artist Statement
Weaving as creative deconstruction could easily sound like a rereading of Penelope waiting for Odysseus, unweaving by night what she wove in the day. But there is nothing being unwoven in my work. Rather, it is a question of the work itself falling apart, being ripped apart at the seams, sagging under the weight of the many added histories that keep finding a way to be woven in. How much history can one fabric hold?

My weavings are motivated by my ancestral and ongoing negotiations of approximate assimilation, synthetic identities, and the excesses that stride beyond categorizations. Chicanx, Punjabi, Hawaiian, Black, White: tensioned generations on display, warped and striped. Parading indigeneity in handspun weft winding through strands of polyurethane globalization: seducing, choking, colliding, caressing, changing.

But can these weavings bear the weight of the terms that have been set before them, embedded within them? While there may be an appearance of continuity across the fabric, all of these materials “ wool, zip ties, tubing, coaxial cables “ are working against one another. To weave with competing unequal materials is to reflect a lived experience of ongoing U.S. colonialism supported by unequal histories. Some histories go unheard, unseen, while other histories seemingly become the whole story. I want to piece together those histories which need to be heard, but have yet to be said: woven stories from weavers such as Juanita (Asdzáá Tl'ógí; Navajo, 1845-1910) or Luz Jiménez (Mexico, 1897-1965); and woven family stories about living between cultures, ethnicities, and races.

Consequently, my work is as much about the competing, disparate woven fabric, as it is about the space in which the work exists. Posts extend the work outward, acting as frame and architecture. Posts mimic the architecture of the gallery while also referencing the indigenous Mapuche vertical post looms on which these fabrics are made. How does the loom, like the conceptual theory of post- (post-identity, postmodern, post-contemporary), act to create and deconstruct the fabric? Are these works being pulled apart? Trapped? Are they working within the posts to break free of the terms which are set for them?

Perhaps what I am left with is the yet-to-be woven or never-to-be woven parts of these weavings. Spaces, cracks, tears, all point to the possibility of what more there might be; of new terms, new bodies, and new architecture, not just in some distant future but in a transformative past. How much history can one fabric hold?

Vikesh Kapoor
Sunset Pines

Artist Statement
We are now in an age of turbulent national discourse on immigrants' rights and who is truly American. My ongoing project, "‹See You at Home‹," is a personal narrative exploring the latent sense of loss from one's heritage while aging as an immigrant in a non-native culture.

My parents, Shailendra and Sarla Kapoor, immigrated from India in 1973, settling in a small town of 10,000 people in rural Pennsylvania. They are one of only a few immigrant families in the region. Although they left India for a better life, like many immigrants from the East, the shift from a collectivist nation to an individualistic one led to isolation just as much as it led to freedom. As they grow old in Pennsylvania with both my sister and I no longer living nearby, their isolation only becomes more apparent to me.

‹"See You at Home"‹ explores this dichotomy using images of their current life in America imbued with family album photographs.

In addition to the grant winning artists, 30 artists were selected for a shortlist: Elizabeth Withstandley, Caroline Wayne, Elisa Valenti, Rhonda Urdang, Elizabeth Tremante, Yi To, Iren Tete, Nicky Newman, Masako Miki, Diane Meyer, Eleanor Mahin Thorp, Erika Long, Kenneth Lambert, Tommy Kha, Melissa Joseph, Seon Jeong Wang, Lynnea Holland-Weiss, Habib Hajallie, Joshua Hagler, Joshua Gutierrez, Rebecca Frantz, Leslie Foster, Elizabeth Glaessner, Erin Fostel, Eli Craven, Peter Cochrane, b chehayeb, Lindsey Buchman, Paolo Arao, Jessica Alazraki.

Congratulations to all of the selected artists! Explore full portfolios by grant winners and finalists at

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