2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize

ICA announces Artists

By: - Feb 06, 2015

Ricardo De Lima, Vela Phelan, Sandrine Schaefer and the collective kijidome were named the 2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize Artists, the museum announced today. Performance, public art projects, and artist-run galleries are enjoying a resurgence in Boston. To give these movements space, exposure, and support, the ICA is—for the first time—devoting this year’s James and Audrey Foster Prize, a biennial exhibition recognizing artists of exceptional promise from Greater Boston, to performance and collaborative modes of art-making. The exhibition is organized by John Andress, Associate Director of Performing Arts, and Jenelle Porter, Mannion Family Senior Curator, and will be on view at the ICA from April 21 through August 9, 2015.

“This year’s James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition captures an artistic energy thriving today in Boston—artist collectives and performance artists,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. “The 2015 Foster Prize Exhibition brings these collaborative art forms to the fore for our visitors to experience firsthand. We are ever grateful to Jim and Audrey for enabling us to share this exciting new work with our audiences.”

"We are thrilled to see this year’s artists recognized for their compelling and innovative work,” said James Foster, ICA Trustee and Chairman, President and CEO of Charles River Laboratories. “This year’s exhibition shines a light on an emerging area of artistic strength in Boston and it will be truly exciting to see the ICA galleries animated by interactive projects and performance.”

To select the 2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize Artists, co-organizers Porter and Andress met with dozens of artists, curators, and other experts, then invited a selection of local artists and collectives to submit proposals. Of those, four winners of the 2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize were chosen to realize projects of unprecedented scope and scale with the support of the museum.

Profiles of the 2015 Foster Prize Artists

kijidome: An experimental project space and collaborative, kijidome was founded by artists Sean Downey, Carlos Jiménez Cahua, Lucy Kim, and Susan Metrican. Located in Boston's South End, the gallery presents curatorial projects and events by its founders and invited guests. In their Foster Prize contribution, kijidome will create an exhibition space at the ICA in which to present multiple artists in consecutive group exhibitions, some of whom will take up residency in the South End space.
Ricardo De Lima: A visual artist, technologist, and DJ, De Lima’s practice spans a variety of media and cultural contexts. Collaborations serve as a common thread for exploring how artists, curators, and cultural workers activate thirdspaces, spaces where cross-disciplinary relationships can flourish. Ricardo curates Spectacle Boston, a collaborative performance space for experimental music and visual arts, and co-curates Picó Picante, a monthly transnational music event.  At the ICA, De Lima will present a combination of sculptural installations and collaborative projects.

Vela Phelan: Working in installation, assemblage, performance, sound and video art, Vela Phelan creates rituals and beautifies mundane objects through ceremony. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico and Venezuela, Phelan is deeply influenced by modern saints and gods. He is particularly inspired by the “spiritual magic” of Mexico. Phelan enjoys transforming and altering modern and ancient energies into a new unknown universal existence. His ICA exhibit will be a video altar action centered around a fictional anti-hero named Jesús Malverde.

Sandrine Schaefer creates ephemeral artwork that explores cycles of the invisible becoming visible. She is inspired by site, the relationship between accumulative action and endurance, and challenging the parameters of real time. Her work addresses the shared human experience of fitting in, both corporally and conceptually. Schaefer is a co-founder of The Present Tense, an art initiative that produces and archives performance art events and exchanges in transient spaces, and a member of Mobius Artist Group. At the ICA, Schaefer will perform a series of ephemeral actions in and viewable from the ICA’s Founder’s Gallery that engage the view and concept of an infinite horizon.
About the James and Audrey Foster Prize
The James and Audrey Foster Prize is key to the ICA’s efforts to nurture and recognize Boston-area artists of exceptional promise. First established in 1999, the James and Audrey Foster Prize (formerly the ICA Artist Prize) expanded its format when the museum opened its new facility in 2006. James and Audrey Foster, passionate collectors and supporters of contemporary art, endowed the prize with a $1 million gift, ensuring the ICA’s ability to sustain and grow the program for years to come. 

Images (from left to right): kijidome, 2015;  Vela Phelan, Self Portrait, 2013; Sandrine Schaefer, 2013, Photo by Daniel S. DeLuca; Ricardo De Lima, 2015, Photo by Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez