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Not Oscar, or Tony, but 'Fred' will recognize Baltimore student artists

SchoolsArtscapeHigh SchoolsMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago

It may not have the cachet of an Oscar or a Tony, but "The Fred" may soon become a coveted prize among high school artists in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has announced the inaugural Fred Lazarus IV Artscape Prize, named for longtime president of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

The prize, dubbed "The Fred," which will include a $1,000 award to a high school senior living in Baltimore City. The winner, chosen by a jury (Lazarus will not be one of the judges), will also receive a stipend to produce a solo exhibition with the help of BOPA staff. The exhibit will be featured during the annual Artscape festival in July.

Having a prize named after him is "very nice," said Lazarus, who was a principal player in the launching of Artscape more than three decades ago.

"And I'm glad they decided to give it my first name," he added. "I still remember arriving at MICA in 1978 and meeting a student at the top of the stairs who said, 'You must be Fred, the new president.'"

Students have until March 31 to apply for the prize.

"I love the idea of having this for high school kids," said Lazarus, who will retire from the MICA post in May. "Anything we can do to encourage young artists and designers is terrific."

In addition to having "The Fred" named after him, Lazarus will soon receive another honor. Maryland Citizens for the Arts has announced that he will receive the 2014 Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year in a ceremony in Annapolis on Feb. 12, "Maryland Arts Day." (Gov. O'Malley will receive the "Outstanding Leadership in the Arts Award" from MCA at that event.)

"Everything I keep getting credit for couldn't have been done alone," Lazarus says, "but I appreciate the recognition."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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