Out of a field more nearly 700 entrants, 39 finalists have been selected for the 2016 Baker Artist Awards, a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
A total of $85,000, including the top $50,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize, will be awarded in May. The $20,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, along with three $5,000 awards, will also be announced then, during the May 12 broadcast of Maryland Public Television's "Artworks" program.
Artists age 21 and older who live in Baltimore City and surrounding counties are invited every year to upload portfolios of their work (the deadline for the 2016 awards was in January). The finalists were selected by what organizers describe as "a private jury of national and international multidisciplinary experts."
This year's finalists come from a variety of genres, including visual art, music, film and literature. Among them:
- Richard Chisolm, a cinematographer whose projects include the documentary "Bach and Friends"
- Trina Coleman, a singer, songwriter and arranger
- Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormac, multidisciplinary artists working in sculpture and installations
- Marcia Kamper, a flutist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
- Trisha Kyner, an assistant professor at Community College of Baltimore County, whose work includes terracotta and porcelain
- Lola B. Pierson, a playwright, writer and director who has done acclaimed work with the Acme Corporation
- Ada Pinkston, a multimedia artist whose portfolio includes video, sculpture and installations
- Juston Sirois, a novelist and poet
- Meng Su, a classical guitarist
- Vincent Thomas, a dancer and choreographer
The complete list of finalists and their portfolios are posted at bakerartist.org/finalists/.