The finalists' exhibit and awards ceremony of the annual Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will move from the Baltimore Museum of Art, where it has been held since the inaugural competition in 2005, to the Walters Art Museum next year.

The relocation is necessary because of a $24.5 million renovation project that will temporarily close a portion of the BMA.

Doreen Bolger, director of the BMA, called the finalist's exhibit "one of the most anticipated events of the year, and we have enjoyed working with so many talented artists in our community. The BMA would be delighted to host the exhibition when the renovation is complete," Bolger said.

The current projection is that the renovation will be finished in 2014.

Walters director Gary Vikan welcomed the opportunity to host the eighth annual Sondheim Prize exhibit. "This is a great opportunity to engage with diverse visual artists in our community and enjoy interplay between art of the past and present," he said.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts produces the competition, which is open to artists in the Greater Baltimore area. The top prize is $25,000. The 2013 finalist's exhibit is scheduled June 29 through Aug. 11 at the Walters.

In a statement, Bill Gilmore, executive director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, thanked Bolger and the BMA staff "for all of those years of support and setting the bar for a high caliber Sondheim Artscape Prize finalists' exhibition. I'm looking forward to the same commitment and collaboration with the Walters." Gilmore said.