Starve No More: Meadows Museum Is Giving Out a Grant to North Texas Artists

View of the second-floor landing at the Meadows Museum, with Aristide Maillol’s "The Three Nymphs" (1930–38, cast 1939) in the foreground and James Surls’ "In Between" (1983) in the background.
View of the second-floor landing at the Meadows Museum, with Aristide Maillol’s "The Three Nymphs" (1930–38, cast 1939) in the foreground and James Surls’ "In Between" (1983) in the background.
Karen Gavis
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Starving or not, North Texas artists may want to heed the call for entries to an award being offered by the Meadows Museum.

The museum, located at Southern Methodist University, will take applications through Feb. 14 for its annual Moss/Chumley North Texas Artist Award, which is accompanied by a cash prize of $2,500.

A winner will be named in March, and the prize will go to a remarkable North Texas artist who has exhibited professionally for 10 years or more and has a “proven track record as an active community advocate for the visual arts,” says the press release.

The coveted award honors the memory of Frank Moss and Jim Chumley, two Dallas art dealers who showcased various new artists and made notable contributions to North Texas visual arts throughout the 1980s, operating the Nimbus Gallery from 1980 to 1987 and the Moss/Chumley Gallery from 1986 to 1989.

“While the community involvement component can be interpreted in myriad ways, it is a parameter of the award that is taken into serious consideration by the jury,” says Shelley DeMaria, the museum’s curatorial assistant.
Artists can submit entries in genres such as drawing, painting, sculpture, assemblage, construction, video, photography, performance and installation. However, to be eligible for the award, they must live in one of the following North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant or Wise.

Although the number of entries has fluctuated throughout the years, DeMaria says the contest has become increasingly competitive.

Jurors for the 2020 competition include De Maria, Nasher Sculpture Center associate curator Leigh Arnold, Meadows Museum collections manager Anne Lenhart and Meadows School of the Arts associate dean David Sedman, as well as past Moss/Chumley recipient Carolyn Sortor.

Sortor’s work “explores the intricate and complicit nature of social, economic, and political systems,” according to the museum. “Among the themes that emerge from these investigations are issues of identity, migration, borders, and boundaries. Working primarily in video, her work is a timely engagement with how we consume information in today’s society.”

Meadows Museum opened to the public in 1965 after Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows gifted his private collection of Spanish paintings to SMU in the early 1960s along with money to start the institution. The museum focuses on the study and display of Spanish art and boasts of housing one of the finest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The broad collection “spans from the 10th to the 21st centuries and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters.”

Among the works on display is one of Aristide Maillol’s greatest masterpiece’s, "The Three Nymphs" (1930–38, cast 1939) as well as  "Retable of Saint Peter," a 1400s-era tempera on panel by Martín de Soria that’s on long-term loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. And along the Bordeaux red walls of the Jake and Nancy Hamon central gallery are other treasures like Juan De Valdes Leal’s oil on canvas "Joachim and the Angel" (1655-1660), and Claudio Coello’s dramatic oil on canvas "Saint Catherine of Alexandria Dominating the Emperor Maxentius," c. 1664-65.

“Legend describes Saint Catherine of Alexandria as a late third-century Christian renowned for her beauty and wisdom,” reads a placard near the painting, which depicts Catherine standing in majestic attire with a foot atop the emperor’s throat. “Refusing to renounce either her religion or her chastity for the pagan emperor Maxentius, she was imprisoned, where her continued preaching to her many visitors converted most of the imperial court.”

A few of the museum’s past exhibitions include Dalí: Poetics of the Small, 1929–1936; Picasso’s Dream and Lie of Franco: The Spanish Civil War in Print and Between Heaven and Hell: The Drawings of Jusepe de Ribera.

Applications for the Moss/Chumley award can be downloaded here, or for more information, contact Shelley DeMaria at sdemaria@smu.edu.

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