Following an extensive search across disciplines, Adelita Husni-Bey was selected as this year’s recipient of the BMC Prize, a $20,000 annual grant for international or national artists working in the spirit of Black Mountain College (1933–1957). The 2023 prize nominators were: Arooj Aftab, Bonnie Jones, Euridice Arratia, Richard Colton, and Daniela Perez.

Adelita Husni-Bey is one of the most audacious and talented artists of her generation. Her groundbreaking installations are based on a profound belief in the importance of community, the transformative power of experimental pedagogy as well as other collaborative practices. Her work involves the participation of collectives and individuals (nurses, activists, schoolchildren, immigration lawyers to name a few) which defy conventional definitions of art audiences. Husni-Bey’s interdisciplinary work gives an active voice to the participants, allowing us to see and engage with realities that are often hidden from many of us.

Euridice Arratia, BMC Prize Nominator

Origins of the Prize
Black Mountain College (BMC) was a uniquely global college, with ideas and ideals grounded in worldviews that extend beyond the Western canon. In the same way, the legacy of the college has taken root across the globe, evolving and expanding to encompass disparate identities and forms of expression. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is dedicated to preserving the history of BMC as well as facilitating new work through collaboration with contemporary artists.

Funded by cultural pollinators Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull, the BMC Prize allows BMCM+AC to continue on this path by building relationships and creating an impact with intention. The museum supports the creation of new work by the most innovative artists working within the BMC tradition today. The prize reflects the spirit of Black Mountain College as a place conducive to experimentation, where global social movements, communitarian efforts, and process-based practice flourished.

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