Kellie Romany has been named winner of the 2016-2017 Emerging Artist Award, given by the Forward Arts Foundation and the Swan Coach House Gallery. She receives a $10,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition at the gallery, which will open on April 6 and run through May 20.
The prize finalists—Chris Chambers, Travis Dodd, Rachel Garceau, and Nick Madden—each receive $2,000 and will have work on view in the front gallery.
Romany’s abstract paintings use a color-language developed by 19th-century anthropologist and ethnographer Felix Von Luschan. The Austrian’s chromatic scale of 36 skin color tiles was used to determine a person’s race in Europe and America until the 1950s.
Using oil on board, canvas or ceramics, Romany uses different shades and viscosities of pigment that over time are intended to change in tone and, where thickly applied, to crack.
Romany grew up in Trinidad. She received an MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Romany will give an artist talk on Sunday, April 23 at 3pm.