Distinguished Feminist Award
The Distinguished Feminist Award, first presented in 2009, honors a person who, through his or her art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. This award replaces the Annual Recognition Awards given by CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) from 1996 to 2008 at a ceremony at the Annual Conference.
CAA recognizes Lorraine O’Grady for her considerable and important service to the feminist art community, especially in her determined efforts to underscore discrimination and bias through her performance art, photo-based work, writing, teaching, and activism. O’Grady has worked to expand the political content of art, persistently returning to a complicated place that she describes as “where the personal intersects with the historic and cultural.” As part of a small group of women of color in the Women’s Action Coalition, she has used this platform to accentuate the involvement of black women artists in contemporary culture and the perpetual disregard for their contributions. Essays such as “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity” (1992) demonstrate her powerful voice in robustly considering the disinterest in the black female. In the 1990s O’Grady turned to the visual investigations of miscegenation, and in the last decade her art has continued to challenge the marginalization of racially and socioeconomically hybridized artists.
Read a list of all winners of the Distinguished Feminist Award. Recipients of the CWA Annual Recognition Awards have included Agnes Gund, Louise Bourgeouis, Linda Nochlin, Nancy Spero, Betye Saar, and Moira Roth, among others.
CAA will begin accepting nominations for the 2015 Distinguished Feminist Award later this spring.