FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Berkeley, CA: The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is proud to announce the 2005 recipient of The Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers. Through the generosity of Glenn and April Bucksbaum, this $10,000 cash grant honors a talented and innovative photographer at a critical moment in the development of his or her career. This prestigious award is presented to a promising American photographer who has not yet had a comprehensive one-person museum exhibition. It is the largest national award among grants available in photography, and is the only award in the United States to single out 'emerging' photographers for support.
"We are very pleased to announce the recipient of the fourth Baum Award, Lisa Kereszi, who was chosen from an impressive list of nominees," says Glenn Bucksbaum, President of The Baum Foundation. "We hope this award will provide Lisa with additional support to pursue her creative work."
Lisa Kereszi's gritty images of empty and abandoned spaces in and around New York create dramas from the remnants of people's lives and reveal her interest in fantasy, escape, glamour, and our failed attempts to achieve them. Her medium-format color photographs transform the mundane details of forlorn spaces into semi-abstract images of transcendent beauty. Kereszi's work has investigated such sites as an abandoned school on Governor Island, a defunct Broadway arcade in Times Square, and the Spook-a-Rama haunted house on Coney Island.
"I am so surprised and honored to be placed alongside the previous recipients, whose work I admire," says Ms. Kereszi. "Getting this award is like an acknowledgement that I am doing something right, and allows me to not question whether a trip or project is 'worth it'-which is how it really should be." As part of the Award, a photograph by Kereszi will enter the BAM/PFA collection, and her work will be on exhibit in the main entrance lobby of the museum from October 6 through December 4, 2004.
"The Baum Award goes right to the heart of BAM/PFA's commitment to recognizing and encouraging the work of emerging artists," says Lucinda Barnes, Associate Director for Art and Film Programming. "It is particularly gratifying to be able to offer such a meaningful award, and especially one that, in addition to singling out exciting new talent, offers critical financial support for the artist. We are honored to host the annual Baum Award and thrilled to have Lisa Kereszi selected as the 2005 Baum Award recipient."
Born in 1973 in Philadelphia, Lisa Kereszi majored in photography at Bard College and in 2000 received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. Her photographs have been included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Yancey Richardson Gallery, and the Paul Morris Gallery, New York. Solo exhibitions of her work include a May 2002 show at Pierogi Gallery, and more recently at the Urban Center Gallery in New York City. Kereszi also works successfully as a freelance photographer. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Nest, Details, Black Book, Jane, and other publications.
Glenn and April Bucksbaum of The Baum Foundation established The Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers in January 2001. The Award winner is selected by a panel of jurors led by Kevin E. Consey, BAM/PFA Director. The 2005 jury included artist Catherine Wagner; Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in San Francisco, Robert Flynn Johnson; and Tara McDowell, Curatorial Associate at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The jurors reviewed the many submissions for the 2005 Baum Award and met in late June at BAM/PFA to choose this year's winner.
Artists are nominated for the Award by 25 curators of contemporary art and photography, and directors of alternative photography spaces from across the U.S., each of whom recommends two artists. These 50 photographers are then invited to submit slides of their work for review by the jurors. Members of the Baum Foundation do not participate in the selection of the curators, artists, or jury who choose the Award winner.
The Baum Foundation created the award out of the conviction that artists contribute in powerful ways to the health and vitality of our society, and that artists who have the support and resources necessary to pursue their creative work are essential to a dynamic cultural environment. The first Baum Award was presented in 2001 to documentary photographer Deborah Luster in conjunction with the Friends of Photography: Ansel Adams Gallery in San Francisco. The winner of the 2003 Baum Award was Luis Gispert. Katy Grannan received the Award in 2004.
Jurors for the 2004 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers
Catherine Wagner is an artist who photographs archetypes of contemporary society. She has received many major awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and the Ferguson Award. Her work is represented in the collections of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Folkswang, Essen, Germany, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Wagner is also a professor of Art at Mills College, California.
Robert Flynn Johnson is Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. His many publications include Lucian Freud: Works on Paper (W. W. Norton), Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones (Thames and Hudson), and Anonymous: Enigmatic Images from Unknown Photographers, 2004 (Thames and Hudson).
Tara McDowell has been a curatorial associate in the department of painting and sculpture at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since May 2002. During her tenure at SFMOMA, she has organized a number of exhibitions, most recently the 2004 SECA Art Award, which featured the work of Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Simon Evans, Shaun O'Dell, and Josephine Taylor.
Kevin E. Consey is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).
Lisa Kereszi, Jeanne Finley, and Terri Cohn
Free First Thursday, October 6, 6:15 p.m.
Baum Award winner Lisa Kereszi will talk about her work with Bay Area filmmaker and installation artist Jeanne Finley, who is currently a professor of Media Studies at the California College of the Arts. Their conversation will be moderated by San Francisco-based writer and curator Terri Cohn.
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, Packard Humanities Institute, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Columbia Foundation, the Christensen Fund, the William H. Donner Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Gap Inc., other private foundations and corporations, and our individual donors and members. Major endowment support has been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and by George Gund III.
Gap Inc. is proud to support First Impressions: Free First Thursdays at BAM/PFA. For more information about Free First Thursday gallery tours and screenings visit our website at bampfa.berkeley.edu.
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Located at 2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus.
Gallery and Museum Store Hours:
Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, 11 to 5; Thursday 11 to 7. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
General admission is $8; admission for seniors, disabled persons, non-UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13 – 17) is $5; admission for BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, and children under 12 is free; admission for group tours is $3 per person (to arrange a group tour, call  642-5188). Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month.
24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; FAX (510) 642-4889;
PFA recorded message (510) 642-1124; TDD: (510) 642-8734