Painters Haley Hasler, Andrea Kowch, and Jenny Morgan Speak at MOCA
Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.

Steins support a prize for up-and-coming artists

Highlighting the work of emerging artists is at the core of MOCA Jacksonville’s artistic and educational mission.

As an organization that promotes the discovery, knowledge, and advancement of the art, artists, and ideas of our time, MOCA endeavors to identify, highlight, and support the work of talented visual artists who promise to alter the course of contemporary art locally, regionally, and nationally. Every year, the Museum invests significant resources in the process of identifying fresh artistic talent from around the country and the world. Each year, MOCA Jacksonville sheds light on burgeoning artists through compelling, self-curated exhibitions and public programs.

The Steins are now partnering with MOCA Jacksonville to award one of these artists with the Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize each year. The Stein Prize helps solidify and support this significant aspect of the Museum’s artistic and educational mission, while providing prominence and prestige for the artists and MOCA Jacksonville alike. The benefits for the artist include display of their work in a MOCA Jacksonville exhibition, a public program at the Museum, acquisition of a work for the Permanent Collection, and a stipend.

“MOCA Jacksonville plays a crucial role by introducing emerging contemporary artists to the community,” said Marcelle Polednik, director and chief curator. “The Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize highlights this central aspect of MOCA’s mission. The generous award supports the extensive professional development MOCA provides for young artists, helping prepare them for exhibitions, building their portfolios, coaching their public presentations, and documenting and promoting their work.

The Steins’ major gift helps sustain MOCA Jacksonville’s efforts to seek out and cultivate the growth of promising, emerging artistic talent. The search for new talent requires an ongoing survey of the landscape of contemporary art, including substantial staff research and travel. Following the identification of a prospective artist, the curatorial team engages in dialogue to explore an opportunity for a MOCA exhibition, which often entails a substantial degree of professional development for the artist.

The Stein Prize recipient’s work will appear at MOCA Jacksonville as part of a featured exhibition or Project Atrium installation in the upcoming year.MOCA will invite the artist to participate in a public program surrounding the exhibition. The Stein Prize allows MOCA to acquire one of the artist’s exhibited works for its Permanent Collection. Ultimately, the Museum continues the dialogue beyond the confines of the project by facilitating connections with other museums and galleries and providing opportunities to build the artist’s portfolio. In addition, the Stein Prize recipient receives a stipend of $2,000.

“This prize marries our passion for contemporary art and our strong belief in MOCA Jacksonville’s mission to identify and professionally develop emerging artists,” said Brooke Stein, who is a member of MOCA’s Board of Trustees. “We are proud to sponsor the work MOCA does to bring these distinctive artists to Jacksonville as resources for the public and our local creative community.”

The first Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize will be awarded in March 2016 and every March thereafter. Leading up to that announcement,MOCA Jacksonville’s curatorial team will scour the country for emerging talent, visiting artists’ studios and art fairs around the country. Once the Stein Prize recipient is announced, the Museum will share updates on the artist’s preparation for exhibition at MOCA in the following year and other career highlights. MOCA’s social media followers can follow the entire process by searching #SteinPrize on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Artist Profile Juan Fontanive

Juan Fontanive

Brooklyn-based artist, Juan Fontanive incorporates mechanics, kinetics, and film-based materials into his sculptures and installations. His interest in these fields originated from experiences growing up in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, where he frequently climbed bridges, created mechanical-based drawings, and developed claymations. Influenced also by his studies at the Royal College of Art, London, and experience in the city, Fontanive found inspiration from Victorian clocks and other antiquated technical mechanisms. Many of Fontanive's recent series combine his mechanical-based knowledge and keen eye for design with elements of whimsy, whether it be rows of vibrant color or images of birds in motion. 

Photo courtesy of Juan Fontanive
Artist Profile Ethan Murrow

Ethan Murrow

Ethan Murrow received his bachelor's degree from Carleton College and his MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recent solo shows of drawings, video, and sculpture include La Galerie Particulière in Paris and Brussels, Slete Gallery in Los Angeles, Winston Wachter Fine Art in New York City and Seattle, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in West Virginia. Murrow was recently commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston to build a two-story wall drawing for the Feinberg Art Wall in the museum's lobby. His work is in many public, private, and corporate collections and has been reviewed and published widely around the world. Murrow is a professor at the Museum School at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Murrow is MOCA Jacksonville's 2017 Stein Prize recipient. 

Photo by Stewart Clements Photo.
Artist Profile Jackie Saccoccio

Jackie Saccoccio

In 2008, abstract painter Jackie Saccoccio first began an ambitious body of work relating to portraiture. Her “improvisational portraits,” as she refers to them, are borne out of her interest in centrifugal forces in portraits. As she reinterprets portraiture, she researched the materials, such as mica, utilized by Renaissance painters. Evolving the practice, Saccoccio's surfaces are freckled with mica and translucent varnishes, creating multilayered planes of shifting forms. In these large-scale paintings, Saccoccio's process includes tipping, dragging, and shaking the large-scale works over one another, where liquid pools of color, directional lines, and translucent orbs coexist.

Portrait of Jackie Saccoccio with Portrait (Candy). Photo credit: Anna D'Alvia.