The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program is pleased to announce the founding of the Irving Sandler Prize. A dedicated member of its Artist Advisory Committee, Irving Sandler co-founded the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program (now known as the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program) in 1991 alongside Chuck Close, Janet Fish, Philip Pearlstein, and Robert Storr. The $2,500 prize will be awarded to one Sharpe-Walentas artist annually.
The inaugural Irving Sandler Prize was presented during the program’s 28th annual Open Studios, on Friday evening, April 26, by Jane and David Walentas along with Philip Pearlstein and Lucy Sandler, Irving’s widow, to Randy Wray. Wray is a 2011-2012 Alumnus of the program and is also the program’s invaluable Artist-in-Residence Manager.
“We are thrilled to recognize Randy as the first recipient of the Irving Sandler Prize,” said Jane Walentas, Executive Director, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. “Randy exemplifies the mission of the program, and his dedication to his studio practice and support of his peers epitomizes the criteria established by Irving’s concern for the “intentions, visions and experiences” of artists.”
Painter and sculptor Randy Wray holds a diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. He is the recipient of awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Gottlieb Grant, and a NYFA Painting Fellowship.
Wray has had solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, most notably at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo; White Columns, New York; Derek Eller Gallery, New York; and Greenville County Art Museum, SC. Group exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Kate MacGarry Gallery, London; Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York; Feature Inc., New York; and Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI. His residencies include the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program (2011-2012). His work has appeared in Art in America, Artforum, ARTnews, BOMB, and The New York Times. Born in North Carolina, Wray lives and works in New York.