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5/16/2011 Houston— The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), has given the 2011 Meredith J. Long Core Program Award to Steffani Jemison. The $10,000 prize, presented at the Glassell School of Art Benefit and Auction Friday, May 13, was inaugurated in 2008 and is given annually to a second-year Core artist-in-residence in recognition of exceptional artistic merit.

“Meredith Long is a great advocate for the arts,” said Glassell School of Art director Joseph Havel. “His annual gift provides invaluable support for artists embarking on their careers. This year’s prize winner, Steffani Jemison, is an incredibly motivated artist who not only produces work, but also curates and writes criticism. We are eager to see what she will do next in her career and are certain this gift will help her in her next steps.”
Over the past 25 years the Core Program has become an internationally regarded platform, a destination for curators and critics seeking new talent, and a respected forum for artists and critics to discuss, debate, and develop their work. The highly competitive program awards one- and two-year residencies to visual artists and art scholars who have not fully developed a professional career. Core residents are given private studio space or an office, 24-hour access to school facilities and equipment, privileges at the museum’s Hirsch Library and the Fondren Library at nearby Rice University, and an annual stipend.

The Meredith J. Long Core Program Award was developed in order to recognize outstanding artistic achievement in the program, as well as provide financial assistance to the selected artist as he or she leaves the residency program and enters professional life.

Mr. Long and his wife, Cornelia, are longtime supporters of the MFAH and the Houston arts community. Cornelia Long is currently chairman of the museum’s Board of Trustees. Meredith Long is founder of Meredith Long & Co., an art gallery that specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture.

Jemsion (b. 1981) entered the Core Program in 2009. She received her MFA in 2009 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA in 2003 from Columbia University in New York. She was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2008. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago at Eel Space and Scott Projects; in Cleveland at Spaces Gallery; in Los Angeles at the UCLA Wight Biennial; in London at the Institute of Contemporary Art; in New York at Union Docs; and in San Francisco at Unspeakable Projects. She has curated presentations in New York at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Light Industry, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Her writing has been published in Art Lies, Bitch, Black Book, Dirtypop, Planet, and I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette. She has participated in lectures and panel discussions hosted by Amnesty International, Theaters Against War, The Menil Collection, University of Chicago, and University of Michigan. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website, www.steffanijemison.com.

Past winners of the Long Prize include Mequitta Ahuja (2008); Kara Hearn (2009); and Lily Cox-Richards (2010).