I encouraged artists from around the world to join me in putting images of Frida Kahlo out in the public, or in areas free and accessible to to public, on January 25, 2019, the Night of 1,000 Fridas.
Artists showing work in Washington, D.C. were eligible for cash rewards thanks to a grant from The Awesome Foundation D.C and were judged on their impact on the public, the number of Fridas they produced, originality, and the quality of their work.
I compiled a list of standout projects in Washington, D.C. and shared the list with a panel of judges which included the Mexican Cultural Institute, Kate Gorman of the Awesome Foundation, and Courtney Granner, cover artist of Frida Kahlo Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions. You can read full judge bios here.
1st Prize: $250
Nancy Shia – Unity Park, Adams Morgan
Nancy Shia came to DC from NYC in 1972 as a photographer and a student at Antioch Law School. Her photography reflected the neighborhood, community, and political action of people’s movements and turned her into an activist artist. In the 1970s, she spray-painted messages on blank walls. In the 1980s, 90s and ‘00s, she put political/social messages on posters. Along with others, she wheat-pasted posters on signposts, the Adams Morgan kiosk, and mural-like spaces of plywood boards covering up construction sites “until renovation and gentrification took away all the blank wall space.”
“Doing the Fridas was a great opportunity to do public art, and get creative with a lot of people. I’ve lived on Columbia Road for 44 years and raised two children and a granddaughter there,” said Shia.
Her photography is currently on exhibit at the Anacostia Smithsonian Community Museum as part of an ongoing show called A Right to the City.
2nd Prize: $200
Kate Samworth – Politics and Prose, Chevy Chase
Artist Kate Samworth is interested in what the history of art reveals about our evolving understanding of the natural world. She has illustrated books for children and adults and works in whichever media is most appropriate for the mood she wants to create. Frida Kahlo plays an important role in Samworth’s ongoing narrative series addressing the space between science and spirituality.
Samworth’s work is in many public and private collections. She has illustrated exhibits for the International Spy Museum and teaches drawing/painting workshops in Maryland and Spain.
3rd Prize: $150
Anthony Le – Ten Tigers, Petworth
Anthony Le is an award-winning visual artist and designer, living in Washington, DC. Le bridges art and design in the pursuit of creating a healthy future for all people. He has a decade of experience in graphic design, web development, painting, illustration and animation. You can follow him on IG or Twitter @LeLecreates and view his work at https://thisisLeLe.com.