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The BRAVA Awards

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the opening of Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) is undertaking a new and significant bi-annual artistic award program. Titled the BRAVA Awards (BIMA Recognizes Achievement in the Visual Arts), the Awards will recognize four individual contemporary artists, craftspeople or makers whose work demonstrates artistic merit and excellence, technical mastery, contribution to the arts landscape and professional accomplishment in each of four categories.

The award was inspired by the values and vision of museum founder Cynthia Sears, which is that BIMA is part of creating a world that supports, respects and honors artists, craftspeople and creative makers. The awards are designed to make a direct and significant difference to the lives of contemporary working artists and craftspeople, as well as a lasting impact on the arts landscape of our region and beyond.

Each artist selected in the four categories will receive an unrestricted award of $15,000, and the recognition of their achievement through a short video, promotion and live award program. The BRAVAs will be awarded every two years through a dedicated Award reserve maintained by BIMA.

Applications open March 1, 2023.

The application link will be provided on this page on January 31, 2023 for previewing.

Emerging Artist Award
(Puget Sound region)

This award supports the work of contemporary visual artists and craftspeople from the Puget Sound region who are at an early stage of their professional career. The BRAVA Award for Emerging Artist is focused on artists who have seen early recognition of their visual arts practice, are serious about their pursuit of a career in visual arts, and whose work is deemed promising by a jury. The BRAVA Award for Emerging Artist is open to artists working in media including but not limited to fiber/textile, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, performance art, installation, ceramics, and mixed-media or collaborative projects. The BRAVA Award for Emerging Artist is open to artists who live and work in the Puget Sound Region, defined as within the counties of Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Jefferson, Whatcom, Clallam, Kitsap, Island and San Juan Counties.

Artist’s Books Artists Award
(National)

This award supports the work of contemporary visual artists and craftspeople working in the genre of Artist’s Books. Artists’ Books are works of art that utilize the concept of the book in some fashion, in works that often reveal themselves to the user over time and through interpretation, manipulation or storytelling. Artist’s books can include small edition works or one-of-a-kind objects. The BRAVA Award for Artist’s Books Artist is open to artists working in media including fiber/textile, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, performance art, installation, ceramics, and mixed-media or collaborative projects. Open to artists who live and work in the United States.

Native American & First Nations Artist Award
(Salish Sea region)

This award supports the work of contemporary visual artists and craftspeople who self-identify as a Native American and/or First Nations Artist. The Award program is open to artists working in disciplines including but not limited to painting, sculpture, weaving, textile, carving, printmaking, photography, video, performance art, beading, installation, pottery, and mixed media or collaborative projects. Artists and craftspeople may work in contemporary and/or traditional content and forms. The BRAVA Award for Native American & First Nations Artist is open to any artist who lives and works in the Salish Sea region territories.

2023 Special Choice Award:
Children’s Book Illustrator Award
(Puget Sound region)

This award supports the work of contemporary visual artists from the Puget Sound region for work in the field of Children’s Book Illustration. Work may include original illustration included and published within the book format, and designed for a readership of 16 years or under. Work can include book cover, inside illustrations, whole book design, including but not limited to graphic novels, e-books, interactive books, picture books, chapter books, works of fiction and non-fiction, zines, reference books, artist books and pop-up books. The BRAVA Award for Children’s Book Illustrator is open to artists who are residents of the Puget Sound Region,  defined as within the counties of Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Jefferson, Whatcom, Clallam, Kitsap, Island and San Juan Counties. The Special Choice Award may switch between award years to highlight other categories of artists.

THE AWARD

Each of the four BRAVA awardees will receive a merit-based, unrestricted award of $15,000. In addition to the cash prize, the recipient of each award receives: 

  • Recognition in BIMA media, including website, print and online publications, and social media, and provided a template press release to distribute to their media outlets;
  • Participation in an on-line or live event featuring the awardees;
  • A short video to be produced about the recipient;
  • Invitation to participate in an Award Ceremony, likely held at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art; 
  • Invitation to serve as one of the jurors on the review panel of the next bi-annual award process.

Want more info on the application and jury process? Click here.