The Present Prize is a democratic arts prize targeting an underfunded area of the creative landscape. It is funded and awarded by The Present Group’s community of web hostees as well as individual contributors.

Stay updated on new projects, prizes and voting announcements.

It works like this:

  1. People sign up for web hosting.
    (over 25% of their fees go to the prize)
  2. We choose a theme targeting an underfunded area of the creative landscape.
  3. Hostees and other supporters nominate artists from within the theme.
  4. Nominated artists are invited to participate.
  5. The public helps narrow down the field to three finalists.
  6. Hostees and supporters vote on the finalists.
  7. We dole dollaz.

Current Prize: Research-Based Studio Practice

".. the imaginative and intellectual work undertaken by artists is a form of research that has the potential to make important contributions to contemporary art, culture, and education in the broadest possible sense...the kind of research artists do in studios, classrooms, communities, and cyberspace”" -Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts

Our practice as artists is dependent on what we produce. But there are times when we need only to explore, where the result is so far from the horizon, that we cannot see it. While often the most productive of times, it is hard for most artists to justify a step away from the exhibition schedule, from deadlines, and from the scene in general in order to dedicate the time needed to really know a subject.

It’s time to reward someone for taking the leap to pursue something complex, for doing the research, and taking the time to learn. Let’s acknowledge the time and commitment an individual is putting forth in order to gain and ultimately share knowledge for the betterment of all of us.

Current Prize Amount:

Past Prizes

Winner: Packard Jennings for

Prize 2: $1224 "Net Love" Prize

"The digital arts (AKA New Media Art, tech art, net art, interactive art, or whatever other moniker you want to use—we’re talking about artistic works that are using digital technology as an essential part of the creative process) have long been the red-headed stepchild of the art world. Though the first computer art exhibitions were staged back in 1965, some 55 years later, the digital arts remain as much an outsider in the contemporary art world as ever, forever denied access to the secret clubhouse." -read more on The Creators Project #DIGART

Creators who put their work online, who experiment with systems online and who allow us to experience their projects online are wickedly underfunded. The goal of this prize was to award one of those creators. Winner is an advertising free Do It Yourself website for projects of protest and creative dissent. It is a living archive and resource for the art and activist communities.

Winner: Allison Pebworth

Prize 1: $1100 Bar Area Travel Prize

co-sponsored by: The Collective Foundation

“Unlike most first-world countries we don’t have a cultural agency at the state or federal level that funds artists’ travel. I have an untested theory that if Bay Area artists had support for mobility that they would be more likely to stay....” -read more on OpenSpace, the SFMOMA blog

Winner Alison Pebworth used the Present Prize to visit the Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Community in Gloucester, Maine to develop a residency with the last four living Shakers and to research Radical Sects and Utopian Societies of America for an upcoming tour with the Beautiful Possibility Project. - read more here and here

Buy In

Don't need web hosting? You can still participate!

For $25, you can be part of the final vote

The final round of voting will consist of hosting clients and anyone who has paid into the prize.

Rest assured that 100% of proceeds go directly to the winner (after transaction costs)

There are two ways to participate in the prize process:

Sign up for web hosting


Buy In to the prize