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. An invited juror or jury makes the final decision.
  7. We dole dollaz.

Upcoming Prize:
Storytellers of Color

Past Prizes

Winner: Selina Trepp

Prize 4: $1250 "Family Matters" Prize

"For those who have defied the advice of mentors and gallerists by deciding to raise children while also pursuing an artistic practice, it can be hard to know how to proceed. While many well-known artists have managed to be engaged parents while pursing successful careers, mention of this creative balancing act is largely absent from critical discourse, and so we find ourselves reinventing the wheel again and again." -Christa Donner, Cultural ReProducers (Half Letter Press, 2014)

Winner Selina Trepp's work explores economy and improvisation. Using parenthood as a positive conceptual and creative restraint, she produces nap animations that reflect the length of her daughter's naps, and has started a practice where she only uses existing materials in the studio to create new work.

Winner: Phil Ross

Prize 3: $1289 "Research Based Studio Practice" Prize

"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." -read more on The Present Group blog

Winner Phil Ross has spent a large part of his creative practice experimenting with, growing, and developing Mycotecture: architecture grown from mushroom mycelium. His experiments may change the way we build the future.

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 Bay 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

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For $25, you can be part of this prize.

Nominate up to three artists to be part of the voting round.

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


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