The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation has announced the nine recipients of its 2023 Rabkin Prize for visual arts journalism. Among this year’s awardees are Hyperallergic contributors Erin Joyce and Eileen G’Sell as well as former Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer, who each received $50,000 for their work. A complete list of recipients can be found here.
Founded in 1999 by New York City artist Leo Rabkin and his partner Dorothea, the foundation works to advance the field of visual arts with support from the Rabkin estate. This year was the seventh annual installment of the charity’s Rabkin Award. Each year, 16 sponsors involved with visual arts around the country nominate candidates. Nominees then submit two recently published articles plus a short credential statement for review. Since 2017, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million dollars to 62 visual arts writers. Previous recipients include Hyperallergic critic John Yau, former News Editor Jasmine Weber, and contributor and former Senior Editor Seph Rodney.
This year was the first win for G’Sell, a poet and culture critic who was previously nominated for the award in 2019. A poetry and rhetoric teacher at Washington University in St. Louis, G’Sell also teaches creative writing for the Prison Education Project at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. In 2012, she co-founded The Hinge, an experimental art space and gallery in St. Louis, alongside colleagues Lauren Pressler and Bryan Laughlin. She received the American Literary Review prize for poetry in 2013.
As a writer and contemporary art curator, Joyce has organized more than 35 exhibitions for museums, galleries, and other art spaces throughout her career. As an arts journalist, she focuses on artists and exhibitions in the Southwest and Midwestern United States. Earlier this month, she interviewed Oklahoma artist Raven Halfmoon for Hyperallergic about the first major solo exhibition of her large-scale sculpture work, Raven Halfmoon: Flags of Our Mothers at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. Joyce was also nominated for the Rabkin Award in 2019.
Steinhauer, who worked at Hyperallergic from 2012 until 2017, is a Brooklyn-based journalist whose writing primarily focuses on the cross-section of art and politics. In 2019, she was a recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, which supports emerging and established visual arts writers. Steinhauer currently teaches in the Journalism and Design program at the New School in New York City.
In addition to providing national grants for arts journalists, the Rabkin Foundation also gives philanthropic support to cultural organizations, and works to preserve and distribute artworks created by Leo Rabkin. During their lifetimes, the Rabkins lived in Chelsea, where they amassed a considerable collection of folk and so-called “outsider” art that was eventually donated to the American Folk Art Museum, the High Museum in Atlanta, and other institutions. Leo received additional recognition for his colorful watercolor art and unique box creations constructed out of plastic, wood, and gathered materials. His personal artwork is now on permanent display at the foundation’s headquarters, located at 13 Brown Street in Portland, Maine, and is included in the permanent collections of several institutions around the country including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.