2022 Colene Brown Art Prize Recipients. [left to right] Top: Aaron Gilbert, Anna Conway, Bernadette Despujols, Camille Hoffman, Emilie Louise Gossiaux. Bottom: L.J. Roberts, Rachelle Mozman Solano, Jeff Sonhouse, Sara Jimenez, Valerie Hegarty.

The Colene Brown Art Prize awards ten New York-based visual artists with $10,000 unrestricted grants. The Prize is underwritten by artist and former BRIC Board Member Deborah Brown and her sister Ellen Brown in memory of their late mother, Colene Brown, and is funded through the Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation.

*Artist bios below.

Aaron Gilbert
Anna Conway
Bernadette Despujols

Camille Hoffman
Emilie Louise Gossiaux
Jeff Sonhouse
L.J. Roberts
Rachelle Mozman Solano
Sara Jimenez
Valerie Hegarty

The recipients were selected from a pool of some 50 nominations which were made by a multidisciplinary panel composed of ten New York City-based curators, critics, and artists. The 2022 nominators include: Janine Antoni, Artist; Danny Báez, Curator, Founder, and Director, REGULARNORMAL Gallery; Regine Basha, Curator, Writer, Educator, and Radio Producer for “Tuning Baghdad”; Gabriel de Guzman, Director of Arts and Chief Curator, Wave Hill; Tom Finkelpearl, Author and former Commissioner of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Ashley James, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art, Guggenheim Museum; Baseera Khan, Artist; Christopher Y. Lew, Chief Artistic Director, Horizon Art Foundation and former Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Artist; Susanna V. Temkin, Curator, El Museo del Barrio. A selection committee within BRIC chose the final ten recipients of the award. Nominations were made based on each artist’s exceptional merit and absence of substantial institutional support.



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Aaron Gilbert (he/him; born in 1979 in Brooklyn, NY; based in Brooklyn, NY) paints what he calls “Psychic Novellas,” vivid narrative scenes that convey the complex dynamics of intimate relationships and that express, and intrigue, the human psyche. Inspired by his own experiences and communities, he tells visual stories about parenthood, partnerships, and sexual relationships. His paintings derive formal qualities, especially figurative style and poses, from Persian and Indian miniatures, Mexican retablos, and Italian Renaissance religious paintings, aligning his work with disparate aspects of global visual history. Gilbert’s paintings depict microcosmic moments, presenting windows into tender yet corrosive connections affected by societal pressure. His paintings confront viewers with emotive and relatable scenes that articulate psychological experience in less-than-glamorous sides of modern life. With enlarged eyes—often ghostly, duplicated, or casting a penetrating gaze outward—his figure style portrays an unsettling psyche within quotidian experiences.


Gilbert’s solo exhibitions include those at Lyles & King, NY; Chris Sharp Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Rome, Italy; and Mottahedan Projects, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has exhibited in group shows at the Brooklyn Museum and the 2016 BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights Edition, both Brooklyn; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Amberwood House, London, England; and FUTURA Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic. He has a 2022 residency at Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy, and has had residencies at Fountainhead and Yaddo. He has received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and a Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. Gilbert holds an MFA from the Yale School of Art, a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an AS from Penn State University.


aaron-studio.com / @aaron_gilbert_studio



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Anna Conway (she/her; born in 1973, Durango, Colorado; based in New York City) presents recognizable landscapes and interiors—a kitchen, a stadium, a highway underpass—as imaginary places captured through true-to-life rendering that collides with a surreal sense of space and recession. In some compositions, immense environments dominate the man-made structures and objects that populate them. In others, interior settings forge dark, intimate spaces that construct a looming emptiness. The sharp focal clarity of Conway’s compositions and the smooth quality of her forms grant familiar spaces a sensation of unnatural placelessness. Her paintings evoke a stillness that works in opposition to the time- and labor-intensive material process necessary to develop the oil paintings. Capturing these moments, her work presents immersive narrative scenes that allow for self-reflection and reflection on the human condition we have created.

Conway has exhibited in solo shows at American Contemporary, Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, ADAA, and Guild and Greyshkul Gallery, all NY, and Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy. The artist has taken part in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, both NY; SITE 131, Dallas, TX; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL; De Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Switzerland; Palazzo Bollani, Venice, Italy; and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium. Her awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters William L. Metcalf Award. Conway received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and her MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts.


anna-conway.com / @annaconwaystudio



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Bernadette Despujols (she/her; born in 1986, Barquisimeto, Venezuela; based in New York City and Miami, FL) investigates societal concepts of womanhood through large-scale oil paintings and multimedia sculptures, crafting her imagery with stark brushstrokes and stylized forms. She scrutinizes the male fantasy of the female body in opposition to women’s self-image, while examining the power dynamics that looking and perceiving can activate. Some of her figures are confrontational and gaze toward the viewer, while others are subject to the viewer’s gaze. Despujols describes her practice as an act of translation, one of articulating fluid personal memories in a frozen work of art. Her personal memories particularly work as the basis for environments resembling her birthplace of Barquisimeto, an important urban and commercial hub in Venezuela. Her work often recalls domestic settings of her youth with rattan furniture and terracotta flooring. Synthesizing these memories with photographic references to derive her imagery, she forges a view into the female experience that is removed from a simplified, yet more tangible, account and that blends subjectivity with objectivity and internal with external perspectives.

Bernadette Despujols has had solo exhibitions at Rachel Uffner Gallery, NY; Spinello Projects, Miami, FL; and Cerquone Projects, Caracas, Venezuela. Her group shows include those at NARS Foundation and A.I.R. Gallery, both Brooklyn, NY; Artspace, New Haven, CT; Centro Cultural Español and Bakehouse Art Complex, both Miami, FL; and Cerquone Projects, Madrid, Spain. She has a forthcoming residency at the KinoSaito Residency Program and she has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Bakehouse Art Complex, and NARS Foundation. She holds a BFA from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts.

bernadettedespujols.com / @bernadettedespujols



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Through material experimentation and collaboration with local communities, Camille Hoffman (she/her; born in 1987, Chicago, IL; based in New York City) reacts to climate change, romantic concepts of American land, and the geopolitics of borders to create installations that picture a revisionist landscape. She works on site-specific installations to rebuild visions of the land that colonial and racialized oppression have stripped from it. Hoffman has worked to retrieve manifold American histories, including those of the Ramapough Lenape Nation and East Harlem. Her recent work uncovers the story of her own ethnic heritage as a Filipino American, a history dating back to 1587 in the continental United States. Accumulated personal history informs Hoffman’s materiality as she crafts her installations from unassuming objects she has been gathering throughout her life. She embraces the inherent qualities of her found materials—the textures of plastics, the subjects on calendars, and the suppleness of plastic tablecloths—which are examples of the single-use objects contributing to the current environmental crisis.

She has had solo exhibitions at the Queens Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design, both NY; San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, CA; and the Collège Colette Besson, Paris, France. Hoffman has been in group shows at the Queens Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Wave Hill, all NY, and the Golestani Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany. She has participated in the Fountainhead Residency as well as residencies at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Museum of Arts and Design, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Scholarship. She holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts and an MFA from the Yale School of Art.


camillehoffman.com / @camillehoffmanstudio



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Emilie Louise Gossiaux (she/her; born in 1989 in New Orleans, LA; based in New York City) creates two- and three-dimensional artworks in an array of media including papier-mâché, ceramic, acrylic, ready-made objects, and earthenware. After she lost her vision in a traffic accident in 2010, Gossiaux reimagined her visual art practice; now, her memories, dreams, and sensorial input drives her visual imagery. She often concentrates on the body, sculpting dismembered limbs and full-body figures, of people and of her guide dog, London. London is a common subject of her work, reflecting and celebrating their close relationship and collaborative movement through the world. Their relationship is reciprocally supportive and integrally united. From this perspective, she uses her work to declare the equal value of humans and animals.

Emilie Louise Gossiaux’s solo shows include those at Mother Gallery and False Flag, both NY, and the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, UK. She has had exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, SculptureCenter, Recess Art, and the Dedalus Foundation, all NY; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; CentroCentroCibeles, Madrid, Spain; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany. The artist received a New York Foundation for the Arts Barbara and Carl Sydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities and a Wynn Newhouse Award. She has had residencies at Wave Hill, Silver Arts Projects, and the Royal Drawing School. Gossiaux received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art and an MFA from the Yale School of Art.

emiliegossiaux.com / @emilielouisegossiaux



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Jeff Sonhouse (he/him; born in 1968 in New York City; based in New York City) limns the Black male experience in America through larger-than-life paintings with a well-established and vibrant visual vocabulary. His characteristic style includes highly saturated colors, geometricized forms, patterning including checkers, argyle, and harlequin, masked faces, and duplication. These frontal, well-dressed figures stand in conflict with their veiled faces. His canvases also extend as three-dimensional surfaces with objects like the wooden brim of a hat protruding from the canvas, a rosary dangling off the surface, and linework composed of wire. Physical matches and burning are common in his work, especially hair made from matches with soot floating upward like wisps of smoke. With recurring settings, costumes, and characters across his body of work, Sonhouse comments on the fictional image of the male Black American identity.

Jeff Sonhouse has had solo shows at the Jack Tilton Gallery, NY; the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, GA; Martha Otero Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and the Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. He has exhibited in group shows at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Tucson Museum of Art, AZ; the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA; the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI; the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville, TN; the Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Lévy Gorvy, London, UK; and the Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg. Sonhouse’s awards include those from the New York Community Trust, the Tides Foundation, the Joan Mitchell, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He holds a BA from the School of Visual Arts and an MFA from Hunter College

zidoun-bossuyt.com/artists/jeff-sonhouse/ / @zidounbossuytgallery



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As a trans, nonbinary artist, L.J. Roberts (they/them; born in 1980, Royal Oak, MI; based in New York City) has built a body of work centered around queer experiences and the vibrance and resilience of LGBTQIA+ individuals, kinship, and history. They collage queer history and portraits through large quilted textile installations, while Roberts’ ongoing hand-stitched embroidery project, “Ten Years of Portraits,” features friends and loved ones in everyday life and spaces. Other works include protest banners, imagery from feminist and trans histories, and embroidered cursive text. They also extend textiles into installation art, like a life-size chain link fence composed almost entirely of yarn and woven wire, and create works on paper, especially collages with a similar aesthetic to their quilting style. Roberts’ fiber art practice is a labor of love—its materiality echoes the intimate and long history; experiences; and transformative power, creativity, and boundlessness of queer individuals.

Roberts has had solo shows at Pioneer Works and the Spring Break Art Show, both NY. Their group exhibitions include those at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; the Brooklyn Museum, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Smack Mellon, all NY; and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT. Roberts has received an Artist Fellowship at the Socrates Sculpture Park and was an Artist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works. Their awards include a President’s Award for Art and Activism, a White House Champions of Change LGBTQI Artist Award, and an International Artists Studio Program in Sweden. Roberts’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, National Portrait Gallery, the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, and the Oakland Museum of California. They received a BFA from the University of Vermont and two MFAs from the California College of the Arts.

ljroberts.net / @atelier.lj



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Rachelle Mozman Solano (she/her; born in New York City; based in New York City) stages tableaux through photography, film, and collage, drawing inspiration from the male and Eurocentric history of art, oral histories, her identities as a woman and Panamanian, and her work as a psychoanalyst. Her work captures actors in theatrical poses and costumes that tell stories and challenge concepts of womanhood. At the 2016 BRIC Biennial, she exhibited photographic collages centering on female figures inspired by Paul Gauguin’s little-known stay in Panama in 1887. Combining these themes of racist art history with her personal, contemporary experiences, one of her films reproduces conversations with her mother detailing her experience as an immigrant from Panama. As her work addresses heritage, migration, and race, she tackles an intersectional exploration of womanhood. Her photographs and films evoke the early ethnographic tradition to uproot exoticized, fabricated narratives and question objective vs. perceived (hi)stories.

Mozman Solano has had solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; the South Bend Museum, IN; Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Centro Cultural de España, Antigua, Guatemala. Her group shows include those at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; BRIC, Brooklyn; El Museo del Barrio, NY; and Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA. Internationally, she has exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Panama, Panama; Bunkier Stuki, Kraków, Poland; and the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica. Her awards include an NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship and Jerome Foundation New York City Film and Video Grant. She has had residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Camera Club of New York among others. Mozman Solano is a Professor of the Practice in Photography, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, and received a BFA from Purchase College at SUNY and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art.

rachellemozman.com / @rachellemozmansolano



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Immersive in the visual, physical, and auditory realms, Sara Jimenez’s (she/her; born in 1984, London, Ontario, Canada; based in Brooklyn, NY) installations reflect on marginalized and colonial histories, oppressive and reclaimed power, and loss through her perspective as a Filipino-Canadian. Her work is deeply rooted in scale and materiality enveloping a space through textiles and soundscapes created by her ongoing collaboration with Sound artist Lau Nau. In her recent work, Jimenez reproduced historic photos of the Pacific and Caribbean Islands the US colonized sourced from educational American texts in floor-to-ceiling red paper and fabric. Saturating black-and-white materials with deep scarlet banners and light, Jimenez built immersive collages composed of these relics of the traditional, colonial material culture that claimed authority over marginalized histories. She reads between the lines of a sanitized written history and realizes an account of what has been left out, especially narratives of suffering and resistance.

Jimenez’s solo shows include those at Smack Mellon and Wave Hill, both NY, and MadArts, Seattle, Washington. She has exhibited at the 2016 BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy/Crown Heights Edition, Brooklyn; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Smack Mellon, Equity Gallery, Electropositive, and BronxArtSpaces, all NY; Rush Arts Philadelphia, PA; and the Kamias Triennial, Manila, Philippines. Jimenez has had residencies at LMCC Workspace, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, BRICworkspace, the Brooklyn Art Space, and The Vermont Studio Center. She received a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, NYFA’s Canadian Women’s Artist Award, and was Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks Artist. She holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MFA from the Parsons School of Design.


sarajimenezstudio.com / @saraegj



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Valerie Hegarty (she/her; born in 1967, Burlington, VT; based in Brooklyn, NY) builds imaginative sculptures and large-scale installations that present visions of destruction and regeneration. Her mixed-media sculptures combine unlikely objects—a faucet sprouting from an upside-down horse head that resembles equestrian monuments, or a tea kettle growing from the bow of a colonial ship—largely referencing early American art and antiques. Through juxtapositions and warping of recognizable images, she explores memory, place (and memory of place), history, and politics, and deconstructs themes such as Manifest Destiny, settler-colonialism, and environmental damage. The sculptures have a sense of being in flux as forms grow from one into another and melt or grow outwards from their containers. Her installations transform galleries and outside spaces with walls, floors, and sculptures that seem to burst at the seams, unravel, and reveal themselves behind deteriorating external layers. In her recent COVID Diaries Series, Hegarty applied her visual language to domestic spaces, visualizing health and political crises, yet suggesting regrowth and continuation.

Hegarty has had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the Brooklyn Museum, Malin Gallery, Marlborough Gallery, and the High Line, all NY; and the Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA, among others. Her group shows include ones at MoMA PS1, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Smack Mellon, Wave Hill, and The Hole, all NY; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL; the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA; the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Spring, TX; and the Torrance Art Museum, CA. Hegarty has had residencies at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program, Smack Mellon, MacDowell, and Yaddo, and she has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, Pérez Art Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, Portland Museum of Art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and the Saatchi Collection. She holds a BA from Middlebury College and a BA from the Academy of Art College. Hegarty earned her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

valeriehegarty.com / @valeriejhegarty