Each year, the Museum of Contemporary Photography awards the Snider Prize to one MFA candidate in their final year of study at an accredited program in the United States. The entire MoCP staff participates in the selection process, including their graduate and undergraduate interns, part-time employees and research fellows. This year, Hyounsang Yoo has received the award.
Yoo received both his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and completed his masters having already exhibited in numerous art fairs and exhibitions.
The Snider Prize is a purchase award based on merit. Sponsored by Lawrence K. and Maxine Snider, the museum will purchase Yoo’s works up to the prize amount of $2,000 for their permanent collection. In an email, Karen Irvine, the MoCP’s curator and associate director, explained that it was not only Yoo’s thoughtful use of his mediums that attracted them to his work, but also how it can be framed by national identity. “Hyounsang Yoo was selected for the conceptual depth and freshness of his work that incorporates many mediums including photography,” said Irvine. “We were very interested in his profound observations on media and its impact on society, particularly that of South Korea, his country of origin.”
While not accompanied by a monetary award, two other artists received honorable mentions: Sage Lewis, who has studied Painting and Drawing at Ohio State University, and TJ Proechel, who will be graduating this summer from Northwestern University’s Art Theory and Practice program. (Matt Morris)