Topical Cream, the non-profit arts organization founded in 2013 which supports the work of women and gender non-conforming individuals in contemporary art, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Topical Cream Prize. The Topical Cream Prize (co-chaired by Lyndsy Welgos and Marcella Zimmermann) is an unrestricted cash prize awarded annually to one artist and one activist whose efforts have made a meaningful impact on their community. This year’s recipient in the artist category is Carolyn Lazard, whose work is focused on the relationship between care, labor, and value. The recipient in the activist category is Zenat Begum, the founder of Playground Coffee Shop, Brooklyn. Topical Cream will be celebrating the winners on Thursday, December 9, 2021 with an event that will also honor the launch of an online NFT benefit hosted by Foundation and curated by Topical Cream’s 2021 Editor-in-Residence Nora N. Khan. The event will be hosted at Chapel Bar and sponsored by UME.
Carolyn Lazard (b. 1987) is an artist and writer based in New York and Philadelphia. Lazard’s practice spans multiple media to address the relationship between care, labor, and value. Their videos and sculptural installations are works that unfold in radically different scales of time and perception: from the almost imperceptible hum of a white-noise machine to a video of the real-time labor of dispensing medications into a weekly pill organizer. Their work consistently probes the limitations of aesthetic perception as a ground for artmaking and questions the value of production in a society defined by exploitation and ability. Lazard is a 2020 Disability Futures fellow and a 2021 United States Artists fellow. Lazard has participated in exhibitions at several institutions including KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and the New Museum, New York. Their work is represented in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Zenat Begum is a native New Yorker, owner of Playground Coffee Shop, founder of Playground Youth, and an alum of The New School. Begum intentionally seeks to center BIPOC, marginalized bodies, the arts, and community engagement in order to foster change in a shapeshifting and gentrifying BedStuy. (Pronouns: she/her)
Winners in both categories were chosen by a special advisory board of leaders from the Topical Cream community that included: Lyndsy Welgos (Topical Cream Director, Prize Co-Chair), Marcella Zimmermann (VP of Cultural Counsel, Topical Cream Board, and Prize Co-Chair), Elizabeth Baribeau (Topical Cream Grants Director), Alexandra Cunningham Cameron (Cooper Hewitt Museum), Cynthia Leung (Native Agents), Rosie Motley (Someday Gallery, Topical Cream Arts Writing Mentor), Sam Pulitzer (artist), Anna Raginskaya (Blue Rider Group, Morgan Stanley), Yulu Serao (Topical Cream Board), Seth Stolbun (Stolbun Foundation), Rachel Tashjian (GQ), Harrison Tenzer (artist), and Elizabeth Wiet (Topical Cream Editorial & Programming Associate).
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