Baltimore Sun art critic Glenn McNatt reports that Tony Shore, whose portraits of family and friends painted on black velvet capture the poignant and gritty flavor of working class life in the city, frequently broke into sobs during his acceptance speech. ‘This award is an amazing thing for Baltimore, Shore said. ‘It not only helps attract artists to the city but also helps keep artists who want to stay here. This prize will ensure that I am a part of Baltimore’s cultural community for a long time. It shows how important artists are to this city.'” Read more.
Artist Derrick Adams, Bellwether Gallery owner/director Becky Smith, and Yale University School of Art dean/2007 Venice Biennale commissioner Robert Storr selected the finalists from over 320 Baltimore-area applicants. Earlier in the week, Deborah McLeod described Shore’s paintings in the City Paper: “His recurring fables belong to a different tradition of human mysticism, velvet painting, which the artist borrows to surpassing effect. His paintings’ summer nocturnal ritual is the covenant of the bug light, the card deck, and the six-pack. The glistening beads and shimmering surfaces of Shore’s corpulent, scantily clad figures, barely discernable in the night shadows, are hard-won, hard-evaporated sweat.” Read more about the other finalists.