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Headlands Center for the Arts Announces Recipient of 2016 Chiaro Award

  • SAUSALITO, California
  • /
  • October 23, 2015

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Firelei Báez at Headlands Center for the Arts. Photograph by Andria Lo; courtesy Headlands Center for the Arts.


Sausalito, CA…..Headlands Center for the Arts today announced that Firelei Báez is the recipient of its 2016 Chiaro Award, a fully sponsored artist residency and $15,000 cash prize for an accomplished mid-career painter residing in the U.S. The annual Chiaro Award, established in 2014, is designed to have a meaningful impact on the life and career of an artist by recognizing their past success and sustaining their practice more deeply with direct financial support. Ms. Báez (who was an Artist in Residence at Headlands in 2013) was selected from 60 applicants by a panel of jurists, including artist and Headlands’ Alumni (AIR ‘12) Judie Bamber; Alexandra Schwartz, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montclair Art Museum, NJ; and Matt Sussman, writer and Associate Editor of Art Practical.

The Chiaro Award includes a residency of six to ten weeks at Headlands Center for the Arts with use of a private studio and comfortable housing, chef-prepared meals with other residents, and a cash award of $15,000. The residency enables Awardees to participate in peer-to-peer creative exchange among the international community of artists on-site at Headlands, while facilitating the ongoing development of their individual artistic practice.

Headlands Executive Director Sharon Maidenberg said, “We are so pleased that Firelei will be returning to Headlands next year as the Chiaro Awardee. Since the time of her initial residency at Headlands, her work has continued to develop in rigor and insight. We are delighted that the panel recognized the tremendous provocation of historic and contemporary culture that her work illuminates, and we happily extend the support of the Chiaro Award toward her practice.”

The artist’s vibrant and intricate work informed by her many interests—including anthropology, science fiction, diasporic experiences, and black female identity—is the subject of Firelei Báez: Bloodlines, a solo exhibition organized by and currently on view at the Perez Art Museum Miami, FL.

Next year’s application period for the 2017 Chiaro Award is anticipated to run April 11–June 3, 2016. For more information:

About Firelei Báez

Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, in 1981, Firelei Báez received a BFA from The Cooper Union’s School of Art, NY, in 2004, participated in The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, in 2008, and received an MFA from Hunter College, NY, in 2010. She has held residencies at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, The Lower East Side Print Shop, and The Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace. Exhibitions of her work include Firelei Báez: Bloodlines at the Pérez Art Museum Miami; Prospect 3 Biennial, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA; A Curious Blindness at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY; and Concealed: Selections from The Permanent Collection, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY. Báez’s work has been written about in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Art in America, New American Paintings, The Huffington Post, and Studio Museum Magazine. She is a recipient of the prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting. Báez lives in New York City and is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris (San Francisco).

About Headlands Center for the Arts

Headlands Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary, international arts center located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marin Headlands, a part of the Golden Gate National Parks. Artists Programs at Headlands are designed to support artists, the creative process, and the development of new, important work. These programs provide opportunities for research, experimentation, professional development, and peer-to-peer exchange—and ultimately aim to foster creative breakthroughs and new modes of working and thinking.

By bringing together local, national, and international artists from a wide range of disciplines—including visual and interdisciplinary artists, architects, dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers, writers, and curators—Headlands programs enable the exchange of ideas and approaches that help catalyze new cultural and social perspectives. All told, more than 80 artists participate in Headlands programs each year.  


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Headlands Center for the Arts
944 Simmonds Road
Sausalito, California

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