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Profs. Almeida and Kim win impressive Foster Prize

Among this year’s winners of the prestigious James and Audrey Foster Prize from Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) are two Brandeis Fine Arts department faculty members, Sonia Almeida and Lucy Kim.


The Foster Prize, which has been awarded every other year since 1999, recognizes promising artists working at a national or international level who are based in the Greater Boston area but whose work has not received much exposure in Boston. The Fosters, who are prominent collectors and supporters of contemporary art, provided the endowment for the prize. This is Kim’s second Foster Prize, having won in 2015.


Almeida, who is originally from Portugal, specializes in painting and art books and teaches drawing and painting at Brandeis. Kim, who moved to Boston from Brooklyn several years ago, has taught at Brandeis in the past but is currently a visiting critic. Almeida and Kim are not the only Brandeis faculty to win the Foster Prize. In 2015 the prize was also awarded to Kijidome, an art collective whose founders include Brandeis painting instructor Sean Downey and Women’s Studies Research Center curator Susan Metrican.


Each of the four winners of the 2017 prize will exhibit their never-before-seen work in the Demoulas and Buttenwieser galleries of the ICA from Feb. 15 to July 9 of next year. This year’s Foster Prize also debuts “Foster Talks,” a series of lectures given by the artists and other speakers of the prize recipient’s choosing, which take place once a month over the course of the Foster exhibition. When asked if she had yet decided on the speakers for her Foster talks, Kim told The Brandeis Hoot, “A few ideas have been thrown around, but it’s too early to say.”


She said that while which works will appear in the Demoulas and Buttenwieser galleries has not yet been confirmed, the fourth floor of the ICA will contain a solo show by each artist during the duration of the Foster exhibition. Each show will be comprised of new work that has never been displayed publicly before.


Working at Brandeis helped her break the isolation of being an artist in an unfamiliar city after her move from New York, Kim said. She has grown close with her colleagues here as well as the two post-baccalaureate assistants she works with, both of whom are Brandeis alumni.


The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is open Tuesday through Sunday and is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, near the Courthouse T station. Admission is $10 for students, although discount admission is available through Brandeis’ Fine Arts department.

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