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February 21, 2012Press Release

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, has recognized 100 Maryland artists from 15 counties across the state for creating work of exceptional quality within a range of disciplines. This class of outstanding artists was selected from more than 400 applicants, and will be awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to advance their artistic careers.

“Artists of this high caliber are the core of Maryland’s modern creative economy,” said Hannah Byron, Assistant Secretary, Department of Tourism, Film and the Arts, “their work is essential to the arts, which generate a billion dollars a year in Maryland and improve our quality of life across the board.”

Administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the MSAC’s highly competitive Individual Artists Award (IAA) Program recognizes the unique contribution made by artists to the cultural vitality of Maryland. An out-of-state jury reviews submissions anonymously and recommends awards for Maryland artists.

Said Brent Crothers, Harford County sculptor and previous 2011 IAA Grantee, “Right around the time I received the award, Anthropologie, a national clothing retailer, was expressing interest in my work and wanted to do a studio visit. The funds from the award gave me the financial freedom to completely transform my studio into a gallery where I could showcase my art. Anthropologie bought six pieces, which were featured in their NYC gallery at Rockefeller Center last October.”

The IAA Program reviews 18 artistic disciplines, which are separated into 3 competition groups that are awarded on a triennial basis. 2012 award categories include playwriting, crafts, photography, non-classical music composition, and non-classical music solo performance.  Approximately one-third of the awards were made in the photography category, which also received the most submissions this year.

A celebration in honor of Maryland’s 2012 Individual Artist Awardees will be held in May. Many recipients, along with other practicing Maryland artists are listed in MSAC’s Visual Artist Registry

Pictured: Amber Waves by Wendy McCalister, 2012 Individual Artist Award recipient for Crafts.


About the Maryland State Arts Council
The mission of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, is to encourage and invest in the advancement of the arts for the people of Maryland. The latest economic impact report shows that MSAC grantees’ activities support more than 10,600 jobs and generate $1 billion in local economic activity and $36.5 million in state and local taxes. 

For more information about the Maryland State Arts Council call (410) 767-6555 or TTY 1-800-735-2258, or visit the MSAC web site at