Walter Hood 2019 Recipient

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Walter is the Creative Director and Founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. Hood Design Studio is a cultural practice, working across art, fabrication, design, landscape, research and urbanism. He is also the David K. Woo Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. and lectures on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. He has lectured and exhibited professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally.

Walter Hood creates urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. Hood melds architectural and fine arts expertise with a commitment to designing ecologically sustainable public spaces that empower marginalized communities. Over his career, he has transformed traffic islands, vacant lots, and freeway underpasses into spaces that challenge the legacy of neglect of urban neighborhoods. Through engagement with community members, he teases out the natural and social histories as well as current residents’ shared patterns and practices of use and aspirations for a place.

The Studio’s award-winning work has been featured in publications including Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Digest, Places Journal, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. Walter Hood is also a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award and 2019 Knight Foundation Public Spaces Fellowship.

Selection Committee

Jamie Bennett – Jamie Bennett has been the Executive Director of ArtPlace America since January 2014. Previously, Jamie served as Chief of Staff at the National Endowment for the Arts and Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation; served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University; and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College. His past nonprofit affiliations have included the Board of Directors of Art21 and the HERE Arts Center; the Foot-in-the-Door Committee of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation; and Studio in a School’s Associates Committee. Jamie received his B.A. from Columbia College in New York City.

Oskar Eustis (Chair) – Oskar Eustis has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater since 2005. He came to The Public from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI where he served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2005. Eustis served as Associate Artistic Director at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum from 1989 to 1994, and prior to that he was with the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco, serving as Resident Director and Dramaturg from 1981 to 1986 and Artistic Director from 1986 to1994. Eustis is currently a Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University, and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. Throughout his career, Eustis has been dedicated to the development of new plays as a director, dramaturg, and producer. At The Public, Eustis directed the New York premieres of Rinne Groff’s Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise, and Larry Wright’s The Human Scale. At Trinity Rep, he directed the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul, both recipients of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production. While at the Eureka Theatre, he commissioned Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. Eustis has also directed the world premieres of plays by Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Emily Mann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, and Eduardo Machado, among many others.

Mary Miss – Mary Miss has reshaped the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, landscape design, and installation art by articulating a vision of the public sphere where it is possible for an artist to address the issues of our time. She has developed the “City as Living Lab”, a framework for making issues of sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts. Trained as a sculptor, her work creates situations emphasizing a site’s history, its ecology, or aspects of the environment that have gone unnoticed. Mary Miss has been redefining how art is integrated into the public realm since the early 1970s. She is interested in how artists can play a more central role in addressing the complex issues of our times—making environmental and social sustainability into tangible experiences. Collaboration has been central to her work as she has developed projects as diverse as creating a temporary memorial around the perimeter of Ground Zero, marking the predicted flood level of Boulder, Colorado, revealing the history of the Union Square Subway station in New York City and in WaterMarks, her current project creating an atlas of water for the city of Milwaukee. Mary Miss has been the subject of exhibitions at the Harvard University Art Museum, Brown University Gallery, The Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Architectural Association in London, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and the Des Moines Art Center. Among others, her work has been included in the exhibitions: Decoys, Complexes and Triggers at the Sculpture Center in New York, Weather Report: Art and Climate Change curated by Lucy Lippard, co-presented by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and EcoArts Connections, More Than Minimal: Feminism and Abstraction in the 70’s, Brandeis Museum’s Rose Art Museum, and Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis at the Tate Modern. Miss’s influential work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence and the 2017 Bedrock of New York City Award.

Eddie Torres – Edwin Torres joined Grantmakers in the Arts in October 2017. He most recently served as deputy commissioner of cultural affairs for New York City. Torres served on the GIA board of directors from 2011 through 2016. Prior to joining the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, he was a program officer with The Rockefeller Foundation. He prior served as director of external partnerships for Parsons the New School for Design. He has also served on the arts and culture team at The Ford Foundation as well as on the staff of the Bronx Council on the Arts. He holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Hunter College and a Master of Science in Management from The New School.