Ist Prize: Miriam La Rosa (Australia)

Essay: A Guest on the Edge: Manifesta and the Quest for European Unity and Solidarity

Read the essay HERE.

Miriam La Rosa is a Sicily-born, Naarm-based curator and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, with over ten years of experience working in the art field. Her research looks at notions of gift-exchange and host-guest relationships in the art residency, with the South as a geopolitical focus. While completing her PhD, Miriam works as Project Coordinator and Research Lead at Agency: an organisation that fosters ethical investments in Indigenous-led projects in the arts and cultural sector. Since 2015 she has developed and participated in many residencies, exhibitions and research programs across Italy, the UK and Australia. In 2019, she co-curated a cross-cultural exchange project between Sicily, Gippsland and the community of Peppimenarti, and in 2020 hosted a digital exchange for the Marrgu Residency Program—an Indigenous-led initiative of Durrmu Arts. In 2021 Miriam curated the exhibition Yirrkala—Mulka: a story from remote Australia, presented and produced by Agency for the Countless Cities Biennale at FARM Cultural Park, Favara, Sicily. Miriam is a member of the Art Residency Research Network (ARRN), which she co-founded in 2020 with fellow researchers studying art residencies. She is a Graduate Fellow at the Centre of Visual Arts (CoVA) and Treasurer of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) Australia. She has previously contributed to projects at Whitechapel Gallery, London, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Her work has been published in academic and curatorial journals including OnCurating and OBOE Journal.


HONORABLE MENTION: Nimra Khan (Pakistan)

Essay: Rashid Rana, Challenging Notions of Truth

Read the essay HERE.

Nimra Khan is an independent art critic and curator. She graduated from the Indus Vallery School of Art and Architecture with a bachelor’s in fine art in 2012. She contributes critical reviews and discourse on Pakistani art for various publications, including Dawn EOS magazine, ArtNow Pakistan, Youlin Magazine, The Friday Times, Newsline, Nigaah Art Magazine, and The Karachi Collective. Her essays have also been included in various exhibition catalogues and publications, notably a monograph of the artist Muhammad Zeeshan, the KB17 catalogue, and Art in Pursuit for Loud Speaker by Vasl Publications. She curated her first exhibition in November 2019, “Becoming a Woman”, a solo show of Pakistani American artist Qinza Najm at Chawkandi Art Gallery, a project which was also recently published in the contemporary art journal Public Art Dialogue (PAD). She was also part of the KB Discursive Committee for KB19 and the study group South South Critical Dialogue by Karachi Biennale Trust. She lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.


HONORABLE MENTION: Zehra Hamdani Mirza (Pakistan)

Essay: Images on Water

Read the essay HERE.

Zehra Hamdani Mirza is a Karachi-based artist and writer. Her career has spanned art, journalism, strategic communications and television. She holds a B.A in English and Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, and completed her Foundation Year in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, NY where she was on the Dean’s List. She served as Chair of the first Karachi Biennale (KB17) Marketing and Design committee. Zehra was the Editor of the Second Karachi Biennale (KB19) Catalogue. Her writings have appeared in the Newsline, Friday Times, The News, ADA and Depart Magazine, Dhaka, as well as the books Pakistan’s Radioactive Decade—An Informal Cultural History of the 1970s, published by Oxford University Press, and A Beautiful Despair: The Art and Life of Meher Afroz, published by Le’Topical Pvt Ltd.


All essays, including those that did not win, are available by contacting:


Distinguished Prize: has been offered to Prof. Dr. Günsel Renda (Turkey)

Special Prize:
The editorial staff at Hyperallergic (online) for their continued coverage of the arts and humanities during the dark days of Pandemic-2020. They continue to merge present-day cultural events, book reviews, and academia with extraordinary aplomb.

Thank you goes to the six essayists who did not win, and we hope they resubmit next year.

Thank Yous:
AICA-Awards Committee and AICA-Jurors

Susana Sulic (AICA-France) and Madeleine Bundy (bfa-NYU/Tish) for help with certificates.

Firat Arapoğlu (Director of upcoming 53rd Congress, 2021); Norman Kleeblatt (President of AICA-USA); Seph Rodney, Senior editor at Hyperallergic (Board member, AICA-USA); Liam Kelly (Chair of the AICA Congress Committee) and AICA International President Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves for helping to rebuild the Awards Committee, and further promoting/sharing essay writing internationally.

Jean Bundy,
Vice President of AICA International & Chair of the Awards Committee

AICA supports art writers around the world through public programs and membership that includes free access to museums across the globe. Since its formation in 1950, AICA has been committed to elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.
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AICA supports arts writers around the world through public programs and membership that offers free access to museums across the globe. AICA-USA represents the largest national section of AICA International with over 450 distinguished critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States. As part of the international organization, we benefit from a global reach in presence. AICA-USA is intent on international communication, elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.

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AICA's membership card is recognized for entrance to museums around the world. Members are invited to attend the annual AICA International Congress, hosted each year by a different member nation, and the AICA-USA annual meeting.

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Featured Programs

Every fall, in cooperation with the New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics, AICA-USA presents a Distinguished Critic Lecture.

Organized in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation, this program matches emerging critics with experienced AICA-USA members who guide them through the process of writing a catalogue essay.

A partnership between The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and AICA-USA that gives art writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one consultations with leading art critics.

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