Baltimore area artists who create a Baker Artist Portfolio are automatically eligible for one of five Baker Artist Awards, which include significant monetary prizes, an exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art as well as a feature on Maryland Public Television’s Artworks.

Baker Award Finalist, Bobby English, Jr. Immure, Fall 2015

2016 Baker Award Finalist, Bobby English, Jr. (Immure, Fall 2015)

This year, five finalists will be selected to win $85,000 in prizes: the $50,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize, the $20,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, and three $5,000 prizes: The Semmes G. Walsh, Nancy Haragan and Board of Governors Awards.

These prizes will be awarded to an artists who exemplify a mastery of craft, commitment to excellence, and a unique, and compelling vision.

The Baker Artist Portfolios are open to all artists in Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties to create an online portfolio of their artwork. Members of the public are invited to explore the site to see the breadth and diversity of the art being made in the Baltimore region. Both artists and art lovers alike can create an account, comment on artwork, and create an online gallery of their favorite artworks.

The portfolios and associated awards were established by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

This years portfolios are insightful and some of the most powerfully engaging and energizing that I’ve seen in a long while. Here are the extraordinary artists that have been selected as 2016 Baker Artist Awards finalists.