Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum announces Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards annual grant program

Phoenix Art Museum announces Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards annual grant program

Apr, 14, 2021

Major Gifts

Phoenix Art Museum announces Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards annual grant program

Valley donors Sally and Richard Lehmann provide support for annual grants recognizing early career Arizona artists

PHOENIX (April 13, 2021) – Phoenix Art Museum announces a newly branded annual artists’ grants program made possible through the generosity of local donors Sally and Richard Lehmann. Known as the Sally and Richard Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards (Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards), the annual grants program will provide the opportunity for up to three Arizona-based artists to receive a grant of $1,500 each and to exhibit new work in an annual exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum. Recipients will be selected through a nationally juried selection process adjudicated by the Museum’s department of contemporary art. The Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards replace the former Contemporary Forum Artists’ Grants that concluded in 2017, at which time Phoenix Art Museum continued to subsidize an annual artists grants’ program. Now, the program will be fully funded thanks to the support of the Lehmann family, who have committed to funding the Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards annually for a minimum of 10 years.

“We are truly grateful to Sally and Rich Lehmann for their annual support establishing the Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards,” said Tim Rodgers, PhD, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “Through their support, the Museum will be able to continue and expand its support of Arizona artists, not only by serving as an incubator for creativity and discovery through the artist process, but by fulfilling our commitment to bring the world to Phoenix, and Phoenix to the world as we showcase the works of Arizona artists within the Museum. Their gift also ensures that the institution’s artists’ grants program will continue despite the challenges and threats of COVID-19 and its impact on the financial stability of arts and cultural organizations like Phoenix Art Museum.”

“This gift means so much to Phoenix Art Museum and to artists working here in Arizona,” said Gilbert Vicario, the Museum’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and the Selig Family Chief Curator. “Not only is the financial support helpful to working artists, but the opportunity to have their work seen and evaluated by a panel of curators and arts professionals from across the country will elevate the national standing of artists based in Arizona.”

The Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards grant program will recognize up to three artists annually. Vicario will assemble a jury that includes curators from inside and outside the state of Arizona, and which may also include internationally established artists and other visual-art experts. Past jurors have included Tyler Cann, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art, and Kate Green, the Executive Director of MoCA Tucson. Jurors will evaluate submitted work and select eligible recipients who are presently making and exhibiting new work; who have lived in Arizona for a minimum of one year; whose work demonstrates a sustained degree of excellence and a commitment to contemporary art; and who have demonstrated promise in their body of work with the potential to become an important contributor in their fields. The Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards recipients will each receive $1,500 in support of their work in addition to presenting work in an annual exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum the following year, which may represent the first time their work has been exhibited in a museum.

“We are pleased to be able to support the annual artists’ grants program at Phoenix Art Museum. As collectors of contemporary art, we are honored to be able to contribute to the development and growth of contemporary art within our own home state and support not only the Museum but working artists within our community,” said Sally Lehmann, who also serves as a Trustee of Phoenix Art Museum. “We look forward to seeing the work that will be generated through this gift.”

The first submission period for the new Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards will begin on May 15, 2021 and close on July 15, 2021. Award recipients will be announced in September 2021, and the exhibition of works by selected artists will premiere in 2022. A formal announcement for the open call, with instructions on how to submit work for consideration, will be distributed in May 2021 to press and the public through email and the Museum’s social media accounts.

For more information about Phoenix Art Museum, or for additional resources regarding the Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards annual artists’ grants program, contact the Museum’s Communications Office at 602.257.2105 or

About Phoenix Art Museum

Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 350,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

Share this:

What can we help you find?

Need further assistance?
Please call Visitor Services at 602.257.1880 or email