State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces Finalists for 54th Annual “Art of the State” Exhibition

Kevin O'Toole, DiptychThis artwork is featured in the exhibition Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2021 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. This exhibition runs from Sunday, September 26, 2021 to Sunday, January 2, 2022. (Image courtesy of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission)

HARRISBURG, PA — Finalists have been announced for Art of the State 2021.

Art of the State is an annual juried exhibition that has been showcasing the work of Pennsylvania’s artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968. The body of art that has been exhibited reflects over a half-century of creative endeavor in the Keystone State. Through the years, artists have shared their ideas and engaged viewers in the categories of painting, photography, craft, sculpture, and work on paper.

The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, September 26 and run through January 2, 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, award winners of the 54th annual exhibit will be announced via social media at 12:00 PM on the exhibit’s opening day.

Award winners will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. An exhibit catalog pdf and programming announcements can be accessed on the Art of the State 2021 landing page.

The exhibit includes 104 works of art from 104 artists from 31 counties. Finalists were selected from 2,217 entries from 626 artists.

Selection jurors reviewed and scored all work submitted. Those with the highest ratings in each category are featured in the exhibition. The awards juror will determine the prize winners in each of the categories.

This year’s selection jurors are:

Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Minor White Curator of Photography, Portland Art Museum

Julia Dolan has curated, cocurated or hosted more than 40 photography exhibitions since joining the Portland Art Museum in 2010. She received a B.F.A. in photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art, an M.A. in art history from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in art history from Boston University. She has worked with the photography collections at such institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

Joyce Owens, Artist, Educator, and Curator, Chicago State University

Joyce Owens earned a B.F.A. from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and an M.F.A. in painting from Yale University. She has held many arts-related positions from arts and crafts director and art teacher to producer for the CBS television station in Philadelphia and graphic arts coordinator at CBS Chicago. She teaches studio painting and drawing at Chicago State University and was appointed the curator of the university galleries in January 2006.

Matthew Hinçman, Professor and Program Area Coordinator, Sculpture, and Furniture Design Certificate Program Coordinator, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Matthew Hinçman has been creating primarily self-funded works for the public sphere for more than 25 years. He is professor of sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and former chair of the Fine Arts 3D Program. His first major commissioned work for the City of Boston, Wythe & Web, was completed in spring 2021.

This year’s awards juror is:

Al Miner, Director of Georgetown University Galleries and Associate Professor of the Practice

Al Miner is the founding director/chief curator of the Georgetown University Art Galleries and associate professor of the Practice (Museum Studies). Prior to assuming his current role, Miner spent seven years as a curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and five years in the curatorial division of the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Miner has received fellowships and grants from numerous organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Association of Art Museum Curators, and the American Alliance of Museums.

More than $4,000 in cash awards will be distributed to artists. A first prize of $500 and second prize of $300 will be awarded in each of the five categories. The William D. Davis Memorial Award for Drawing in the amount of $250 and the Art Docents’ Choice Award of $300 will also be awarded.

Later in the exhibition, The State Museum will select one Purchase Award winner for the permanent collection.

Art of the State is presented by The State Museum of Pennsylvania in association with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation. The media sponsor is WITF Public Media.

The Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit partner of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the state agency charged with collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting the treasures of Pennsylvania. Through private contributions, PHF supports PHMC in protecting and providing access to 24 historic sites and museums, approximately 9 million objects, and more than 250 million archival items.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the Colonial and Revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

For more information about Art of the State 2021 and The State Museum, visit

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