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The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award

Home > Awards and Grants > Murray Reich Award

Photograph of Michael Murray


The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award provides resources to mature and established visual artists with a long history of creative practice. 

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to announce the 2018 recipients of the Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award, which was inaugurated in 2015. This year’s winners, Sarah Draney, Rick Klauber, Reeva Potoff, and Kay WalkingStick each received an unrestricted cash award of $12,000. 

With the support of an anonymous donor, NYFA created this annual award to enable mature artists with a long history of creative practice to pursue deeper investigations or new explorations that can inform and enrich their work. It has been developed in memory of the artist Murray Reich, a New York-based painter who also had a highly regarded career as a professor of art at Bard College.

Reich's widow, Elizabeth Weatherford, commented in 2015, "Murray appreciated the capacity of artists to turn to their inner lives, and to draw out ideas, beauty, mistakes, or innovations. He would be so pleased that this award will open up new possibilities for the selected artists, allowing them to devote concentrated time–to working, or reflection, or travel, or producing projects, or developing their archives and websites."

About Sarah Draney

Sarah Draney had her first exhibition in 1962 at Bard College. Since then, her work has been shown widely at venues including 55 Mercer Street Gallery; A.I.R. Gallery; Byrdcliffe, Woodstock, NY; Ceres Gallery; Contemporary Arts Center and Taft Museum, Cincinnati, OH; Davis and Hall Gallery and Time and Space Gallery, Hudson, NY; Gallery 128; Greenwich House; Grey Art Gallery; Nancy Hoffman Gallery; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Irish Arts Center; Lunds Konstall, Lund, Sweden; Orlando Museum of Art; Project Space 209, Stone Ridge, NY; Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston, MA; Vassar College; and Wired Gallery, High Falls, NY; among many others. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and has taught at Pratt Institute and the Feminist Art Institute in New York.

About Rick Klauber

Rick Klauber was born in New York, NY in 1950. He studied with Murray Reich and Jim Sullivan at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. During that time, he worked for and apprenticed with both Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell. Since 1975, when Robert Motherwell sponsored his one-person exhibition at Artists Space in New York, Klauber has had numerous one-person shows including: Howard Scott Gallery, New York, NY; Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Old Westbury, NY; Galerie Huber Winter, Vienna, Austria; Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York, NY; Galerie Wolfram Cornelissen, Gerogeborn, Germany; Universal Fine Objects and Long Point Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and Oscarsson-Hood Gallery, New York, NY. He has participated in numerous group shows including: Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, MA; White Columns, New York, NY; Threadwaxing Space, New York, NY; Watermill Center Benefit Exhibition, Watermill, NY; the "International Biennial" at Janos Xantus Museum, Gyor, Hungary; and Universal Fine Arts, Provincetown, MA. His work is included in many private and corporate collections and can be found in The Provincetown Art Association and Museum; The Witherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA; and The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK. For the past 21 years, Klauber has taught at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY, Brooklyn, NY. He has previously taught at Pratt Institute and at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York. He lives with his wife, Ryn Maartens, in New York.

About Reeva Potoff

Reeva Potoff moved to the SoHo neighborhood of New York when it was still illegal to live there, after receiving an MFA degree from Yale University. Potoff would often look out the window in the dead of night and see women working until dawn at their sewing machines. Potoff and many fellow artists joined the Artworkers Coalition or helped out in the South Bronx, and joined feminist consciousness-raising groups. The artist's studio was on Mercer Street in a building that bundled and sold scrap paper; Potoff made all of her early sculptures out of the cardboard that she retrieved. The pieces were based on gathering visual documentation (photos, drawings, and models) from the cliffs that she found along highways and coastal areas. Potoff's first solo exhibition was at The Meisel Gallery in New York; she later exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art and received fellowships from the American Academy in Rome and the National Endowment for the Arts. Potoff has taught at Bennington College and Columbia University, and now teaches at Pratt Institute. Potoff continues to have an interest in nature and grows and photographs mold and the visual material it generates, which provides the basis for large-scale inkjet prints. The prints are scaled for the wall that they are installed on, and the insects that populate the prints are prints as well. Potoff lives and works in the same loft she first settled in, and is still a feminist.

About Kay WalkingStick

Kay WalkingStick has had over 30 solo shows in the United States and Europe. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Museum of Canada, Ottawa; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Newark Museum, Newark; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and many other museums across the United States. June Kelly Gallery represents her work in New York. WalkingStick taught painting and drawing to graduate and undergraduate students at Cornell University for 17 years, where she is an Emerita Professor. WalkingStick was given an honorary doctorate by Pratt Institute and by Arcadia University. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Design. In 2015, her retrospective of 75 paintings and drawings covering the years from 1970 to 2015 opened at the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Since closing in September of 2016, the exhibition has traveled to various venues across the country including the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa; the Montclair Museum in Montclair, NJ; The Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio; the Kalamazoo Art Museum, Kalamazoo, MI; and the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ. The show was listed by Hyperallergic as one of the best 15 exhibitions to open nationwide in 2016. WalkingStick and her husband, the artist Dirk Bach, live in Easton, PA.

About Murray Reich

Born and raised in Coney Island and the South Bronx, Murray Reich (1932-2012) attended City College and received his M.F.A. in Painting from Boston University. Following his first solo show in New York at Max Hutchinson Gallery, Reich was awarded a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Annuals and at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as solo shows and group exhibitions, and he received other fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Reich was Professor Emeritus of Painting at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he taught for 25 years. He served on the faculty of the Graduate Program in Art at Hunter College in New York. He was the inaugural director of Tanglewood's Summer Program in Art in Massachusetts, and also taught at Boston University.  He lived and worked in New York City, Provincetown, and Mt. Tremper in upstate New York.

Inaugural Recipients of Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award

Chuck Ginnever (2016)
Jane Kaufman (2016)

2017 Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award Recipients

Merion Estes
Mario Martinez


Image: Murray Reich, courtesy of the artist