In 2023, Dia established the Sam Gilliam Award, which will be given annually to a selected artist, working in any medium and residing anywhere in the world, who has made a significant contribution to art and for whom receiving the award would be transformative. Each year, the prizewinner will be rewarded $75,000 and receive the opportunity to present a public program at Dia. The first recipient of the award will be announced in spring 2024.
The long-list for the award will be compiled by a group of invited international nominators; there are no applications. A panel of five jurors will then determine the winning artist.
The award was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Sam Gilliam. In 2021, Dia made a historic acquisition of Double Merge (1968), an important room-size, suspended-canvas work by Gilliam, that the artist rearranged in response to the industrial-scale architecture of Dia Beacon in 2019. The establishment of this award continues Dia’s ongoing commitment to the artist’s legacy and the institution’s relationship with his estate.
The Sam Gilliam Award is made possible by Annie Gawlak and the Sam Gilliam Estate.