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Exhibition of finalists on view November 1 – 17 at New York Academy of Art
Juried by Bo Bartlett, Rachel Feinstein, Elizabeth Peyton, Calida Rawles and Peter Saul

AXA XL is pleased to announce the first and second prize winners of the 2021 AXA Art Prize. Audrey Rodriguez, a current student at the New York Academy of Art, was selected as the First Prize Winner by jurors Bo Bartlett, Rachel Feinstein, Elizabeth Peyton, Calida Rawles and Peter Saul. The title of her wining piece is “Los Vendedores de Churros y Mangos de la Estación Atlantic-Barclays.” The Second Prize was awarded to Assata Mason of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for her artwork “Rattus.”

The AXA Art Prize is the nation’s first student art competition devoted to figurative art and since the launch in 2018, thousands of aspiring artists have submitted artworks in hopes of being chosen. The 2021 AXA Art Prize Exhibition, featuring 40 shortlisted finalists, will go on view at the New York Academy of Art in Tribeca from November 1-17 and virtually at

According to Artnet News, in three short years, the AXA Art Prize has played a major role in “discovering figurative art’s next big thing” among today’s crop of art students. The inaugural winner in 2018, Monica Ikegwu of the Maryland Institute College of Art, has since had a solo exhibition at Band of Vices Gallery in Los Angeles and been featured in major group shows including “Renaissance Noir” at UTA Artists Space. The 2019 winner, Anna Park of the New York Academy of Art, has since had works acquired by major museums including the Aldrich Museum in Connecticut, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the ICA Miami, the MFA Houston, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The 2020 winner, Michon Sanders of California College of the Arts, was profiled in The New York Times just six months after being chosen and will have a solo exhibition at San Francisco’s Friends Indeed Gallery in January 2022.

Commenting, Jennifer Schipf, Global Chief Underwriting Officer, Fine Art & Specie, AXA XL said: “For four consecutive years this competition has brought together some of the most outstanding artists from across the country. This year’s exhibit not only highlights the quality of fine art being created by young talent, but the profound connection between art and social change. We hope many are able to explore it in person and on-line.”

The 40 shortlisted works in the exhibition were selected from over 600 submissions by an Exhibition Jury comprised of Ian Alteveer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harry Cooper of the National Gallery of Art, Rita Gonzales of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Ashley James of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by noted art critic and New York Times contributor Seph Rodney.

In lieu of an in-person reception and prize ceremony, AXA XL will be offering multiple hybrid events, including talks and intimate tours, during the run of the show. In addition, the exhibition is available to view virtually at

The AXA Art Prize boasts an Advisory Board of 36 major art schools across the U.S., including Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute and Bard College.

For more information about the Prize, Advisory Board and Jurors, and to view the shortlisted artworks, go to

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AXA XL1 Insurance offers property, casualty, professional, financial lines and specialty insurance solutions to mid-sized companies through to large multinationals globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit


Founded in 1982 by artists, scholars and patrons of the arts, including Andy Warhol, the New York Academy of Art is a not-for-profit educational and cultural institution which combines intensive technical training in drawing, painting and sculpture with active critical discourse. Academy students are taught traditional methods and techniques and encouraged to use these skills to make vital contemporary art. Through major exhibitions, a lively speaker series, and an ambitious educational program, the Academy serves as a creative and intellectual center for all artists dedicated to highly skilled, conceptually aware figurative and representational art.

1AXA XL is a division of AXA Group providing products and services through three business groups: AXA XL Insurance, AXA XL Reinsurance, and AXA XL Risk Consulting.