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AXA XL is pleased to announce that works from 40 student artists have been selected for the second edition of the AXA Art Prize Exhibition. The AXA Art Prize was launched in 2017 as the XL Catlin Art Prize, and quickly established itself as one of the premier student art competitions in the U.S. The Prize is open to figurative paintings, drawings and prints made by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses in the U.S.

The exhibition of shortlisted works will go on a nationwide tour beginning at the San Francisco Art Institute from September 6 – October 6. It will then travel to Chicago where it will be on view at Richard Gray Gallery from October 24 – 30. The tour finishes in New York City at the New York Academy of Art with an exhibition on view from November 18 – 22. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by David Ebony, former editor at Art in America.

The Prize

The first prize and second prize winners will be announced at the closing reception on Thursday, November 21, 2019. The first prize is $10,000 and second prize is $5,000 and winners will be chosen by renowned artists Sanford Biggers, Will Cotton, John Currin and Tschabalala Self alongside Jennifer Schipf, Global Practice Leader – Art at AXA XL.

The Finalists

Over 500 submissions were received from 130 different schools, both undergraduate and graduate programs. Submissions for the Prize were first reviewed by regional jurors from the Prize’s Strategic Advisory Board of 34 major art schools and programs in the U.S. including the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Columbia University School of Arts, California College of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute and Bard College. The final 40 works in the exhibition, which include paintings, drawings and prints, were chosen by an Exhibition Jury comprised of Ian Alteveer, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director of the New Museum, Jennie Goldstein, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum and Cara Manes, Associate Curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

The shortlisted artists, nine young men and 31young women, are enrolled at 30 different schools. The artists hail from 14 different states and three countries. Four schools have multiple shortlisted artists: California College of the Arts and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University both have two, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has three, and the New York Academy of Art has seven finalists. Three artists who made the 2018 shortlist were accepted once again in 2019: Merritt Barnwell of Yale University and Luisiana Mera and Prinston Nnanna of the New York Academy of Art.

Last year’s Prize, selected by Nicole Eisenman, Eric Fischl and Amy Sherald, was awarded to an undergraduate student from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Monica Ikegwu. Comments Jennifer Schipf, Global Practice Leader – Art at AXA XL, “We were thrilled with last year’s launch of the AXA Art Prize and are proud to continue our tradition of supporting emerging artists in the U.S. and around the world.”



AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit


AXA XL 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

About New York Academy of Art

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.