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$10,000 Prize for winner and $5,000 for runner-up
Juried by artists Juried by Julia Chiang, Erik Parker, Laurie Simmons and Salman Toor
Winner chosen from over 400 entries

AXA XL today announced the first and second prize winners of the 2020 AXA Art PrizeMichon Sanders, an undergraduate student at the California College of the Arts, won $10,000 in a competition juried by contemporary artists Julia Chiang, Erik Parker, Laurie Simmons and Salman Toor, along with Jennifer Schipf, AXA XL’sGlobal Leader for Art insurance. An exhibition of the shortlisted artists is currently on view at the New York Academy of Art, and is also available virtually at

Sanders was born in Michigan and raised in Florida. In the artist’s words, their winning painting “Repast to Follow” explores the themes of “Blackness and the representation of Blackness in a way that feels genuine and not theatrical.” The artist further commented “I have a responsibility to my culture to uplift it, and it is important that that is conveyed through every painting.”

The second prize winner was Young Lim Lee of the New York Academy of Art for her painting “Artist’s Studio.” She will receive a prize of $5,000.

Over 400 undergraduate and graduate fine art students from 125 schools from across the U.S. applied and 40 were selected as finalists by curators from the Brooklyn Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Noguchi Museum. The shortlisted artists, 16 young men and 24 young women, are enrolled at 27 different schools and hail from fifteen different states and two countries. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by noted critic Antwaun Sargent.

Jennifer Schipf, AXA XL’s Global Leader for Art said, “So often there is a gap between the established art world and artists just starting out. In developing the AXA Art Prize and continuing to present it even in our current crisis, AXA XL affirmed its commitment to providing an exhibition platform, financial support and networking opportunities to the next generation of talent.”

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

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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


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.