NEW YORK, June 1, 2016 — The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) today announced the results of IMAGINE: The Genesis Prize Design Competition. Through IMAGINE, which opened in September 2015, the Genesis Prize Foundation sought to engage emerging artists, designers and architects around the world with the themes of the Genesis Prize and to offer an opportunity for young people to propose designs for the Genesis Prize award trophy.
The Genesis Prize is a $1 million annual award, honoring individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professions, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel. In 2014, the Prize was awarded to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and in 2015 to actor and peace activist Michael Douglas. The 2016 Genesis Prize will be awarded to violinist Itzhak Perlman in a ceremony to be held in Jerusalem on June 23, 2016.
The winner of the competition is London-based artist Yoni Alter. Alter’s winning design, titled “Higher and Higher,” consists of ascending crystal glass pillars. The pillars are separate, yet when seen from above, they form the Shield of David.
“Like the pillars, Jews seem to differ from each other,” said Yoni Alter. “Yet, when we stand together, we create a circle of strength and inspiration. The Shield of David is neither a wall nor an obstacle; it is a star that lights the path open to all of pure heart and good intentions. The pillars of the prize rise higher and higher for the cause.”
The winning design will be recommended to GPF for production as the 2017 Genesis Prize Award trophy. The final decision on the trophy’s production rests with the GPF Board.
The Selection Committee also made an honorable mention of four other designs: in second place, “The People Triangle” by Keren Kinberg and Jonathan Hadari, and tied for third place were “Creation” by Nadav Roiter and “Intersecting Stars” by Ariela Lenetsky. The committee also chose to commend “Maple Seed” by Adam Waimon on its distinctive qualities.
“We were impressed with the quality of designs that were submitted by student and emerging artists for IMAGINE: the Genesis Prize Design Competition,” said Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate in London and a member of the Selection Committee. “It was interesting to see the diverse talent from around the world participate in such a competition, which sheds light on the topic of Jewish culture and its unique perspectives. I congratulate the Genesis Prize on the outcome of this creative challenge.”
GPF recruited a world-class jury of 20 international judges from the US, UK, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and Canada, which were divided between a five-member Selection Committee and a 15 member Judging Panel. Tate Gallery Chairman Lord John Browne chaired the Selection Committee, while Pushkin Museum Co-Chairman and Genesis Prize Foundation co-Founder Peter Aven served as deputy chair. Other prominent members of the Jury included MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry, Whitney Museum Director Adam D. Weinberg, Garage Museum Founder Dasha Zhukova and other prominent leaders in the arts, architecture and design communities such as Public Art Fund President Susan Freedman, Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture Phyllis Lambert, and New York Jewish Museum Director Claudia Gould. The complete list of Jury members is available here.
The competition included a four-stage judging process. Once submissions had gone through the feasibility review, they were submitted to the Judging Panel, who reviewed and scored the designs based on the selection criteria and their own impressions of quality and originality. The designs were then posted online for public voting, following which the Selection Committee chose the winner and runners up.