Senior Grace Sanford wins the prestigious Tidal Shift Award

Ƶapp student Grace Sanford ’24 won the prestigious Tidal Shift Award from the Portland Museum of Art. This award recognizes young artists who have created artwork contemplating the climate crisis.

Ƶapp senior Grace Sanford won the prestigious from the Portland Museum of Art (PMA). This award recognizes young artists between the ages of 14 and 22 who have created a work of art contemplating an issue and/or a solution to the climate crisis.

The Life of Water - Artwork by Grace Sanford, Ƶapp class of 2024
The Life of Water, artwork by Grace Sanford ’24

Sanford, from Freeport, Maine, was part of Division II for artists between 19 and 22. They explored the intrinsic connection between humans and local water in their piece “The Life of Water.”

“Many communities are finding themselves suddenly without safe water, which they once took for granted, and many lives have been lost due to lack of access to this fundamental need,” they said. “Life as we understand it cannot be separated from water. All life is aquatic, and our form is defined by our water.”

will be on display at the PMA throughout the summer.

Associate Professor of Art Studio Ligia Bouton is deeply proud of Sanford. “The Art Studio faculty at the College is thrilled that Grace Sanford’s work has received this outstanding recognition,” she said. “Throughout their time as an Art Studio major, Grace has generated work in various mediums at the highest level. In all of Grace’s work, there is a focus on close observation of the natural world as a radical act of care and protection of the environment. The small, intimate scale of Grace’s most recent paintings pulls the viewer in and asks them to reconsider their own place in the landscapes she is depicting.”

The PMA’s Tidal Shift Award, now in its third year, was the first youth art prize in the country to recognize young artists addressing the climate crisis through their artwork. Six artists, selected from over 900 submissions created throughout the East Coast, were honored during a special ceremony at the PMA. Chosen by a jury of regional leaders, including scientists, artists, educators and community advocates, each Tidal Shift Award winner uniquely explores climate justice.

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