We’ve Got the Names of SFMOMA’s 2022 SECA Art Award Finalists

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SFMOMA. (Henrik Kam)

The 16 finalists for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 2022 SECA Art Award became public on Wednesday to a flurry of cheers from Bay Area art fans.

The award will result in a museum exhibition and publication for a handful of these artists. Finalists were selected from a pool of nominees by co-curators Andrea Nitsche-Krupp and Jovanna Venegas, assistant curators in the museum’s media arts and contemporary art departments, respectively.

The finalists are:

Indira Allegra
Binta Ayofemi
Saif Azzuz
Sydney Cain
Maria Guzmán Capron
Jeffrey Cheung
Guillermo Galindo
Dana Hemenway
Heesoo Kwon
Cathy Lu
Alison O’Daniel
Marcel Pardo Ariza
Gregory Rick
Leila Weefur
Chelsea Wong
Maryam Yousif

The artists represent a broad range of contemporary practices, including performance, painting, sculpture, textile work, filmmaking, experimental sound, photography, ceramics and digital art. (One of the finalists, Heesoo Kwon, has even created an NFT, an arena of art making SFMOMA has not yet waded into.) Nearly all are artists of color.


The SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Award has been a facet of SFMOMA’s programming since 1967, and for many years recipients were decided upon by society members rather than museum curators. That practice ended in 2001.

Today, the award seeks to distinguish “Bay Area artists whose work, at the time of nomination, has not received substantial recognition from a major institution.” In recent years the award has gone to as few as three artists and as many as five.

Nitsche-Krupp and Venegas will conduct studio visits with the artists in March and April, announcing the award recipients in mid-May. The SECA exhibition will take place in December 2022.