We’re incredibly pleased to announce today the final two exhibition prize winners of the first MESH edition after a final exhibition jurying hiatus this past May and June!
Launched in late December of 2018, MESH invited fresh contemporary works from both the analog photography and visual arts fields – a FotoFilmic first – in connection to its theme RedShift encompassing a wide range of pressing environmental, societal and technological issues. After three months of call, a shortlist of 20 artists from 11 countries was announced on May 14th following two intensive months during which guest curators Rebecca Morse (photography) and Linsey Young (visual arts) reviewed all submissions received from each call track (see the MESH ShortList announcement here).
The final selection process concluded today saw both guest curators engage in an advanced curatorial conversation molding the shortlisted artists’ work around different exhibition scenarios to create the most compelling, uniquely enmeshed dialogue across both disciplines while stimulating critical thinking on the materiality of art and its role and position in an emerging postdigital perspective.
In the end the work of two artists aligned particularly well in the eyes of both curators: that of photographer Izabella Provan of Portland, Maine, and of San Francisco visual artist Gregory Kaplowitz. Big congratulations to them both on winning the first MESH Exhibition Prize! Please read below short statements from Rebecca and Linsey laying out some of their joint reasons for picking these winners. 
The MESH Exhibition showcasing the work of Izabella and Gregory is scheduled from Nov.13 through Dec.6, 2020 at The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver for which each artist will be awarded a $2,500 MESH Grant generously sponsored by the Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation toward their exhibition expenses.
We also wish to thank again the two MESH Guest Curators Rebecca and Linsey for lending their precious time and visionary talent curating this inaugural MESH Exhibition throughout many months, we’re eternally grateful for their amazing contribution.
Lastly, we proudly acknowledge the work and merit of the other 18 MESH shortlisted artists who all came very close this year. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on them for the coming years and hope to have the privilege of promoting their practice again in the near future. These artists are, in alphabetical order: [PHOTOGRAPHY] Allison Grant (Tuscaloosa, AB, USA); Dylan Hausthor (Portland, ME, USA); Brendon Kahn (Phoenix, AZ, USA); Chiawen Lin (Jiadung Township, Taiwan); Deanna Pizzitelli (Bratislava, Slovakia); Lauren Orchowski (New York, NY, USA); Anne Rantakylä (Gothenburg, Sweden); Guanyu Xu (Chicago, IL, USA); Mohammed Zakaria (Amman, Jordan); [VISUAL ARTS] Vinna Begin (Montreal, QC, Canada); Gary Burnley (Ridgefield, CT, USA); Shawn Campbell (Athens, GA, USA); Sarah Choo (Singapore); Benjamin Cohen (London, UK); Alena Kakhanovich (Warsaw, Poland); Tuomas Korkalo (Rovaniemi, Finland); Yunjeong Lee (Seoul, South Korea); TUG Collective (Gaelyn & Gustavo Aguilar, New Sharon, ME, USA)

“It is always a great pleasure to become acquainted with new work by artists from around the globe. The MESH Photography submissions were particularly stunning with a range of compelling work that spanned a great variety of approaches, materials, and content around the theme Redshift. A sense of disquiet imbued much of the work, with some photographic projects veering into the apocalyptic. Many of the artists favored the long form and the accumulation of images made for considerable opportunities to dive deep into each artist’s personal vision.
The work of Izabella Provan stood out as particularly engaging. Black-and-white scenes that offer a glimpse of a figure or an event are poetically abstracted by her camera. While a narrative arises, it is inconclusive, and the viewer is encouraged to meander through her beautiful forms and uncertain situations. The photographs are moody, ominous, and powerful. She is paired with the artist Gregory Kaplowitz whose work is tactile and luscious. In shades of red and predominantly abstract, his physical impressions of personal spaces resonate as intimate portraits of time in the world. Together their work creates a dialogue between image and form, representation and abstraction, color, and its absence.”
Rebecca Morse | MESH Photography Guest Curator
Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, LACMA

Izabella Provan is a photographer living in Portland, Maine. She received a BFA with Honors from the Maine College of Art in 2015. Her work examines privacy, space, censorship, and contradictions of grey areas. Her images have recently been shown at PhoPa Gallery in Maine and included in Wilt Magazine, Papersafe Magazine, and in localhost, an experimental Minecraft Gallery.



“It was a great privilege to have been involved in the selection of nominees for the first MESH prize and I was hugely impressed by the range of work submitted by artists from across the globe. Working across sculpture, film, performance, painting and textiles the nominees in the visual arts category represent a compelling insight into contemporary art practice at this moment.
Gregory Kaplowitz works across photography and painting, working with textiles to produce objects that explore his interest in the history of abstraction and notions of autonomous making. The works are intellectually rigorous and visually seductive while also representing a critical and timely investigation into the the queer gaze and ideas around the visibility of subcultures within mainstream society. Kaplowitz has been paired with Izabella Provan whose enigmatic photographs are similarly abstracted yet hint at complex and often unsettling narratives.”
Linsey Young | MESH Visual Arts Guest Curator
Curator, British Contemporary Art (TATE)

Gregory Kaplowitz is artist living in San Francisco working, at the intersection of photography, painting, and textiles. He received a double BFA in photography and graphic design from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2007. He’s had a solo and two person exhibitions at Transmitter in Brooklyn, Interface in Oakland, and C2C Project Space in San Francisco in 2015. He has also participated in group exhibitions at: Grey Contemporary in Houston, Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, 2nd Floor Projects in San Francisco, Root Division in San Francisco, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, Famous Accountants in Brooklyn, Christopher Henry Gallery in New York City, and the Richmond Art Center in Richmond. From 2011-2014, several of Kaplowitz’s video works were included in touring programs that screened in: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Fe, Austin, New York City, Montreal, Berlin, and Australian Public Access TV. He has attended residencies at The Vermont Studio Center in 2018 and The Art Students League Of New York’s League Residency at Vyt in 2015 where he also received both of their respective fellowship and scholarship awards. Kaplowitz’s work has also been included in New American Paintings issues #121 (2015) and #139 (2019).

© Photo Credits top images: (left) Izabella Provan, Surface, 2015, from the series Bending Galaxies Back, 6×4.5 medium format black-and-white negative; (right) Gregory Kaplowitz, Iosis (a candle, a flame, an eye in the landscape), 2017, cotton knit fabric, cyanotype emulsion, laser print on paper, and my childhood pillowcase over a cradled birch wood panel (12 x 16 x 1 in.) middle image by Izabella Proven: Intervene, 2016, from the series Bending Galaxies Back, 6×4.5 medium format black-and-white negative bottom images by Gregory Kaplowitz: (left) Window (skull flowers), 2018, cyanotype emulsion on cotton gauze fabric (52 x 72 in.); (right) Window (eye) (installation view), 2018, cyanotype emulsion on cotton gauze fabric, wooden rod, and thread (36 x 50 in.)