CONTACT: Victoria Winkelman, 214-768-3785
Jo Szymanski, 214-768-3650,

February 26, 2004


DALLAS (SMU) – The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University has announced that Fort Worth artist Janet Tyson is the winner of the 2003 Moss/Chumley Artist Award. The award, which carries a cash prize of $1,500, is given annually to an outstanding North Texas artist who has exhibited professionally for at least 10 years and who has a proven track record as an active community advocate for the visual arts. Tyson will receive the award, which was offered this year in the category of sculpture, construction and assemblage, on March 18 at an evening reception at the Meadows Museum.

Tyson, who is best known for her sculptures with Lego bricks, was selected from among 14 applicants by a three-member jury that included Dallas artist and art dealer David Quadrini; Dr. Richard Brettell, adjunct senior curator of SMU’s Meadows Museum, and professor of aesthetic studies and director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums at the University of Texas at Dallas; and A. Kate Sheerin, assistant curator of the Meadows Museum and a specialist in historic and contemporary Texas art.

“Tyson creates vivid objects, that are at the same time images, using materials that evoke the beginnings of play,” said Quadrini. He noted that the jury was impressed by her body of work and by her long-term commitment to the local art world.

A Michigan native, Tyson moved to Fort Worth in 1986 and for the next 13 years served as the staff art critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 1994 she earned an MFA from Texas Christian University. She began experimenting with sculptures from Legos about six years ago, when her children started playing with them. She has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas, writes for art and museum publications, and curates small-scale exhibitions at such venues as Four Walls in Fort Worth. She was most recently part of the group show “Altered States” at the University of Texas at Dallas, curated by John Pomara, and her work is currently exhibited in the American Institute for Architects Gallery in Dallas’s Design District.

Established in 1995, the Moss/Chumley Award is given in memory of Frank Moss and Jim Chumley, two Dallas art dealers who made outstanding contributions to the visual arts in North Texas during the 1980s. The pair operated the Nimbus Gallery on Routh Street from 1980-87 and the Moss/Chumley Gallery at the Crescent from 1986-89, where they showcased numerous new artists.

The award is a gift from the Moss/Chumley Memorial Fund, which was begun in 1989 by Frank Moss and the Meadows Museum as a tribute to Chumley; Frank Moss’s name was added to the memorial fund upon his death in 1991. The award is open to artists who reside in one of 11 North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant or Wise. Each year, the award is presented in one of three categories. The 2004 competition, which will be offered in the category of photography, video, performance or installation art, will begin this fall. For additional information or to obtain entry forms, please contact Jo Szymanski at the Meadows Museum, 214.768.3650.