Ruth DeYoung Kohler II maintained a lifelong devotion to artists, ideas, and the places and materials from which artists created their work.
She was a champion of underrecognized artists and art forms and believed in the power of art to drive social change and transform lives. As such, the Ruth Awards are awarded to extraordinary, critically engaged artists who approach their practices with continuous inquiry, imagination, and rigor. Each artist receives an unrestricted $100,000 award over two years.
Through an annual nomination process, we award artists who are pushing the boundaries and whose practices are anchored in materiality: whether by embarking on transformative projects that are accelerating the field forward, building deeper relationships and connections across communities, developing artistic approaches to structural change, or undertaking work in community with their fellow artists. Artists that are makers, thinkers, and teachers, neighbours and organizers, artists working across material intersections. Perhaps flying under the radar of typical artworld channels, these artists are deserving of greater recognition for the fullness of their practice.