$25,000 Unrestricted Prize, made possible by the generous support of artist Ashley Longshore, expands support for artists in the disciplines of Theater, Photography and Visual Arts

Miami, FL (May 30, 2024)—YoungArts announces that Ackeem Salmon (2016 Photography and 2017 Visual Arts Winner) has been selected as the 2024 recipient of The Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award. The $25,000 unrestricted prize is made possible by the generous support of artist Ashley Longshore and aims to deepen and expand support for artists in the disciplines of Theater, Photography and Visual Arts. Ackeem Salmon is a multimedia artist based in Detroit who draws from their heritage to explore themes of identity, hope, and connection. Their art spans photography, painting, drawing, film, and site-specific installations, often incorporating a harp and original musical compositions to explore complex narratives about race, gender, sexuality, and belonging. Salmon was chosen for the quality, thoughtfulness, and complexity of his work, as well as his commitment to using art to empower and uplift marginalized voices in the community. In addition to the cash award, Salmon will have opportunities for mentorship and access to continuing education, which can have a significant influence the trajectory of an emerging artist’s career.

“This award from Ashley Longshore and YoungArts demonstrates our shared commitment to the next generation of artists. We are so grateful to Ashley Longshore for her generosity and for helping us invest in artists’ lifelong creative freedom,” said Clive Chang, President of YoungArts. “Ackeem is a talented and singular voice whose interdisciplinary work inspires new perspectives around connection, identity, belonging and history. On behalf of YoungArts, I am proud to recognize his work, and truly excited to watch the trajectory of his career as his art continues to deepen and deepen and expand our world and ourselves.”

“Ackeem is a remarkably talented, visual artist, musician, and teacher. He exemplifies authenticity and has an exhilarating dedication to the arts,” said Ashley Longshore, artist. “I couldn’t be happier to announce that he is this year’s Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award winner. I cannot wait to see his lifetime of self-expression, and how it will inspire, delight, and bring so much joy to those of us who cannot live without art.”

“I am beyond grateful to have been selected for this award. There are no words to describe my feelings upon hearing the announcement. Over the past ten years, since moving from Jamaica to Detroit and creating tirelessly, I have always aimed to push the boundaries of my work despite the challenges posed by limited resources. This award is a gift to my practice, offering a chance to realize dreams that once felt distant. I am deeply appreciative of this opportunity,” said Ackeem Salmon, the recipient of the 2024 Ashley Longshore Award. “This award will enable me to fund the completion of my “Remembering Yellow” series of paintings, which was halted due to financial constraints. It will also allow me to revisit many projects I had to set aside due to limited time and resources, as well as invest in my current projects with even greater detail. With this support, I can truly begin to advance my practice efficiently and effectively, achieving a level of intentionality and grounding that was previously difficult to attain on my own.”

The Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award is open to YoungArts award winners 25 years or older who exemplify the traits of ambition, excellence, a love of their craft, and demonstrate an active interest in furthering the arts in their community. Each year, eligible YoungArts award winners are invited to apply through YoungArts Post, the online network that brings together YoungArts winners from the past 40 years and is a resource for artistic and career advancement opportunities. Recipients are selected by discipline specific panels of artists.

The 2023 recipient of the Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award was Daveed Baptiste, who was recognized for his photography. The 2022 Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award, the award’s inaugural year, was given to Blaine Krauss for musical theater.

About Ackeem Salmon

Ackeem Salmon is a Jamaican-born Black queer multimedia artist based in Detroit who draws from their heritage to explore themes of identity, hope, and connection through photography with traditional painting and drawing techniques. Ackeem received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies with honors in Photography and Fine Art.

His pieces are often autobiographical and are based on postcolonial theories and the understanding of human individuality and social progress. He in depth explores how cultural history affects people’s present-day identities, and how these identities connect through human commonality and empathy.
Ackeem has exhibited his work at places such as the Galerie Joseph in Paris, France, the Val de Vie estate in Cape Town, South Africa, Sotheby’s Auction House in New York, and a list of other prominent galleries and venues. Along with his visual works, Ackeem is also a harpist and violinist who primarily works interdisciplinary with his fine art, photography, film, performance, music, and writings of critical theory to explore the ephemerality of theatre and performance and the permanence of art and design.
Ackeem is also the founder and director of Mirrored Glass, a Detroit-based organization that supports and empowers young BIPOC LGBTQ+ professionals and artists. Mirrored Glass uses site-specific residencies to foster multidisciplinary collaborations, public performances, workshops, and community events, creating a space for healing and solidarity among marginalized communities.

About Ashley Longshore

Ashley Longshore is a Southern-born self-taught painter, sculptor and entrepreneur. Dubbed the “feminist Andy Warhol,” Ashley challenged the traditional business model of art galleries by building her own pop art empire. Armed with a powerhouse personality, an irreverent sense of humor and an early knack for social media marketing, she used her platform to encourage positivity, authenticity and creativity and exploded into a global brand. Longshore’s works have been exhibited across America and Europe and explore themes found in pop culture, American consumerism and Hollywood. Labeled “Fashion’s Latest Art Darling” by The New York Times, Ashley made history as Bergdorf Goodman’s first female artist solo exhibit in its 100-plus-year history when she was featured in their iconic Fifth Avenue window display and designed the retailer’s “Palette at BG” café. Other career milestones include artist residencies at IMG’s New York Fashion Week and The Peninsula Beverly Hills, appearing on Bravo’s Project Runway and inspiring/appearing in Christian Siriano’s Fall 2019 runway collection. She has also authored four books, three of them with Rizzoli, including her next, “Giving The Bird: Bird Stories,” out in September. Collaborators include Gucci, Porsche, Maybelline and Judith Leiber and collectors range from Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively to NFL quarterback Eli Manning, Pink, Salma Hayek, Diane Von Furstenberg, Penelope Cruz and Wall Street’s elite. Ultimately, Longshore will leave her mark as a prolific and celebrated pop artist who through the development of her foundation, The Ashley Longshore Charitable Trust, will leave a vital capsule of her collection of works. Ashley is a New York-based fine artist and the owner of the Longshore Studio Gallery, located on 43 Crosby Street in SoHo.

About YoungArts

Established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison, YoungArts identifies exceptional young artists, amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom. YoungArts provides space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10–12, in the United States that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process.

For more information, visit  youngarts.org, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Photo of Ackeem Salmon.