Jeanne Claire van Ryzin Awarded $50,000 Rabkin Prize for Arts Journalism, Sightlines Magazine, July 14, 2022

(announced by Sightlines magazine)


July 14, 2022
Sightlines editor Jeanne Claire van Ryzin awarded $50,000 Rabkin Prize for arts journalism

Sightlines founder and editor Jeanne Claire van Ryzin has been awarded the $50,000 Rabkin Prize for arts journalism.

The prize is given by the artist-endowed Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Maine. The national grant program recognizes eight visual art journalists each year with an unrestricted prize of $50,000.

"I am humbled to receive the Rabkin Prize," said van Ryzin. "I admire the Rabkin Foundation's recognition of the important role that journalists and critics writing for a general readership play in the arts eco-system."

This is the sixth cycle of the Rabkin Prize which started in 2017. To date, the foundation has given more than $2.4 million to individual art journalists. The award program is by nomination only.

"Writers play an essential role in any vibrant arts community but are too seldom acknowledged and often poorly paid," the foundation states. "The intellectual and creative contributions of visual arts journalists help sustain and shape artists’ careers."

Van Ryzin founded Sightlines in 2017 using her own savings to launch the non-profit online magazine.

Before creating Sightlines, van Ryzin was for many years the staff arts critic and reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. In 2016, her position was eliminated, a fate increasingly common as legacy media outlets abandon professional arts journalism.

"I saw firsthand the need this left in the city for a trusted voice to provide cultural coverage," van Ryzin said. "Austin is widely celebrated for its creative spirit, and Sightlines seeks to report on this fertile, cross-disciplinary cultural landscape."

Now approaching its fifth year, Sightlines is viewed by 400,000 annually in Texas and beyond.

The Rabkin Foundation's national grant program for visual art journalists honors Leo Rabkin’s keen interest in art criticism, artists and writers. Rabkin was an artist who worked and exhibited in New York City for 60 years. He had many friends among the city’s art journalists and was an avid reader of the art press. 

Van Ryzin's arts criticism has received first place awards from the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. She has also been awarded professional fellowships at USC’s Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the NEA/Columbia University Arts Journalism Institute.

She has taught arts journalism at the University of Texas College of Fine Arts.

A graduate of Barnard College, van Ryzin holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Texas.