Just last night I received Richmond Magazine's Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts. The prize is given annually to a dozen (or so) visual, and performing artists who live in Richmond. The artists are chosen by a committee made of previous award winners. This year's selectors said of my work:
Michael Lease's photography addresses the familiarity and accessibility of the snapshot with an enhanced awareness of the world. He is a community-focused artist who brings people together in a collective experience, as he did when he choreographed a performance event of onlookers gathering to admire the flight of chimney swifts. He sees things others do not and captures them for us.
It's a real honor to be in the company of those who have won the Pollak in the past, as well as this year's winners: Tanja Softic, Ana Ines King and the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Rex Richardson, Susan Iverson, Samson Trinh & the Upper East Side Big Band, Eric Knight, Todd Raviotta, Scott Wichmann, Joshua Poteat, and Myra Daleng.
Damn good company!