UW–Madison student is finalist for AXA Art Prize for second year running

UW–Madison student Skylar Simpson, an MFA candidate in the School of Education’s Art Department, is a finalist for the 2024 AXA Art Prize, one of the leading student art competitions in the United States. Simpson was also honored as a finalist in last year’s competition.


Now in its seventh year, the AXA Art Prize has established a reputation as providing an insightful overview of the best new talent nationwide. Simpson is among 40 finalists selected for this year’s prize out of nearly 600 applicants.

Her artwork will be showcased in an in-person exhibition at the New York Academy of Art in November.

“My work explores gendered isolation in the domestic sphere,” Simpson writes in an artist’s statement. “Like the way I played dress-up as a child, I paint figures that carry out a fantasy of domestic life. This simulation of adulthood is stylish but acidic; it exposes the ways I have been conditioned to perform gender at home. Rooted in my Midwestern upbringing, the paintings reveal my ongoing negotiation with beauty standards, materialism, and the allure of ornamentation.”

Learn more about the AXA Art Prize and this year’s finalists.

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