The Richard Brettell Award in the Arts at UT Dallas, established in 2016 with an endowment from Mrs. Eugene McDermott, recognizes the essential and fundamental role of the arts in the life of the university. The award honors an artist working in or between any of the broad spectrum of artistic endeavors, including the visual arts, music, literature, performance, and architecture/design.
Given every other year, the award consists of a prize of $150,000 and a week’s residence on the UT Dallas campus and in Dallas, during which the awardee will present a major public lecture and interact in a variety of venues with the students, staff and faculty of UT Dallas and with the larger arts community of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Prospective awardees will be nominated by the Brettell Award Advisory Committee, composed of international leaders in arts and culture, with the selection of the awardee being made by an Executive Committee composed of university and community leaders.
The concept of the Brettell Award is inspired by the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, created by the McDermott Family at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974. The MIT McDermott Award is also made every other year, and it is planned to schedule the two events in alternating years.
Landscape architect Peter Walker was the first recipient of the Brettell Award. Founder of PWP Landscape Architecture, Walker designed the ongoing campus enhancement at UT Dallas and the Nasher Sculpture Center. His other projects include the National September 11 Memorial in New York, which he designed with Michael Arad.
Events surrounding Peter Walker’s stay in Dallas included talks by the landscape architect on his work designing the UT Dallas promenade and a discussion titled Whither Art History in Dallas? The Arts District or the University of Texas at Dallas Campus? at the Nasher Sculpture Center with Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center; Peter Walker; Gary Cunningham, Founder and President of Cunningham Architects; and Dr. Richard Brettell, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair and the Founding Director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.
Read the Dallas Morning News article here announcing Peter Walker as the winner.
More from UTD’s press release.