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2023 Alexander Rutsch Award for Painting – Winner Announced! Congratulations Haley Hasler


12th Biennial Alexander Rutsch Award Winner Haley Hasler Solo Exhibition Opens May 24 at Pelham Art Center

On View May 24 – July 16, 2023                                                                                                         

Opening Reception Wednesday, May 24, 6-8pm (Open to the public)


Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce Haley Hasler as the winner of the 12th Biennial Alexander Rutsch Award for Painting. A solo exhibition of a selection of paintings by Hasler is on view May 24-July 16 at Pelham Art Center. An opening reception will be held on May 24 from 6-8pm and is open to the public.

Colorado-based Haley Hasler works in the realm of the painted self-portrait and represents herself as a central point in an endlessly revolving domestic drama. Hasler illustrates the joys, fantasies, theatrics, realities and challenges of being both a devoted mother and an artist in a world that tells women that they can have it all with a flourishing career and parenthood. 

She has had solo exhibitions at Boston’s Alpha Gallery, the Fort Collins Museum of Art (CO), and the Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor, amongst others. Hasler has also taught at Colorado State University, University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, College of Fine Arts (Boston), and at the University of the West Indies as part of the US Fulbright Program. 

Haley Hasler at work in her studio

Hasler depicts the joy, frustration and humor of family life through carnival colors, extravagant costumes, and elaborate surroundings. Through her life events coupled with fiction and fantasy, Hasler explores the role of women in today’s society through the lens of art history, culture and domesticity. 

“I cannot remember a time in my life when painting has felt as urgent to me as the present,” Hasler says. “The email I received letting me know that I had won the 2023 Alexander Rutsch Award arrived at a time in my life when I have been working under some constraint. The causes, I believe, are the recent Pandemic, which affected most artists, and major events shaping the last several years of my life. Despite the challenges, this incredible honor comes at a time when I have discovered new energy and purpose in my work. The Alexander Rutsch Award exhibition at the Pelham Art Center will greatly expand the conversation I am able to have with viewers of my work. That is the artist’s dream.”

Hasler was selected for the 2023 Alexander Rutsch Award from among eight finalists and approximately 400  total applicants nationwide. The 2023 Alexander Rutsch Award finalists include: Carrie Lederer, Hui Tan, Jeffrey Glossip, Jessica Alazraki, Matthew Robinson, Sarah Granett, and Tracy Burtz. These talented artists represent a wide range of original perspectives and approaches to their work.

The judging panel for the 12th Biennial Rutsch Award was composed of Rutsch family members, Pelham Art Center Gallery Advisory Board members, and two guest jurors: Patricia Miranda and Jason Stopa. Miranda is an artist, curator and educator who founded The Crit Lab graduate-level critical seminars for artists, and MAPSpace project space and residency program. Stopa is a painter and writer who currently teaches at The School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute.

The Rutsch family states: “We are honored and thrilled to have the 12th Alexander Rutsch Award this year at the Pelham Art Center. This year’s finalists were an incredible group of painters with an exciting wide range of vision. We look forward to sharing the 2023 winner, Haley Hasler’s masterful figurative work with the community. Thank you to the guest jurors Patricia Miranda and Jason Stopa for their time.” 

*image, Haley Hasler Portrait with Dainty Dish (2019). 60 x 48 in. 

About the Alexander Rutsch Award

The Alexander Rutsch Award is a juried competition  open to U.S.-based artists aged 19 and older. The winner is awarded a cash prize, a solo exhibition and printed catalog at Pelham Art Center. The seven finalists also receive cash prizes. Pelham Art Center is proud to sponsor this competition and award honoring the memory and artistic achievement of artist Alexander Rutsch (1916 – 1997). Rutsch actively supported Pelham Art Center for more than 25 years. After his death, friends, family and supporters established a generous fund to support a biennial, open, juried competition in painting. 


About Alexander Rutsch

Alexander Rutsch was born in Vienna, Austria. After studying voice in Austria, he became an opera singer like his parents, but after WWII, Rutsch’s love for visual expression propelled him to change careers. He was a painter, sculptor, philosopher, musician, singer, and poet. His life as a romantic is reflected in his work, as he sought to perfect his soul and humanity. “I paint my dreams,” said Rutsch. “My dreams are color and life. They soar in my head like millions of symphonies. I can never stop building dreams.”

In 1952, after studying under Josef Dorowsky, Josef Hoffmann, and Herbert Boeckl at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Alexander Rutsch received a scholarship to study in France, where he made contacts and began collaborations with his contemporaries Picasso and Dali, among others. In 1954, he exhibited his work at the Salon Artistique International de Saceux and won first prize for abstract painting, the first of many awards during his prolific career.

During the 13 years he lived in Paris, Rutsch exhibited in many prominent galleries there and throughout Europe. In 1958, the City of Paris awarded him with the prestigious Arts, Science and Letters Silver Medal. In 1966, Jean Desvilles presented his prize winning film “Le Monde de Rutsch” at the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Biennial.  In 1968, Rutsch moved to Pelham, New York, where he continued to work in his studio and exhibit in galleries and museums worldwide. 

Rutsch’s work, as seen through his mastery of various art forms – sculpture, painting, print-making, and drawing – has been described as “vibrating showers of lines, bold geometries, wounded anatomically rambling scrap-wood skeletons, enigmatic totem figures, and congregations of fetishized, domesticated, and recycled rubbish heaps [that] conspire to a fantasy of Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Fauvism, Cobra, and Primitivism.”

The Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition program continues Rutsch’s belief that art transcends all of our humanity. Rutsch saw art as “the stone in the water sending ripples throughout the universe.” His extraordinary work, rich in the celebration of life and our shared human experiences, is included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. Pelham Art Center is proud to sponsor a competition and award to honor the memory and artistic achievement of Alexander Rutsch. Visit to learn more.

Pelham Art Center is a non-profit educational and cultural institution committed to providing public access to see, study and experience the arts, foster lifelong arts appreciation and thereby strengthen the community.  The Art Center was founded in 1970 and now serves more than 16,000 people each year. These events and programs are made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Community Foundation; Pelham Community Members and Annual Fund Donors.