UW–Madison graduate students Skyler Simpson and Mallory Stowe have been selected as finalists for the AXA Art Prize U.S. 2023 Exhibition. They created two of the 40 pieces selected for this honor, out of over 700 nationwide submissions. Their work will be exhibited in New York in the fall, with first and second place prizes being announced in November.

Launched in 2017, the AXA Art Prize U.S. has established itself as one of the premier student art competitions in the U.S. Submitted art is in the style of figurative paintings, drawings, or prints, and made by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in art programs in the U.S.

Simpson and Stowe are both MFA candidates in the School of Education’s Art Department.

Simpson “works with graphite, gouache, and oil paint to create narrative portraits of women and interiors,” according to her website. Her work highlights feelings of comfort and anxiety in domesticity.

Stowe is a contemporary figurative painter who specializes in surreal interpretations of everyday moments. Her website notes she “paints characters to be multifaceted in humor, fear, complexity, and wholeness, in hope that viewers allow the same for themselves.”