Artist Bernard Williams, who was announced earlier Friday as one of ten finalists vying for a total of $50,000 in cash prizes in the Art Loop Open, says he’s been wrongly ousted from the public-vote contest. Williams says Chicago Artists’ Coalition director Carolina Jayaram told him Friday afternoon by phone that he’s been disqualified for breaking contest rules by publishing the voting number for his work, “Buffalo Chart,” on a flyer that was circulated at Columbia College. Voters, who can cast a ballot by texting, are supposed to visit the Loop sites where artwork is exhibited; “Buffalo Chart” is on display at Block 37. “I certainly didn’t publish the number,” Williams said in a phone interview tonight. “I read the rules. I’m not stupid. I didn’t do it.”
Could someone have made the flyer without his knowledge? “Maybe,” Williams said, “But why would I be responsible for that?”
Art Loop Open issued a press release late today noting without explanation that Williams’s work had been dropped from the roster of finalists, but neither their spokesperson nor the CAC returned calls. The contest is a project of the CAC and the Chicago Loop Alliance.