News & Politics

MTV and the Hirshhorn Museum Are Teaming Up for a Reality Show Art Competition

‘The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist’ will air in March.

'The Exhibit' follows seven artists as they create works inspired by the Hirshhorn Museum. Photo courtesy of Paramount.

The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden‘s next big launch is…a reality show? The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great American Artist, a six-episode competition, will air on MTV and the Smithsonian Channel starting in March. The prize is pretty sweet: the winner will get to display their work in an exhibit at the modern art museum—home to works by Barbara Kruger, Ai Weiwei, and Yayoi Kusama—plus earn $100,000.

The show follows seven modern artists from around the United States as they compete to create “commissions” for the Hirshhorn. Each week, they’ll make a piece of art inspired by something in the museum’s collection. The competitors include Jamaal Barber, an Atlanta-based artist and printmaker; Frank Buffalo Hyde, a painter from Santa Fe; Jillian Mayer, a Miami native performance artist; and Jennifer Warren, a Chicago-based painter. Three participants are from New York: sculptor Misha Kahn, sculptor/performance artist Baseera Khan, and painter Clare Kambhu. Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu will serve as a judge, and MTV News’s Dometi Pongo will host.

The Exhibit airs Friday, March 3 at 9 PM on MTV, and will be released on Tuesday, March 7 on the Smithsonian channel. 

Tory Basile
Editorial Fellow