1858 Prize Finalist

I’m happy to share this wonderful news from the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina. The following are excerpts from their November press release:

The Gibbes Museum of Art is pleased to announce the finalists for the annual 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The 2020 finalists are Namwon Choi, Stephen L. Hayes and Jennifer Shaw.

“The 1858 prize exemplifies artists at the forefront of contemporary southern art, and this year’s three finalists were chosen out of an outstanding group of over 200 candidates,” says Angela Mack, executive director at the Gibbes Museum of Art. “The pandemic had a sudden and substantial impact on artists, which is why Society 1858 and the Gibbes believe it is so important to continue supporting them with programs like the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art.”

The 2020 panelists included 2019 Prize Winner Donté K. Hayes, Society 1858 representatives Abby Rosenthal and Jay Benson, Joan Mitchell Center Director Toccarra A.H. Thomas and McColl Center for Art + Innovation Director of Residencies and Programs Claudia Gonzalez Griffin.

Established in 2007, the 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to a living artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of the arts in the South. Presented annually, the prize recognizes an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of achievement in any media. Entering the 12th year, this Prize has awarded over $120,000 to artists as well as implemented a new initiative to display one work by the Prize Winner in the Mary Jackson Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery within the Gibbes for one year. The Museum has also been fortunate enough to acquire artworks by Prize Winners and Finalists through the years in an effort to diversify and expand the contemporary permanent collection.

Ultimately the prize was awarded to Stephen L. Hayes, with an announcement made in early December. Being named a finalist still feels like a notable achievement, offering a silver lining in this challenging year. I encourage you to explore the websites of fellow finalist Namwon Choi and recipient Stephen L. Hayes to learn more about their wonderful work.

In addition, past and present applicants’ works are archived on the website. It’s an incredible resource for anyone who wants to delve into contemporary art being created in the south. Projects can be searched by subject, medium, state, and year of submission. Highly recommended!