2019 Southern Prize and State Fellows

Please join us in congratulating the 2019 South Arts State Fellowship recipients, including the Southern Prize winner Rory Doyle and finalist Amy Gross. Each of these artists were selected by a national panel of jurors to receive their respective state fellowships, including an award of $5,000. A second panel reviewed these artists’ work, awarding one Southern Prize (an additional $25,000 and a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences) and one finalist (an additional $10,000).

An exhibit of the 2019 South Arts State Fellowship recipients will be on display at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina from March 21 – May 5, 2019.


Stephanie Patton

Lafayette, Louisiana. Multidisciplinary.

Born in New Orleans, LA, Stephanie Patton is a multi–media artist whose work crosses the realms of sculpture, painting, photography, installation, performance, video, audio and text. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has studied various types of vocal and comedic performance in New York through The New School, Upright Citizens Brigade and Gotham Writers Workshop. She is currently the producer and host (as the character Renella Rose Champagne) of Lost in Love on KRVS 88.7FM.

Stephanie has shown her work nationally and internationally including shows at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Elizabeth Houston Gallery and Voltz Clarke Gallery in New York; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Louisiana ArtWorks, the Contemporary Art Center and Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, LA; and Galerie Patricia Dorfmann in Paris, France. She is represented by Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and Voltz Clarke Gallery in New York City. Stephanie has received several grants including a Career Advancement Grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts in 2009 and 2012. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute and has been awarded a residency through the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans for the summer of 2019. She is also a founding member of The Front, an artist’s collective, in New Orleans, LA. Her work is often humorous in nature and frequently investigates aspects of human emotion.

Artist Statement:

As a multi-media artist I often use humor as a device to bring attention to more critical issues. By creating humorous objects I find that it breaks down barriers and allows for the beginning of an open and genuine dialogue between my art, the audience and myself. Issues that remain constant in my work are an exploration of mental and physical health, themes of healing, comfort and self-preservation.

I naturally gravitate towards materials and processes that I feel best address my conceptual concerns. Mattress quilting can suggest ideas related to birth, death, intimacy, relationships, illness and rest. Coupled with words or phrases which often have multiple meanings such as “please”, the quilted fabric is meant to bring a humorous yet poignant conceptual message to the viewer. I also use vinyl in my sculptural relief work for its physical properties as well as for its inherent references to mental and physical health and protection. I construct these pieces with my industrial sewing machine as well as a combination of hand sewing, stuffing and stapling. My work often addresses psychological themes while exploring the relationship between humor and personal therapies.