Winner will be chosen at the end of this month
by Connor Simonson for Charleston City Paper
The Gibbes Museum of Art has announced the finalists for the annual 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. One of the finalists, whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South, will be presented a $10,000 cash prize and have one selected artwork exhibited in the contemporary and modern galleries for the duration of 2020.
Six finalists were chosen this year, as opposed to the usual five “due to the outstanding caliber of candidates received,” says Angela Mack, executive director at the Gibbes. In a press release, Mack praised the artists, claiming each finalist “embodies an artist on the forefront of southern contemporary art.”
The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Art is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes. The group supports the Gibbes Museum with social and educational programs tailored for up-and-coming art patrons.
The winner will be announced at the end of November and celebrated at the Society 1858 party at the Gibbes next February.
The 2019 finalists:
Damian Stamer is a North Carolina-based painter whose ongoing series captures old barns “that stand as remnants of American industries founded upon slavery and exploitation.” Stamer has exhibited extensively in the Southeastern United States as well as internationally in Tokyo and Budapest. His work is in the permanent collection of The Mint Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
Donté K. Hayes, a Georgia-based ceramicist influenced by hip-hop, history, and science fiction, creates work that explores themes in Afrofuturism, a project vision of an imagined future that critiques the historical and cultural events of the African diaspora and the black experience in the Middle Passage. Hayes has exhibited extensively across the Southern United States as well as internationally in London and his artwork is in the permanent collection of the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University, and Spruill Arts Center.
Herb Parker is a South Carolina-based installation artist and he’s been creating nature-based installations, since the mid-seventies. The installations are created to enhance a viewer’s perception of the environment and our relationship with nature. These environmental installations evolved from the artist’s thoughts on the mechanism of natural systems in time. Parker has been a professor of art at the College of Charleston since 1991. His installations have taken him all over the world, most recently to create exhibits in Alingsas, Sweden and Gongju, Korea.
Martha Clippinger is a North Carolina-based multi-media artist. Clippinger’s work blurs the lines between painting and sculpture, fine art and folk, craft and design. Clippinger most recently exhibited with Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York, Philadelphia’s Magic Garnes, and Hodges Taylor in Charlotte.
Michi Meko is a Georgia-based multi-media artist. After almost drowning in the summer of 2015, they invited this life-changing event’s influence into their studio practice. Meko’s recent paintings and sculptures focus on the African-American experience of navigating public spaces. Meko’s most recent solo exhibitions include Chimento Contemporary in Los Angeles and the Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta. Their work also lives in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Stephanie Patton is a Louisiana-based multi-media artist who often uses humor as a device to bring attention to critical issues including an exploration of mental and physical health, themes of healing, comfort, and self-preservation. Patton gravitates towards materials and processes that often allude to various emotional states. Patton was recently selected as South Arts 2019 Southern Prize and State Fellows. The artist’s work has exhibited at Art Miami, with Arthur Roger Gallery, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Patton’s work lives in permanent collections at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation in Los Angeles.
For more information about the Gibbes Museum of Art or Society 1858, visit gibbesmuseum.org.