Fletcher Williams III named Southern Prize finalist

Big award, residency await

Fletcher Williams III stands in his art studio among works in progress.

Fletcher Williams III (Photo by Andrew Cebulka)

At the fifth annual Southern Prize and State Fellowships Award Ceremony last evening, a South Carolina artist figured prominently.

While Florida artist Marielle Plaisir was named 2021 Southern Prize winner and received an award of $25,000, Charleston artist Fletcher Williams III was named Southern Prize Finalist and received a $10,000 award! Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.

Both were chosen from among nine 2021 state fellows announced by South Arts in April.

The Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Each state fellow will be included in an exhibition at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia from Aug. 20 to Dec. 20, 2021, and touring to additional locations in the region (dates/locations TBD) in 2022.

More about Fletcher Williams III


Fletcher Williams III (b. 1987) is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and painting. Williams received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement in Science and Art (2010). He maintained a studio practice in Long Island City, Queens, and later Crowns Heights, Brooklyn before returning to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013. Upon his return to Charleston, Williams remained an independent artist and began producing solo exhibitions throughout the City of Charleston and North Charleston, the latest being a site-wide solo exhibition, Promiseland (2020), at the Historic Aiken-Rhett House Museum.

Artist statement

My work engages the rituals and traditions of the American South. My interest in the way we seek to establish place and identity has prompted a working methodology that utilizes found and natural materials and an exhibition practice that incorporates public and historic sites. I often paint with Spanish moss, builds house-like structures with salvaged wood and tin roof, and fashion delicate sculptures out of handwoven palmetto roses. My approach is architectural and figural, tactile, and multi-sensory and unveils my curiosity for both people and place, material, and process.

To view selected artworks, visit his page on SouthArts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.