Orangeburg artist Leo Twiggs – 2017 recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement and “elder statesman of contemporary art in South Carolina” – is the first S.C. artist to win the Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Art.
A native of St. Stephen, Twiggs works in batik, a wax-resist method of dying textiles. Much of his work explores family history, cultural heritage, and how the past is manifest in contemporary life. His series titled Requiem for Mother Emanuel recently traveled throughout the southeast, earning acclaim as a powerful tribute to the nine church members slain during the horrific shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Presented annually, the prize recognizes the highest level of artistic achievement in any media. Artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted exclusively from August through September each year.
The prize is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art where young professionals support the Gibbes Museum with social and educational programs tailored for up-and-coming art patrons.
See the exclusive by Adam Parker in the Post & Courier.