S.C. artist James Arendt one of seven finalists for Society 1858 Prize

Jim ArendtSouth Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow James Arendt is one of seven finalists for the Gibbes Museum’s Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Arendt was the only S.C. artist selected from more than 250 applications submitted by artists from 10 states. The winner receives $10,000 and will be announced Sept. 18.

Society 1858, a membership organization affiliated with the Gibbes Museum of Art, has named seven finalists for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art.The competition got its start with support from Mallory and Elizabeth Factor and was renamed early this year when the auxiliary group of young art advocates assumed responsibility for the initiative.

The competition “acknowledges an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South.”

The winner will receive $10,000.

More than 250 artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia submitted applications, according to the Gibbes.

The seven finalists are:

Jim Arendt of Conway

Sonya Clark of Richmond, Va.

Andre Leon Gray of Raleigh, N.C.

Jackson Martin, a Tennessee native and resident of Asheville, N.C.

Jason Mitcham, a Greensboro, N.C., native and resident of New York City

Damian Stamer of Durham, N.C.

Stacy Lynn Waddell of Durham, N.C.

The artists were selected by a panel of artists, art advocates and museum professionals.

“We are thrilled to have received so many qualified applicants to the 1858 Prize,” said Gibbes Museum Curator of Exhibitions Pam Wall, who served as a judge on the panel. “Narrowing the list to seven artists was a tough task, but we feel this group represents the great talent and creativity of the contemporary southern art scene.”

Artist John Westmark, also a judge, was the 2012 prize winner; his work is on view at the Gibbes through Aug. 3.

This year’s winner will be announced on Sept. 18.