Society 1858 announces the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

The Gibbes Museum of Art and Society 1858 are pleased to announce the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, will be presented annually to acknowledge 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.

Known for parties that cleverly blend art and entertainment, Society 1858 is furthering its mission through the support of contemporary Southern artists. Founded in 2010, this young patrons group is determined to have a tangible impact on the museum. “We are thrilled that Society 1858 is supporting the contemporary Southern art prize, says Gibbes Museum Executive Director Angela Mack. “Their commitment to advancing Southern artists is commendable.”

Entries open on January 15, 2014, and can be made exclusively online at through May 2014.

Eligible artists are those who reside, work in, or are from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia. The review panel will select the finalists in June 2014, and the Gibbes Museum of Art will announce the winner in September 2014.

Unlike any other award of its type, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art is designed to create an online archive of information about Southern artists that can be used by curators, collectors, academicians and the public.

The FirefliesThis prize was established in 2007 by Elizabeth and Mallory Factor to honor an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of the South. Artist John Westmark was the 2012 prize winner, and his work will be shown at the Gibbes Museum of Art in the spring of 2014 in the exhibition John Westmark: Narratives. (Pictured right: The Fireflies.) After a one-year hiatus, Society 1858 has rebranded the annual artist award and will focus its fundraising efforts on cultivating the prize.

On Feb. 7, Society 1858 will kick off the opening of submissions for the 2014 prize with its annual winter party. Tickets for Studio 58: Your Ticket to the Arts Beyond the Velvet Rope are $50 for 1858 members and $80 for nonmembers. A $110 combo ticket includes Gibbes membership, 1858 dues, and a party ticket ($120 value).

About Society 1858
Society 1858 is a group of dynamic young professionals who support the Gibbes Museum of Art with social and educational programs tailored for up-and-coming art patrons. Membership to Society 1858 is open to any member of the Gibbes Museum of Art. Society 1858 takes its name from the year that the Carolina Art Association was established. Although the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors in 1905, the museum’s art collection began in 1858. Society 1858 aims to continue the strong legacy of art appreciation in Charleston. Members of Society 1858 have access to private exhibition previews and receptions, invitations to social events throughout the year, and free or reduced admission to Society 1858’s exciting programs.

Via: Gibbes Museum