South Arts announces 2024 state fellows in literary, visual arts

Congrats to two #SCArtists

A gallery installation of Charles Clary's works, dozens of framed artworks of various shapes and sizes on a gray wall.

Memento Morididdle (Version 10) | Charles Clary

Yesterday, South Arts announced the inaugural class of State Fellows for Literary Arts alongside the 2024 State Fellows for Visual Arts in its flagship Southern Prize and State Fellowships program.

South Arts logoThe latest expansion of the annual program scaled up to include support for the literary arts in addition to the longstanding visual arts component. Now, the multi-state initiative is awarding 18 state fellows with unrestricted cash prizes of $5,000 each and placing them all in consideration for the larger Southern Prize for Literary Arts and Southern Prize for Visual Arts awards.

Established in 2017, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships program was created in acknowledgment of a discrepancy in regional funding for artists across all disciplines, annually awarding a total of $80,000 to nine visual artists from each state in South Arts’ region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Each selected artist receives a $5,000 State Fellowship award, with two of the artists receiving the Southern Prize awards with an additional $25,000 for the winner and $10,000 for the finalist, as well as a residency at an artist retreat space. Now, with the expansion to include literary arts, those numbers will double.

New notable #SCArtists

South Carolina’s first South Arts Literary Arts State Fellow is F.E. Choe of Columbia. Conway artist Charles Clary is the South Arts Visual Arts State Fellow.

Black and white headshot of F.E. ChoeChoe is a Korean-American writer whose work has been published in Clarkesworld Magazine, The Moth Magazine, and Fractured Lit. She is a 2023 graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, Viable Paradise alum, and an editor at 100 Word Story. Born in Toronto, Canada, she currently lives in Columbia. Her primary medium is listed as fiction.

“I am a short fiction writer whose work explores family, power, identity, gender, race, class, and othering via literary speculative fiction. My work centers the lives of Asian Americans, often literalizes the metaphorical, combines the weird with the specifically contemporary, the bleak and humorous, the surreal and fantastical with the real and mundane. I seek to move readers with heartfelt urgency, to evoke a sense of wonder, grace, compassion, and empathy for others and our world.”

Color headshot of Charles ClaryClary received his BFA in painting with honors from Middle Tennessee State University and his MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has shown in exhibitions at Galerie Evolution-Pierre Cardin in Paris, The Netherlands’ CODA Museum Paper Biennial in 2021, The Shanghai Paper Biennial in 2021, Art on Paper Fair in New York City, and many other international, national, and regional juried, group, solo, and museum exhibitions. Clary won Top Prize at the 2016 ArtFields Competition in Lake City and in 2019 he won both People’s Choice Award for 2D and the Merit Prize at ArtFields. He has had work collected by Google and Amazon, and was named the HTC Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at Coastal Carolina University in 2022. Clary has been featured in numerous print and Internet interviews including, Create! Magazine, Candyfloss, This is Colossal, WIRED magazine (US and UK), Hi Fructose, Beautiful Decay, and Bluecanvas Magazine. He has also been featured in publications including 500 Paper Objects, Paper Works, Paper Art, Papercraft 2, and PUSH: Paper. He has been invited to speak at Cambridge University’s annual symposium on human remains and has a chapter published in The Rutledge Handbook on Museums Heritage and Death.

In addition to the cash awards, the artists will also be featured in upcoming public events. The nine State Fellows for Literary Arts will participate in a panel discussion in September at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson, Mississippi, and the State Fellows for Visual Arts display their work in a touring exhibition that will open in October at the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, Florida, before moving to additional venues across South Arts’ nine-state region.

“Supporting artists is a key component of our mission, ‘advancing Southern vitality through the arts’,” said Susie Surkamer, South Arts president and CEO. “We are thrilled to expand our work into the field of literary arts and celebrate the first nine State Fellows for Literary Arts as well as our nine State Fellows for Visual Arts. Over the coming years, we look forward to expanding our programs and exploring ways to deepen our engagement and support of  both literary and visual artists as well as the organizations and communities that we serve in our region.”

2024 State Fellows

Literary Arts

Visual Arts