Jason Rapp

Southern Prize & State Fellowships applications now open

Apply today for South Arts’ big prize

Application deadline: MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET


South Arts’ Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work created across our region.

Nine artists, one each living in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will share $80,000 in cash awards:

  • One artist per state will receive a State Fellowship of $5,000.
  • Two State Fellows will receive the Southern Prize awards, with one Southern Prize finalist receiving an additional $10,000,
  • and one Southern Prize winner receiving an additional $25,000.

Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency with The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. All nine artists will be featured in a touring exhibition in 2021, with dates/locations TBD depending on the state of the pandemic.

This year, Kristi Ryba was selected the 2020 South Carolina State Fellow. She is shown in her studio above. Here is some of her work.

Chapel Of Perpetual Adoration II ; 2018 ; Egg Tempera & 22k Gold leaf on panel ; 3 panels each 18.75 x 15.25. Click to see larger image.


New in 2021

In the past, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships held an anonymous application process, referred to as “blind.” Blind panels were initially developed to prevent jurors from selecting artists they knew or playing favorites due to familiarity and unintentional biases toward the known. It has come to our attention that blind panels now may perpetuate a fall-back to familiarity and assumptions, removing the ability of the panelist to deliberate about inclusion and diversity in all aspects of the works. Taking this into consideration, South Arts has made the decision to remove the anonymity requirement from the Southern Prize and State Fellowships to create a more inclusive and equitable process.


Now, it’s time to apply

First, know that you must be 18 or older, and you can’t be a full-time student at the high school or undergraduate level. Grad student? You’re good to go.

The program is open to #SCartists living in our state (and the others, but this is The Hub and we’re here for #SCartists) for at least two years before  the Jan. 21, 2021 application deadline and working in craft, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary artforms. The jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region, as you read above.

The deadline to apply, once again, is 11:59 p.m. ET on January 11, 2021. And now it’s time to do the thing. Best of luck!


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