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South Arts’ 2021 Southern Prize & State Fellows debut in S.C.

Traveling exhibition opens today in Columbia

[caption id="attachment_48982" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Marielle Plaisir | R. Bridges | In The Malediction of Cham Series | 2021 Printing on Duratrans, backlit transparent archival film | 63 x 43 in.[/caption]

Nine accomplished Southern artists—or some of their works, anyway—debut in Columbia today as part of a traveling exhibition to showcase South Arts' 2021 Southern Prize contenders.

Among them is Charleston's Fletcher Williams III (right) of #SCartists fame, the Southern Prize finalist (runner up) last year. The exhibition series, which fans out across the Southern states served by frequent SCAC partner and regional arts agency South Arts, began at 701 Center for Contemporary Art (701 Whaley St., second floor, Columbia) in 2019 (known affectionately at Hub HQ as "the before times"). It returns today beginning at 1 p.m. and runs through March 6, 2022. Williams, certainly, will draw much attention as a native son. Joining him are Southern Prize winner Marielle Plaisir of Florida, Tameca Cole of Alabama, Raheleh Filsoofi of Tennessee, Joyce Garner of Kentucky, Myra Greene of Georgia, Jewel Ham of North Carolina, Ming Ying Hong of Mississippi and artists duo Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick of Louisiana. South Arts rightfully lauds the 2021 cohort of state fellows is the most diverse group to date; of the six American-born artists, all but Garner are African American. Filsoofi is from Iran, Plaisir was born in France but has roots in Guadeloupe, and Hong was born in China but raised in Los Angeles. With COVID continuing to rage in South Carolina (perhaps plateauing? maybe?), 701 will not be holding an opening reception. The gallery hopes it can present a smattering of events to accompany the exhibition instead—details TBA. Presenting sponsors are Cyberwoven and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Jason Rapp

South Arts opens Southern Prize + State Fellowship apps

$80,000 in cash awards up for grabs

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, January 10, 2022

They're back, y'all! The South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South.

The program is open to individual visual artists living in the South Arts region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. South Arts is committed to practices and funding that create greater cultural equity, represent the diversity of our region, are inclusive of diverse voices and artistic expression, and are accessible to everyone. First, a group of nine state fellows will be selected through a two-tiered selection process by a national jury. Then, a second national jury will select the Southern Prize winner and finalist. Each state fellow automatically receives $5,000. The finalist receives $10,000 and winner receives $25,000, and both of those receive a two week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. Jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. All nine artists selected as 2022 state fellows will also be featured in a touring exhibition opening next year at the Bo Bartlett Center for the Arts in Columbus, Georgia, and touring for up to 18 months (exact details are TBD). This program is open only to visual artists and will expand to other disciplines in the future. The application deadline is January 10, 2022.  #SCartists who are recent state fellows include Fletcher Williams III (a finalist), Kristi Ryba, Kate Hooray Osmond, and Herb Parker from the Charleston area and Virginia Scotchie from Columbia.

Jason Rapp

Apply to be a Gibbes Museum visiting artist

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. [caption id="attachment_47503" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar, Gibbes Museum Visiting Artist in 2021[/caption]


Complementing the Gibbes Museum's exhibition program, its Visiting Artist Series promotes creativity, introduces new art forms, provides perspective on larger community issues, encourages freedom of thought, and connects with the broadest possible audience.

[caption id="attachment_47504" align="alignright" width="250"] Alexandria Dickerson, Gibbes Museum Visiting Artist in 2021[/caption] The program features eight contemporary artists annually, whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Invitations are extended to emerging and nationally-recognized artists whose work aligns with the museum’s collection profile; whose work is in the collection; or who have been identified as a finalist or winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Fletcher Williams III, recent finalist for the South Arts Southern Prize as Hub readers know, was a 2019 visiting artist.

Starting Sunday, artists who currently reside in the South Carolina Lowcountry can apply for a six-week visiting artist session with a proposal introducing their current studio practice, artwork content, and the type of project they would like to pursue through a residency at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

  • Visiting artists receive a weekly honorarium of $250 plus a one-time materials stipend in the amount of $150.
  • Participating artists commit to 10 public studio hours per week during museum hours (usually divided across three days).
  • Following the residency, selected visiting artists now have the opportunity to exhibit works in the Ruth and Bill Baker Art Sales Gallery as well as collaborate on exclusive products to be sold in the Museum Store.
  • The application deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
Visiting artists are also encouraged to lead adult workshops and participate in virtual programs. For general questions, please contact Director of Contemporary Initiatives and Public Engagement Erin Glaze at eglaze@gibbesmuseum.org. For technical help while submitting your application, please contact SlideRoom at support@slideroom.com.

Jason Rapp

Fletcher Williams III named Southern Prize finalist

Big award, residency await

[caption id="attachment_46889" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Fletcher Williams III stands in his art studio among works in progress. Fletcher Williams III (Photo by Andrew Cebulka)[/caption]

At the fifth annual Southern Prize and State Fellowships Award Ceremony last evening, a South Carolina artist figured prominently.

While Florida artist Marielle Plaisir was named 2021 Southern Prize winner and received an award of $25,000, Charleston artist Fletcher Williams III was named Southern Prize Finalist and received a $10,000 award! Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. Both were chosen from among nine 2021 state fellows announced by South Arts in April. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Each state fellow will be included in an exhibition at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia from Aug. 20 to Dec. 20, 2021, and touring to additional locations in the region (dates/locations TBD) in 2022.

More about Fletcher Williams III

Bio

Fletcher Williams III (b. 1987) is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and painting. Williams received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement in Science and Art (2010). He maintained a studio practice in Long Island City, Queens, and later Crowns Heights, Brooklyn before returning to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013. Upon his return to Charleston, Williams remained an independent artist and began producing solo exhibitions throughout the City of Charleston and North Charleston, the latest being a site-wide solo exhibition, Promiseland (2020), at the Historic Aiken-Rhett House Museum.

Artist statement

My work engages the rituals and traditions of the American South. My interest in the way we seek to establish place and identity has prompted a working methodology that utilizes found and natural materials and an exhibition practice that incorporates public and historic sites. I often paint with Spanish moss, builds house-like structures with salvaged wood and tin roof, and fashion delicate sculptures out of handwoven palmetto roses. My approach is architectural and figural, tactile, and multi-sensory and unveils my curiosity for both people and place, material, and process. To view selected artworks, visit his page on SouthArts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

Jason Rapp

South Arts names 2021 State Fellows

[caption id="attachment_46889" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Fletcher Williams III stands in his art studio among works in progress. Fletcher Williams III (Photo by Andrew Cebulka)[/caption]

South Arts has named the ten visual artists (eight individual artists and one team) receiving the 2021 State Fellowship awards.

Each fellowship—one per state in the South Arts region—comes with a cash award of $5,000 and inclusion in an exhibition opening this fall at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia. The State Fellows are also now in consideration for the two larger Southern Prize awards. One fellowship recipient will be named the Southern Prize winner receiving an additional $25,000 cash award, and another fellow will be named the Southern Prize Finalist receiving an additional $10,000; both Southern Prize recipients will also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The two winners will be named at a virtual ceremony on June 17 celebrating the work of all ten State Fellows. The 2021 State Fellowship recipients are:
  • Tameca Cole. Mixed Media. Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Marielle Plaisir. Mixed Media. Hollywood, Florida.
  • Myra Greene. Craft. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Joyce Garner. Painting. Prospect, Kentucky.
  • Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun. Photography. New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Ming Ying Hong. Drawing. Starkville, Mississippi.
  • Jewel Ham. Painting. Huntersville, North Carolina.
  • Fletcher Williams III. Mixed Media. North Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Raheleh Filsoofi. Multidisciplinary. Nashville, Tennessee.
“The 2021 Southern Prize and State Fellowship recipients represent the amazing creativity of our region,” explained Susie Surkamer, President and CEO of South Arts. “Although they each speak with a unique voice through their work, their combined diversity is a great showcase of what it means to be an artist living, working, creating, and thriving in the South.” Launched in 2017, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality art being created in the South. More than 850 artists applied for consideration this past fall and winter, and jurors reviewed each application to recommend the State Fellowship recipients. Another national panel of jurors will review the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize winner and finalist, both of whom will be named at a virtual ceremony in June 2021. Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. To view work by the 2021 State Fellowship recipients and register to attend the June 17, 2021 Southern Prize ceremony, visit www.southarts.org. An exhibition featuring the 2021 Southern Prize and State Fellowship recipients will be open at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia, from Aug. 20-Dec. 20, 2021.

More about Fletcher Williams III

Bio

Fletcher Williams III (b. 1987) is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and painting. Williams received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement in Science and Art (2010). He maintained a studio practice in Long Island City, Queens, and later Crowns Heights, Brooklyn before returning to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013. Upon his return to Charleston, Williams remained an independent artist and began producing solo exhibitions throughout the City of Charleston and North Charleston, the latest being a site-wide solo exhibition, Promiseland (2020), at the Historic Aiken-Rhett House Museum.

Artist statement

My work engages the rituals and traditions of the American South. My interest in the way we seek to establish place and identity has prompted a working methodology that utilizes found and natural materials and an exhibition practice that incorporates public and historic sites. I often paint with Spanish moss, builds house-like structures with salvaged wood and tin roof, and fashion delicate sculptures out of handwoven palmetto roses. My approach is architectural and figural, tactile, and multi-sensory and unveils my curiosity for both people and place, material, and process. To view selected artworks, visit his page on SouthArts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

Jason Rapp