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Conway artist Yvette L. Cummings wins 701 CCA Prize

(Image: When the Magpie Came, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48) Conway, S.C., artist Yvette L. Cummings has won the 701 CCA Prize 2016 for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. Yvette Cummings“Cummings is an outstanding winner of this year’s Prize,” 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs said. “She won in a highly competitive field of contestants that included two other excellent finalists, Colleen Critcher and Jena Thomas.” Critcher is from Hartsville and was, like Cummings, selected for last year’s 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial. Thomas is from Spartanburg, where she arrived from Florida earlier this year to teach at Converse College. As the winner, Cummings will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national art magazine. In 2015, Cummings was selected for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial and for Contemporary South at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, N.C. Also in 2015, she had a solo exhibition at Black Creek Arts Gallery in Hartsville, S.C. Other solo shows were at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., and City Art Gallery in Columbia, S.C. Her work has been in some 30 group exhibitions, mostly in the South and Midwest. Among the venues where Cummings has shown are Women Made Gallery in Chicago, Ill., the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art and Kendall College of Art & Design, both in Grand Rapids, Mich., the Florence County (S.C.) Museum, the Pickens County (S.C.) Museum of Art and History, the Anderson (S.C.) Arts Center and the Durham (N.C.) Art Guild. Cummings holds an MFA and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and a BFA from Kendal College. She also studied at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. The finalists and winner were selected by an independent jury consisting of David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Jonell Logan, independent curator and founder of 300 Arts Project LLC in Belmont, N.C.; and Jennifer Smith, gallery & marketing director of The Arts Center of Greenwood in Greenwood, S.C. The 701 CCA Prize’s purpose is to identify and recognize young South Carolina artists whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit. “All three finalists easily matched the criteria,” Roefs said, “as did many of the artists who submitted a portfolio for the judge’s consideration but didn’t make it to the finals.” This year’s installment was the third 701 CCA Prize event. “With the 701 CCA Prize, 701 Center for Contemporary Art has added a crucial component to the eco-system for artists and the visual arts in South Carolina,” Roefs said. “Prior to this 701 CCA initiative, the state did not have a prominent event to highlight the best young talent in South Carolina.” The 701 CCA Prize 2016 exhibition will remain on view through December 18. The exhibition catalogue is available at 701 CCA for $5. About 701 CCA 701 CCA is a nonprofit visual arts center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community. The center also encourages interaction between visual and other art forms. 701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. During exhibitions, hours are Wed, 11–8; Thu-Fri, 11-5; Sat, 9-5; Sun, 1-5. For more information, visit www.701cca.org.