2008 Winner

Jeff Whetstone

Born in 1968 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Whetstone has received degrees from Duke and Yale Universities. His photography has been featured in exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Amsterdam. He currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he is an Assistant Professor in the University of North Carolina’s Art Department.

2008 Finalists

Jose Alvarez

2008 Finalist

Born in 1968 in New York, Alvarez currently resides in both New York City and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He studied at the School of Visual Arts from 1992 to 1995, and in 2002 was included in the prestigious Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A painter, performance artist, and video artist, Alvarez incorporates unique media into his work including feathers, porcupine quills, and crystals.

Radcliffe Bailey

2008 Finalist

A native of Bridgeton, New Jersey, Bailey lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received his BFA from Atlanta College of Art in 1991. Greatly inspired by jazz music, he is best known for his mixed media works and site-specific installations that explore his personal background and the history of African Americans. Bailey’s work is included in the collections of many prestigious organizations including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

William Christenberry

2008 Finalist

For over forty years, Christenberry has used his drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography as a means to document his home state of Alabama. A resident of Washington, DC, he has taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design since 1968 and has been included in numerous one-person and group exhibitions and the collections of art museums across the country. In 2006, Christenberry was honored with a major one-person exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Henri Schindler

2008 Finalist

A native of New Orleans, Louisana, Schindler is an acknowledged authority on Mardi Gras history and has served as artistic director for numerous New Orleans Carnival organizations, known as krewes. In this role, he is responsible for selecting themes, developing artistic concepts and designs, and overseeing float construction with the traditional materials of muslin, paint, and papier mache. Recognized for restoring Carnival celebrations to the classical traditions of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Schindler has received numerous awards and his work has been included in exhibitions on the history of Mardi Gras.

Philip Simmons

2008 Finalist

A lifelong resident of the Charleston area, Simmons is a celebrated metalworker who learned the art from local blacksmith Peter Simmons. Beginning in 1938, Philip Simmons focused his efforts on ornamental ironwork and created hundreds of gates, fences, balconies, and window grills throughout the city of Charleston. Among his many lifetime achievement awards, Simmons received The Order of the Palmetto in 1998, the highest honor bestowed by the state of South Carolina. His work is included in the collections of the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM, and the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, GA.

Stacy Lynn Waddell

2008 Finalist

In 2007 Waddell received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned the Outstanding MFA Student Award from the Department of Art and Art History. Waddell’s work draws upon her experience as an African American woman as she explores the formation and maintenance of identity. She uses fire and heat to burn, brand, and singe her large-scale works of art.

Image credits (L to R): “Mingo Boys with Water Snake” (detail), 2004, by Jeff Whetstone, silver gelatin print, courtesy of the artist. “Eno River, Fourth of July” (detail), 2004, by Jeff Whetstone, silver gelatin print, courtesy of the artist. “Fishing Chair” (detail), 2003, by Jeff Whetstone, silver gelatin print, courtesy of the artist. “Ian Wickersham, Biologist” (detail), 2007, by Jeff Whetstone, silver gelatin print, courtesy of the artist. ”Circles over Ages, Kentucky” (detail), 2005, by Jeff Whetstone, silver gelatin print, courtesy of the artist.