2019 Winner

2019 Prize Winner to be announced by the end of November

A special thank you to our 2019 PANELISTS 

Dr. Leo Twiggs, 2018 Prize Winner
Emily Broome and Jay Benson, Society 1858 Representatives
Alex Paik, Director/Curator/Artist of Tiger Strikes Asteroid
Hallie Ringle, Hugh Kaul Curator for Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art
Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections, Spelman Museum of Fine Art 

GIBBES MUSEUM REPRESENTATIVES 

Angel D. Mack, Executive Director & Chief Curator
Sara Arnold, Director of Curatorial Affairs
Erin Nathanson, Contemporary Initiatives & Visitor Engagement Consultant 

 

2019 Finalists

Martha Clippinger

2019 Finalist

Martha Clippinger (b. 1983) is a North Carolina based multi-media artist. Clippinger’s work blurs the lines between painting and sculpture, fine art and folk, craft and design. The artist intuitively explores color, geometry, and texture while constructing dimensional paintings from scraps of wood and sewing quilts from reclaimed fabrics. Clippinger embraces the inherent imperfections of found materials and integrates them into the off-kilter geometries and irregular symmetries of their designs.

A curiosity to learn about different materials engages the artist in a variety of processes. Clippinger’s developed a visual vocabulary of colors, shapes, and which forms across a range of media that includes not only wooden constructions and quilts, but also woolen weavings and ceramics. The painted constructions, while modest in scale, occupy a space beyond their physical dimensions, and the large, woolen tapestries shift from wall to floor and back again. Clippinger uses these objects to play with architecture and draw attention to the relationship between the artwork and its surrounding.

Martha Clippinger most recently exhibited with Elizabeth Harris Gallery in NYC, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in Philadelphia, PA, and Hodges Taylor in Charlotte, NC. Her practice and work was featured in Burnaway’s September editorial “Take Five: Textiles.” She has instructed at Duke University, NC and Penland School of Craft, NC.

Donte' K. Hayes

2019 Finalist

Donte’ K. Hayes is a Georgia based ceramicist. Through the influence of hip-hop, history, and science fiction, the artist’s artwork explores themes in Afrofuturism, a projected vision of an imagined future which critiques the historical and cultural events of the African Diaspora and the distinct black experience of the Middle Passage. While also delving into deeper social issues which broaden the conversation between all of humanity.

From these ideas, his art practice is based on research and references the visual traditions from the American South, the Caribbean, and the African continent. Hayes works in clay as a historical and creative base material to inform memories of the past. Ceramics becomes a bridge to conceptually integrate disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and social-political issues. These ceramic objects are vessels, each making symbolic allusions to the black body.

Donte’ K. Hayes has exhibited extensively across the Southern United States as well as internationally in London, England. He is the recent recipient of full tuition residencies at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. His artwork is in the permanent collection of the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia and Spruill Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Hayes is a 2020 Forthcoming Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Degree Candidate, School of Art and Art History, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Michi Meko

2019 Finalist

Michi Meko is a Georgia based multi-media artist. In the summer of 2015, he almost drowned. Inviting this life changing event’s influence into the artist’s studio practice, Meko’s recent paintings and sculptures focus on the African American experience of navigating public spaces while remaining buoyant within them. Meko’s work contributes to an important conversation, reflecting upon the African American experience in public spaces. Now more visible and open with the evidence and sharing offered by social media. This barrage of images simulates the experience of drowning under the heavy weight of ten thousand pounds of pressure while being held to the ocean’s floor.

Michi Meko’s work uses a visual language of naval flags and nautical wayfinding, combined with romanticized objects of the American South as a means to communicate the psychological and the physical. These references signal the warning of a threat or the possibility of safe passage. Working beyond the physical image of the body, objects of buoyancy and navigation become metaphors for survival.

Michi Meko’s most recent selected solo exhibitions include Chimento Contemporary in Los Angeles, CA and the Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta, GA. In 2017, Meko was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant. His work lives in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art, GA among many private collections.

Herb Parker

2019 Finalist

Herb Parker (b. 1953) is a South Carolina based installation artist. His nature-based installations, which began in the mid-seventies, are created to enhance a viewer’s perception of the environment and our relationship with nature. These environmental installations evolved from the artist’s thoughts on the mechanism of natural systems in time. This series serves as an ephemeral memento to the resilience of nature and an affirmation of the continuum of systems within the natural order. Parker’s nature-based installations speak in a hybrid language from three distinct realms: architecture, sculpture and landscape. His thoughts revolve around time, movement, history, culture, community, dialogue, spirituality, entropy and regeneration. The architectural situations created have recurring motifs that include; sanctuary, labyrinth, the golden ratio, and a place for dialogue. Herb Parker hopes to achieve a synthesis of systems from the natural world in the service of architectonic ideals.

Herb Parker is a professor of art at the College of Charleston since 1991. He was awarded the South Arts South Carolina Fellowship, South Arts, Atlanta, Georgia in 2017. Parker’s nature-based installations have taken him all over the world, most recently to create “Sami Dialogue,” Landart in Alingsas, Nolhaga Park in Alingsas, Sweden and to participate in the 8th Geumgang Nature Art Biennale, Mt. Yeonmi, in Gongju, Korea.

Stephanie Patton

2019 Finalist

Stephanie Patton (b. 1969) is a Louisiana based multi-media artist. Humor plays an important role in the artist’s work. Often using it as a device to bring attention to critical issues including an exploration of mental and physical health, themes of healing, comfort and self-preservation. As a child of a parent afflicted with mental illness, Patton can speak of the misunderstood nature of this disease and the taboos associated with it. Through this experience, Patton gravitates towards materials and processes that best addresses their conceptual concerns and often allude to various emotional states. Mattress quilting can suggest ideas related to birth, death, intimacy, relationships, illness and rest. Patton also uses vinyl in sculptural relief work for its physical properties as well as for its inherent references to mental and physical health and protection. Patton’s work often addresses psychological themes while exploring the relationship between humor and personal therapies.

Stephanie Patton was recently selected as South Arts 2019 Southern Prize and State Fellows. Patton’s work exhibited at Art Miami, Miami, FL with Arthur Roger Gallery and the New Orleans Museum of Art, LA. This year, Patton was the Artist-in-Residence for the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA, June – July. Stephanie Patton’s work lives in private and public permanent collections including the New Orleans Museum of Art, LA, and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.

Damian Stamer

2019 Finalist

Damian Stamer (b. 1982) is a North Carolina based painter. In an ongoing series, the artist captures old barns, however picturesque and quaint, that stand as remnants of American industries founded upon slavery and exploitation. Time is visible here. Quiet moments approach the sublime when afternoon light rakes the grain of a fallen beam, or cloud-like stuffing erupts from a rotten chair. Violent and tender, this beauty hinges on the delicate nature of existence. These remnants are, like us, soaked with impermanence. We cannot escape a similar fate. Damian Stamer has exhibited extensively in the Southeastern United States as well as internationally in Tokyo, Japan and Budapest, Hungary. His work is in the permanent collection of The Mint Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art. He is represented by SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina and Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.