Donté K Hayes
The Gibbes Museum of Art is proud to announce Donté K. Hayes as the 2019 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Hayes, a Georgia-based ceramicist, 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. Hayes will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize and will be celebrated at the Amy P. Coy Forum and Prize Party hosted by Society 1858 at the Gibbes on February 6 & 7, 2020.
“We’re thrilled to announce Donté as our winner,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “His works demonstrate a powerful vision, as he is at the forefront of southern contemporary art. We were extremely impressed with all of our finalists this year and want to thank everyone who submitted to Society 1858.”
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.
“Thank you to the Gibbes Museum and to Society 1858 for awarding me this year’s 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art,” says Donté Hayes, the 2019 award recipient. “This is a tremendous honor and I wish to congratulate my fellow finalists. As an artist working in the Southern United States this award is so important to recognize all the powerful artwork and creative souls working and born in the Southern region. Winning this award will help to continue to push my art practice financially and creatively after graduate school, along with the opportunity to reach more audiences with my artwork through receiving this prestigious prize. Thank you again and I am blessed and humbled by winning this award.”
Hayes has exhibited extensively across the southern United States as well as internationally in London, England. He is the recent recipient of two 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 at Kennesaw State University and Spruill Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Hayes is a 2020 Master of Fine Arts degree candidate at The University of Iowa.
Each year, the 1858 Prize is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art comprised of young professionals. The $10,000 cash prize is awarded to one artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. This year, the panelists were forced to choose six finalists due to the outstanding caliber of candidates received. Along with Hayes, this year’s short list of finalists included Damian Stamer, Herb Parker, Martha Clippinger, Michi Meko and Stephanie Patton.
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
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 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 (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 (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 (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.