2014 Winner

Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark is a fiber and mixed media artist working in Richmond, Virginia, where she chairs the Department of Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She uses objects such as cloth, hair, and combs to give voice to the complexity of American identity and history. Clark’s work has been exhibited in over 250 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and throughout the United States.

2014 Finalists

Jim Arendt

2014 Finalist

Based in Conway, South Carolina, Jim Arendt creates narrative paintings, sculpture, and installations that investigate how individual lives are affected by transitions in economic structures. Made from cut denim, Arendt’s figurative work draws upon his rural upbringing and concepts of work, labor, and connections to the land. Arendt received his BFA from Kendall College of Art & Design and his MFA with a concentration in painting from the University of South Carolina.

André Leon Gray

2014 Finalist

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, André Leon Gray is a self-trained artist who works in a variety of media to examine the impact of history and memory on present day power structures and social hierarchies. Gray’s mixed media assemblages, sculptures, and installations combine recycled and reclaimed objects, materials, and imagery. He transforms mundane objects into powerful social commentary with the intent of creating dialogue among his audience.

Jackson Martin

2014 Finalist

Jackson Martin’s artistic practice entails an interdisciplinary approach to sculpture, installation, and photography. He utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes, ranging from sewing nontraditional fabrics to steam-bending hardwoods to planting trees in dumpsters. A native of Tennessee, Martin currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina where he teaches at the University of North Carolina.

Jason Mitcham

2014 Finalist

Artist Jason Mitcham combines painting and stop-motion animation to investigate suburbia, modern ruins, and temporality within the landscape. His animations are created by digitally recording thousands of slight alterations on paintings; approximately ten miniscule changes are made for every second of footage. Mitcham was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and currently resides in New York.

Damian Stamer

2014 Finalist

Painter Damian Stamer depicts barns, abandoned buildings, and other vernacular structures of the rural south. His heavily layered canvases blur the line between abstraction and representation as they seek to express the solemn beauty of the old and overlooked. A native of Durham, North Carolina, Stamer earned a BFA from Arizona State University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stacy Lynn Waddell

2014 Finalist

Stacy Lynn Waddell creates work that explores American history, culture, and the ways individual consciousness is formed through generations. She combines watercolor, gold leaf, and collage with heat-based techniques of burning, branding, and singeing paper. Waddell has exhibited at museums throughout the country, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Gibbes Museum of Art, in the solo exhibition The Evidence of Things Unseen.

Image credits (l to r): “Rooted and Uprooted,” 2011, by Sonya Clark, primed canvas and braided thread, 10 x 26 x 10 inches and 10 x 35 x 10 inches, courtesy of the artist. “Madam CJ Walker Large,” 2008, by Sonya Clark, combs, 121 x 96 x 12 inches, courtesy of the artist. “Hair Craft Project (Jamilah),” 2013, by Sonya Clark, photograph, 28 x 28 inches, courtesy of the artist. “Black Hair Flag,” 2010, by Sonya Clark, painted canvas, stitched and braided thread, 56 x 42 inches, courtesy of the artist. “Americafrica,” 2014, by Sonya Clark, collage and cut paper, 15 x 12 inches, courtesy of the artist. “Cornrow Chair,” 2011, upholstered found chair, stitched with silk thread, 36 x 20 x 20 inches, courtesy of the artist.