The Gibbes Museum of Art invites you to the Amy P. Coy Virtual Forum to celebrate contemporary Southern art. This special event will honor the 2020 Prize Winner, Stephen L. Hayes, and reflect Society 1858's mission to educate and excite up-and-coming art patrons about the diverse range of artwork being created in the contemporary South.
In recent years, the Gibbes has strengthened its focus on living artists through the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Established in 2007, the Prize awards $10,000 to a living artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of the arts in the South. Entering the 12th year, this Prize has awarded over $120,000 to artists as well as implemented a new initiative to display one work by the Prize Winner in the Mary Jackson Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries within the Gibbes for one year. The Museum has also been fortunate enough to acquire artworks by Prize Winners and Finalists through the years in an effort to diversify and expand the contemporary permanent collection.
About Stephen L. Hayes, (Instagram: @stephenhayesthecreator)
Stephen L. Hayes Jr. creates masterpieces-woodcuts, sculptures, installations small and large-from found materials that draw on social and economic themes ingrained in the history of the U.S. and African Americans. His approach is simple: "If I can't find it, I'll make it. If I cannot make it, I'll find it." He went to North Carolina Central University, aiming to transfer to North Carolina State University to study mechanical engineering. Instead, through a friend, he discovered graphic design. His newfound major led to a ceramics course, where his enthusiasm and skill granted him unlimited access to the pottery wheel. He threw enough pots to develop a strong portfolio, earning him a residency at the acclaimed New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Hayes received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. His thesis exhibition, "Cash Crop," has been traveling and exhibiting for nearly a decade. Frequently in his work, Hayes uses three symbols: a pawn, corn and a horse to explore America's use (or misuse) of black bodies, black minds and black labor. Artists, he believes, are as much translators as they are creators.
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