Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, a 2018 publication by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, has been chosen as the winner of the 2019 Alice Award.

The Alice Award is granted by Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, with a top prize of $25,000. Southbound was chosen as the winner out of over 120 submissions received in 2019. [content-4] The Southbound book was published in 2018 to accompany the Halsey’s exhibition of the same name, a collection of 56 photographers’ visions of the South over the first decades of the 21st century. Stories accompany the photos to provide the reader with a sense of place.

The award is intended to support the kind of slow reading movement that recognizes and cherishes the lasting values of well-made illustrated books, and the special meaning and sense of intimacy they afford. Each year, a jury of leaders in publishing and the arts select the winning book from hundreds of eligible titles. The J.M. Kaplan Fund supports and helps sustain the publication of significant non-fiction books. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s director and chief curator and Southbound co-curator Mark Sloan said in a press release they were “thrilled to be in the company of The Getty and the Block Museum of Art of Northwestern University,” the two institutes that joined the Halsey among the top-three shortlist for the 2019 selection, claiming that being among “two nationally significant institutions was an honor in itself.” Sloan went on to state that the 2019 Alice Award “is one of the greatest distinctions [they] have received in [their] 25 years of publishing.”

In a press release, Southbound co-curator and College of Charleston professor Mark Long describes the collection as one that opens “a window onto our relationship with place” and says the Alice Award “recognizes the startling, beautiful and thought-provoking work of the artists involved” while acknowledging “the complexity of place that necessitates the perspectives, too, of historians, folklorists, critics, geographers,  and poets.” The exhibition debuted at the Halsey in October of 2018 and is currently on tour throughout the Southeast until December 2021.

The 384-page catalog was published in 2018 with a hardcover jacket and is available online or in the Halsey Institute galleries for $50.

An awards event is set for Mon. Oct. 28 at The Strand Bookstore in New York City.

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.