Brennan Wesley

The Gibbes Museum of Art announced their 2020 finalists for the 1858 prize for Contemporary Southern Art Nov. 12.

“The 1858 prize exemplifies artists at the forefront of contemporary southern art, and this year’s three finalists were chosen out of an outstanding group of over 200 candidates,” said Angela Mack, executive director at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Finalist Namwon Choi, known for artwork that embodies the alienation of immigrants in the United States, has artwork featured in the Artist Homes Gallery in Berlin. Choi’s exhibit Blue Distant features blue and white patterns and mixed media.

“Blue Distant (Two Cubes)” by Namwon Choi | Provided

Stephen L. Hayes, another finalist, is known for his creative sculptures that draw upon social and economic themes of African American history. His installation exhibit Crash Crop! deals with the horrors of enslavement.

“Cash Crop” installation by Stephen L. Hayes | Provided

This year’s third finalist, Jennifer Shaw, is representing New Orleans with her photography centered around “a world observed and a world constructed” based on personal experiences with her immediate surroundings. Shaw’s ongoing series Flood State depicts homes created on vulnerable lands.

“Flood State 048” by Jennifer Shaw | Provided

One of these three finalists will be announced and celebrated on Feb. 5 this coming year. Their work will be presented and celebrated at the Amy P. Coy Forum and Reception hosted by Society 1858. 

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