The annual Contemporary Southern Art prize, awarded by the Gibbes Museum of Art’s auxiliary young professionals group, Society 1858, is seeking work that alters the perception of art in the South or offers a fresh understanding.

Artists who live, work or were raised in the following Southern states are invited to submit applications Sept. 1-Oct. 15: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.

The winner and two honorable mentions will be announced in early December, and the artist with the top creation will receive a prize of $10,000.

“We are ecstatic to announce the return of this esteemed prize. With COVID-19 limiting opportunities for so many talented, Southern artists, we want to help motivate and validate them by supporting their artistic passion,” said President of Society 1858 Anne Siegfried in a press release. “Past winners often return to the Gibbes as Visiting Artists and have gone on to receive many accolades.”

Past winners include Stephen L Hayes (2020), Alicia Henry (2016), Patrick Dogherty (2011) and others.

To be considered for the 1858 prize, artists must submit:

  • Completed registration form
  • Brief artist statement (150 words or less)
  • Resume or CV
  • Portfolio of work (up to 10 images) including title, date, medium, and dimensions for each work
  • $25 non-refundable entry fee

Entries can be submitted at

If you have questions about the 1858 prize, contact the Gibbes Museum at

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