Last week, the Gibbes Museum and Society 1858 hosted a party to announce the winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The event was at the newly renovated Vendue, which has been remade as an art hotel — artwork curated by Robert and Megan Lange of Robert Lange Studios fills the hotel, and there’s even a public studio where an artist-in-residence works and speaks with guests (Fred Jamar is the current artist-in-residence). 

Three of the short-listed artists, Jim Arendt, Jackson Martin, and Sonya Clark, were in attendance as 1858 Prize co-chairs Jamieson Clair and Margaret Furniss announced Clark as the winner. A short film about Clark, who uses human hair, cloth, beads, and copper, among other materials, in her work, was shown as well.

Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres like bruschetta with parmesan and sea salt, goat cheese and blueberry tarts, and roasted vegetables by the Vendue’s fine dining restaurant the Drawing Room while mingling in the Vendue’s spacious lobby and taking in the hotel’s art. One of the favorite pieces of the night? A hanging piece of plexiglass studded with rows upon rows of Viewmasters. 

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