The Gibbes Museum of Art has announced the 2018 finalists for the Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The five artists on the short list are María Magdalena Campos-Pons (Nashville, Tenn.), Stephen Hayes (Atlanta, Ga.), Birney Imes (Columbus, Miss.), Leo Twiggs (Orangeburg, S.C.), and Susan Worsham (Richmond, Va.).

Each year the 1858 Prize is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art comprised of young professionals. The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art recognizes the highest level of artistic achievement in any media by awarding $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South.

Last year’s winner was Bo Bartlett, a realist painter from Georgia. Judges include previous 1858 Prize winners, group members, visual arts professionals, and museum staff. Over 250 Southern artists submitted applications for this year’s prize. The winner of the prize will be announced in August and celebrated on Sept. 19 at the Amy P. Coy Forum and Prize Party at the Gibbes.

Here’s a look at the work of the finalists:

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Campos-Pons
’ artistic practice combines different media such as photography, performance and sculpture with deeply poetic and haunting imagery to evoke stories of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade or revolutionary uprisings.

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Stephen Hayes
explores the history of race relations in America with sculpture, fiber, video and blacksmithing.

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Birney Imes
has been photographing his native Mississippi for over 30 years and his images take the viewer inside dilapidated locations across the South.

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Leo Twiggs works in batik, a wax-resist method of dyeing textiles and explores how the past affects contemporary life.

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Susan Worsham photographs her native Virgina and recently her work has focused on her family’s tragic past.