The Gibbes Museum’s young patrons groups, Society 1858, does more than throw some of Charleston’s coolest parties. They’re also responsible for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, a $10,000 cash prize awarded to a Southern artist whose work is not only technically and aesthetically superb, but also helps further a new understanding of art in the South. 

Artists are invited to apply via the submission site from now through the month of May. And in case you’re not sure whether or not you’re Southern, here’s a list of eligible states you can live in, work in, or hail from: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The prize was revived and rebranded under Society 1858 after a one-year hiatus — the most recent winner, John Westmark, will have his work exhibited at the Gibbes this spring. But there’s more to this particular art prize: it’s one of, if not the only, competitions of its kind aimed at creating an online archive of information about Southern artists that will be available to the public as well as museum and art professionals and academics. 

Find out more at