South arts tour stops at FMU

FMU hosted the Southern Prize and State Fellows tour exhibition from Jan.12 to Feb. 24 in the Steven F. Gately Gallery. 

The exhibit featured the works from the recipients of the 2022 Southern Prize and State Fellows from South Arts. Recipients consisted of one artist from each of nine participating states. Artists featured included Hannah Chalew (LA), Marcus Dunn (NC), Brittany M. Watkins (SC), GeoVanna Gonzalez (FL), Jenny Fine (AL), Antonio Darden (GA), Crystal Gregory (KY), Gloria Gipson Suggs (MI) and Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo (TN). 

The exhibit itself featured a handful of works from each of the nine recipients. From Crystal Gregory’s multicolored textile pieces to Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo’s sculptures, the gallery reflected each of the artists’ talents. 

In her piece ‘Tremblante,’ artist Hannah Chalew used metal, lime, recycled plant pieces, sugarcane and a number of other elements to create sculptures. 

“My practice explores the historical legacies that got us here to help imagine new possibilities for a livable future,” Chalew said. “My works draw viewers into an experience that bridges past and present with visions of the future ecosystems that might emerge from our culture’s detritus is we fail to change course.” 

Antonia Darden used humor to explore the issues surrounding social identity. 

“I admittedly face my own deficiencies while aimlessly denying responsibility,” Darden said. “As a result, the work is both self-aware and irreverent.” 

Darden uses a number of different media in his work such as paint, cast rubber, resin and even pieces of IKEA furniture. 

Seeking an organic setup, gallery coordinator Dawn Fenimore worked alongside her colleagues to successfully arrange the art in a way that flows. 

“Everything is put up by myself and two FMU Student associates,” Fenimore said. “Until the art is actually here, it’s difficult to plan it out. I think us having so many different artists displayed at one time was my favorite thing… It is really nice to have so many different types of art spread out.” 

The artists and their works were featured through South Arts, an organization that “advances Southern vitality through the arts.” Each year, South Arts hosts opportunities of success for Southern artists, designers and creatives, as well as opportunities to grow and support other Southern artists. 

Recipients of the State Fellows and winners of the Southern Prizes all received monetary awards and recognition for their accomplishments. The Southern Prize recipients also have the opportunity to attend a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, which is located in Georgia. 

The next stop for the Southern Prize and State Fellows tour is at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina. 

More information about South Arts or the 2022 Southern Prize and State Fellows recipients can be found at or on Instagram: @southartsorg.