The Southern Prize and State Fellowships is open to visual artists in our nine-state region to support, expose, and celebrate the breadth, depth and diversity of artistic excellence.View Full Guidelines
Due to the impacts of recent weather events across our region, South Arts has extended the deadline to apply for the Southern Prize and State Fellowships to November 1, 2022.
The South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. The program is open to individual artists living in the South Arts region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. South Arts is committed to practices and funding that create greater cultural equity, represent the diversity of our region, are inclusive of diverse voices and artistic expression, and are accessible to everyone. The cohort of nine-state fellows will be selected through a two-tiered selection process by a national jury. A second national jury will select the Southern Prize Winner and Finalist. Jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. This program is open to visual artists in several categories.
The South Arts State Fellowship (state fellowship) is a state-specific prize awarded to artists whose work reflects the best of the visual arts in the South. A national jury will select one winner per eligible state, for a group of nine-state fellows, based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. Each of the nine-state fellowship winners will be awarded a $5,000 state fellowship and will compete for one of the two Southern Prizes. State fellowship recipients will be required to attend the awards ceremony in late summer 2023.
The nine-state fellowship recipients will compete for the Southern Prize. The $25,000 Southern Prize will be awarded to the artist whose work demonstrates the highest artistic excellence, and a runner-up will be awarded a $10,000 Prize. Both Southern Prize recipients will also receive a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. A separate national jury will convene to evaluate the body of work represented by the nine-state fellowship recipients and select the Prize winner and Finalist. Winners of the Southern Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony.
The Southern Prize ceremony and exhibition of state fellows’ works may be planned for late summer 2023.
Applicants to the Southern Prize and State Fellowships program must meet the following eligibility requirements:
To be eligible to apply for this grant, you must be a legal resident of the South Arts region which encompasses the following nine states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Legal residency in the South Arts region must be for at least two (2) years prior to the application deadline and the artist must maintain residence in the state of residency as submitted on the fellowship application during the entire grant period; have a permanent South Arts residential address, as listed on government issued identification or tax returns. Post office boxes may not be used as a primary address.
To demonstrate proof of South Arts regional residency, you will be required to submit a current state driver's license or a state ID with the application. South Arts staff may request at any time during the application process additional proof of residency requirements including the submission of one or more of the following documents that establishes residency and reflects the artist’s home address(es) over the prior two-year period (October 2020. Please redact sensitive information)
The following categories describe the types of visual arts eligible for the 2023 program. Artists must choose only one of these categories that best correlates to the work samples that will be submitted. If work is best described across multiple categories, the applicant should select the Multidisciplinary category.
Only one application per artist per grant cycle will be accepted. Artists who are awarded a South Arts State Fellowship are ineligible to apply to the Southern Prize and State Fellowships program for six years (not earlier than 2029). The winner and finalist of the Southern Prize may not re-apply for a period of 10 years (not earlier than 2033).
The group of nine-state fellows will be selected through a two-tiered selection process by a national jury. A second national jury will select the Southern Prize Winner and Finalist. The jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region.
Artists will receive notification of the state fellowship award by late April 2023. The Southern Prize winner and finalist will be announced at the Southern Prize ceremony.
The Southern Prize and State Fellowship awards are unrestricted and do not have a matching requirement. Each of the 9 competitive state fellowships include a $5,000 award. The Southern Prize winner includes a $25,000 additional award while the finalist includes a $10,000 additional award.
Winners of the South Arts State Fellowships are required to attend the South Arts State Fellowship & Prize awards ceremony, which will take place in late summer 2023 to receive their cash prizes; location and exact date is TBD. Winners’ travel and accommodations for the awards ceremony will be paid for. One round-trip flight (or rental car coverage) and one hotel room will be provided, booked by South Arts. This offer does not extend to any of the winners’ guests.
The winners of the state fellowships (and, therefore, the South Arts Southern Prize winner and finalist) will have their work included in a touring exhibition opening in late summer/early fall 2023; locations and dates TBD. The majority of the work represented in the submitted work samples should be available for a touring exhibition beginning summer 2023, lasting between 18-24 months. South Arts will assume the costs of shipping.
For works that are selected for exhibition, state fellows are required to submit complete works including all components needed for video and/or audio presentations.
There is no requirement for how the state fellows and Southern Prize winner and finalist use the awarded funds. South Arts hopes the money would go towards pursuit of artistic achievement, but winners are not required to submit their use of the funds for approval. The funds are expected to be used between May 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. State Fellowship and Southern Prize winners should note that the award money constitutes taxable income and should file accordingly. Please Note: South Arts cannot accommodate any award distribution adjustments related to tax planning. Awarded artists should consult with a professional tax accountant.
Fellowship and Prize winners are expected to write a one-page final report and submit images (if appropriate) on how they used the fellowship winnings.
Additional exposure—in the form of speaking engagements, increased publicity, and more opportunities to display work through South Arts—can be reasonably expected by South Arts Southern Prize recipients and State Fellows.
Applicants to the South Arts State Fellowship program must complete an online application via SlideRoom. The application will be open to receive submissions beginning August 3, 2022. The online submittal process will include the following items:
Make an appointment here for any questions about the requirements or application process for Southern Prize and State Fellowship program.
Have a question about the guidelines or priorities above? It may be addressed in our Southern Prize and State Fellowships FAQ.Read the FAQ
After reviewing program guidelines, log in to SlideRoom to apply for the Southern Prize and State Fellowships, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.Log in to SlideRoom
The Southern Prize and State Fellowships is only possible through very generous donations from many individuals, foundations, and organizations.
Recent supporters include: Chubb, Southern First, Cathy Adams, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Paul Stephen Benjamin, Kathleen Broda, Julia Brown, Joanne Calhoun, Ann and Frank Critz, Robert Paul Dean, Robert Dozier, Ronke Essien, Rick Fisher, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Fran and Arnold Gellman, Georgia Council for the Arts, Sonya Halpern, James Harrison III, K. Clay Haynes, Christian and Catherine Hersacher, David Howell, Kentucky Arts Council, Elliot Knight, Donna Krueger, J. Lett, Louisiana Division of the Arts, CJ Lyons’ Buy a Book, Make a Difference, William McKinney, Mississippi Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council, Karen Paty, Marie-Elysse Paulhus, Michael Quinlan and Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, Ben Rex, Scott Shanklin-Peterson and Terry Peterson, Sandy Shaughnessy, Kathy Shea and Phil Carney, South Carolina Arts Commission, Suzette M. Surkamer, Tennessee Arts Commission, and powered by The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences
Congratulations to the 2022 State Fellows. Click on a recipient to read more about them and view samples of their work. An exhibition featuring all nine artists will be held at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia, from September 2 - December 10, 2022 and tour to additional locations (dates/locations TBD) across the region in 2023.
Southern Prize Winner and Louisiana Fellow
Gloria Gipson Suggs
North Carolina Fellow
Brittany M. Watkins
South Carolina Fellow
Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo
Southern Prize Finalist and Tennessee Fellow
For further information about the Southern Prize and State Fellowships, contact Emmitt Stevenson.Contact Us