2019 State Fellow
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Southern Prize and State Fellowship
Lafayette, La., multi-media artist Stephanie Patton (b. 1969, New Orleans, La.) crosses the realms of sculpture, painting, photography, installation, performance, video, audio and text. Her work has been shown in dozens of exhibitions, including 17 solo shows, at such venues as the Lawndale Art Center in Houston and the McNay Museum of Art in San Antonio, both in Texas; Arthur Roger Gallery, The Front, Louisiana ArtWorks, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Contemporary Art Center, all in New Orleans; Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Artist Alliance Gallery, both in Lafayette; the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, Calif.; and New York’s Bronx Museum of the Arts, Voltz Clarke Gallery and Elizabeth Houston Gallery, through the latter also at SCOPE Miami Beach. Patton holds an MFA in photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. She also has studied various types of vocal and comedic performance in New York through The New School, Upright Citizens Brigade and Gotham Writers Workshop.
As a multi-media artist, I often use humor as a device to bring attention to more critical issues. By creating humorous objects, I find that it breaks down barriers and allows for the beginning of an open and genuine dialogue between my art, the audience and myself. Issues that remain constant in my work are an exploration of mental and physical health, themes of healing, comfort and self-preservation.
I naturally gravitate towards materials and processes that I feel best address my conceptual concerns. Mattress quilting can suggest ideas related to birth, death, intimacy, relationships, illness and rest. Coupled with words or phrases that often have multiple meanings, such as “please,” the quilted fabric is meant to bring a humorous yet poignant conceptual message to the viewer. I also use vinyl in my sculptural relief work for its physical properties as well as for its inherent references to mental and physical health and protection. I construct these pieces with my industrial sewing machine as well as a combination of hand sewing, stuffing and stapling. My work often addresses psychological themes while exploring the relationship between humor and personal therapies.
Sensitivity Training (installation view)
Photo credit: Courtesy of Arthur Roger Gallery, photo Mike Smith
Size (h x w x d): variable
"Careful" (floor text piece), 2017, mattress quilting, upholstery foam, cording, wood, steel frame, powder coating, 10 x 10 x 2 feet (approx.) "Grey Matter", (back wall), 2017, vinyl, batting, canvas, 65 x 154 x 6 inches, "Persistence", (right wall), 2016, vinyl, batting, canvas, 41 x 54 x 11 inches
You could be the next Southern Prize winner.
Interested in entering our competition? Submissions are open until the beginning of December. Review eligibility criteria, then get to work on your application.Explore this award