Mississippi Artist Rory Doyle Wins Southern Prize

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Atlanta, GA – Artist Rory Doyle of Cleveland, Mississippi was awarded the 2019 Southern Prize by South Arts at an event this week in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina. Doyle, a photographer whose work documents the Mississippi Delta’s “Delta Hill Riders” African-American cowboy subculture, received a $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Florida sculptor Amy Gross, whose hand-embroidered and beaded fiber pieces explore the balance of natural life and unnatural environments, received the Southern Prize Finalist award of $10,000.

Doyle and Gross were among the nine South Arts State Fellowship recipients honored at the event, each of whom received a $5,000 award. All nine artists’ work is also on display at the 701 Center for Contemporary Arts through May 5.

The South Arts State Fellowships are juried, state-specific competitive awards to visual artists representing the nine states served by South Arts, and are selected through a blind process which considers only artistic excellence. The 2019 State Fellowship award recipients are:

  • Jamey Grimes. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sculpture.
  • Amy Gross. Delray Beach, Florida. Sculpture.
  • Bo Bartlett. Columbus, Georgia. Painting.
  • Lori Larusso. Lexington, Kentucky. Painting.
  • Stephanie Patton. Lafayette, Louisiana. Multidisciplinary.
  • Rory Doyle. Cleveland, Mississippi. Photography.
  • Andrew Hayes. Asheville, North Carolina. Sculpture.
  • Virginia Scotchie. Columbia, South Carolina. Crafts.
  • Andrew Scott Ross. Johnson City, Tennessee. Multidisciplinary.

The Southern Prize and State Fellowships, explained Doyle following the ceremony, are impactful for artists and the communities in which they work. “I am very thankful to have received this award, along with my other State Fellows, both personally and professionally. Working on a project that directly involves my neighbors and the community surrounding me, the Southern Prize will support me continuing to do this work, but also to find creative ways to give back to the people who are part of my project so they can feel this impact as well. The shared, community aspect is priceless.”

Now in their third year, the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work being created in the South. Over 800 visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a national panel of jurors reviewed each application with the sole criterion of artistic excellence to determine the nine State Fellows. A second national panel of jurors reviewed the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize winner and finalist. Each panel is conducted blind, with the applicants’ identities and information withheld from the jurors.

The State Fellowship jurors were Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd with the Oklahoma State University; Katherine Jentleson with the High Museum in Atlanta; Radhika Subramaniam with Parsons School of Design; Ben Thompson with the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Jacksonville, Florida; and Joey Yates with the Kentucky Museum of Craft. The Southern Prize jurors were Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; René Paul Barilleaux, head of curatorial affairs with the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio; and Leslie Umberger with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. The awards are presented to the artists as unrestricted funds. 

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South.

About the Artists

Jamey Grimes

Tuscaloosa, Alabama - Sculpture

Tuscaloosa, Ala., sculptor and installation artist Jamey Grimes (b. 1976, Montgomery, Ala.) has since 2006 shown his work in more than 100 exhibitions in almost 20 states. His two dozen solo exhibitions include recent ones at Southeastern Louisiana State University in Hammond; Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.; Covenant Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.; North Floor Gallery in Huntsville, Ala; and Alabama’s Jacksonville State University.

Other venues where Grimes has shown include the Montgomery (Ala.) Museum of Fine Arts; the Meridian (Miss.) Museum of Art; Kendall Galleries and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids; FAT Village in Ft. Lauderdale and Sculpture Key West, both in Florida; Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington; and Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, Ga. Two of his sculptures are permanently installed at Pinnacle Bank in Nashville, Tenn.; others are at the Pinellas County Health Department in Largo, Fla., and Fairmont Chicago in the city’s Millennium Park.

Grimes is an Alabama State Council on the Arts’ Visual Arts Fellowship Recipient and was the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s 2014 Visual Arts Educator of the Year. He teaches art at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, where in 2007 he received an MFA in sculpture. Grimes received a BFA in painting and BS in biology, with a minor in mathematics, from Alabama’s Birmingham-Southern College.

Amy Gross
Delray Beach, Florida - Sculpture

Delray Beach, Fla., fiber and mixed media sculpture artist Amy Gross (b. 1965, Long Island, N.Y.) has exhibited in 60-plus exhibitions in more than a dozen states. Institutions that have shown her work include the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, both in Florida; the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City and the Muskegon Museum of Art, both in Michigan; the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin; Los Angeles’ Craft and Folk Art Museum; the Minnesota Museum of Art in St. Paul; the Rockland Center for the Arts in West Nyack, N.Y.; and New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Museum of Fine Art. Gross holds a BFA from New York’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Bo Bartlett
Columbus, Georgia - Painting

Columbus, Ga., artist and native Bo Bartlett (b. 1955) is a premier American realist painter who has shown in almost 30 states. In addition to his participation in 130-plus group exhibitions, Bartlett has shown in some 40 solo shows. His solo exhibitions include those at the Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Museum in Florida; the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta and the Columbus Museum of Art, both in Georgia; the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, La.; the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine; the Rockford Art Museum in Illinois; and the Greenville County Museum of Art and Columbia’s 701 Center for Contemporary Art, both in South Carolina. The Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in 2018 presented a retrospective of his work. The more than two dozen public collections, including more than a dozen museums, that hold Bartlett’s work include the Mennello, Ogden, Columbus, Greenville County and Morris museums as well as Colorado’s Denver Museum of Art; the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn.; the La Salle University Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, both in Philadelphia; California’s Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Seattle Art Museum and Seattle’s Frye Art Museum, both in Washington; and Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. Bartlett studied in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He also received a certificate in filmmaking from New York University and produced a film about the late painter Andrew Wyeth.

Lori Larusso
Lexington, Kentucky - Painting

Lexington, Ky., painter Lori Larusso (b. 1980, Massillon, Ohio) has shown in close to 100 exhibitions, including some two dozen solo exhibitions, in more than 20 states, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Her solo exhibitions include those at Skidmore Contemporary in Santa Monica, Calif.; Jordan Faye Contemporary in Baltimore, Md.; Porter Contemporary in New York City; the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, N.D.; the Indianapolis (Ind.) Art Center; the Dayton (Ohio) Visual Arts Center; the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, N.C.; and the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Larusso holds an MFA in studio art from the Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA from the University of Cincinnati. Her residencies include those at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H.; the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts in New Berlin, N.Y.; and the James Rosenquist Artist Residency in Fargo.

Stephanie Patton
Lafayette, Louisiana - Multidisciplinary

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.

Rory Doyle
Cleveland, Mississippi - Photography

Cleveland, Miss., photographer Rory Doyle (b. 1983, Sanford, Maine) has had solo exhibitions in New York City, at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson and elsewhere. Among his group shows are those at the National Arts Club in New York and the 2018 EyeEm Awards in Berlin, Germany, where Doyle received the Photojournalist of the Year Award. Other awards include first place, best online gallery 2018, from the National Press Photographers Association. His photos have been published by numerous media, including NewsweekThe AtlanticThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Financial TimesForbesSierra Magazine, CNN, ESPN and ABC News. Doyle holds a BA in journalism from Vermont’s St. Michael’s College and an MS of education from Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.

Andrew Hayes
Asheville, North Carolina - Sculpture

Asheville, N.C., mixed media sculptor Andrew Hayes (b. 1981, Tucson, Ariz.) has participated in some 60 exhibitions in 15 states. They include 11 solo exhibitions in venues such as the Hunterdon Art Gallery in Clinton, N.J.; the National Ornamental Iron Museum in Memphis, Tenn.; the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore.; the Penland (N.C.) Focus Gallery; and Seager/Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, Calif. Hayes studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University and was a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts, where from 2014 – 2017 he was an artist in residence.

Virginia Scotchie

Columbia, South Carolina - Crafts

Columbia, S.C., ceramic artist Virginia Scotchie (b. 1955, Portsmouth, Va.) has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. Among her solo- and two-person exhibitions are those at C.R.E.T.A. Ceramic Center in Rome, Italy; the Vallauris Institute of Art in France; the Tulsa (Okla.) Center for the Arts; the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, N.Y.; the Trinity Building in Charlotte, N.C.; and the Gertrude Herbert Art Institute in Augusta, Ga. She has had residencies in Italy, France, Wales, England, China, Taiwan, The Netherlands and Australia, where she received the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award from the Shepparton Museum in Victoria. Scotchie received a BA in sociology and religion from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and an MFA from Alfred University in the state of New York.

Andrew Scott Ross

Johnson City, Tennessee - Multidisciplinary

Johnson City, Tenn., artist Andrew Scott Ross (b. 1980, Queens, N.Y.) has exhibited in some dozen states and five countries. His solo exhibitions include those at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis.; New York’s Guggenheim Museum: Peter Lewis Theater; and Atlanta’s Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Other institutions that have shown his work include the Museum of Art and Design, SmackMellon, Cue Art Foundation and a half dozen galleries in New York City; the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; the Asheville Museum of Art and Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, both in North Carolina; the Hunter Museum of Contemporary Art in Chattanooga and the Knoxville Museum of Art, both in Tennessee; the University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art; Le Commun BAC in Geneva, Switzerland; Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv; the Gallery of the International Pavilion in Ulsan, South Korea; and TPTP Space in Paris, France. Ross’ work is in the permanent collections of MOCA GA, MAD New York, the Spencer Museum and the Deutsche Bank. He received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art, an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.