For Immediate Release

Media Contacts: Melanie Mathos / Hannah Nuccio
Lou Hammond & Associates /
(843) 371-1363 / (843) 410-5306


Gibbes Museum of Art Announces Short List of Finalists for the 2012 Elizabeth and Mallory Factor Prize for Southern Art

Five Artists Vie for Fifth Year of $10,000 Prize

(April 18, 2012 - Charleston, South Carolina) – The Gibbes Museum of Art today announced the 2012 Short List of Finalists for the fifth annual Factor Prize. The Factor Prize, awarded annually with a cash prize of $10,000, acknowledges an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. The winner of the 2011 Factor Prize was sculptor Patrick Dougherty of North Carolina.

Artists who reside, work in, or are from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia applied for the Prize online at through February 29, 2012. In March, seven panelists reviewed the hundreds of applicants and narrowed the list to five artists. The seven panelists for the 2012 Factor Prize were philanthropists Elizabeth and Mallory Factor; 2011 Factor Prize winner Patrick Dougherty; Clover Archer Lyle, Director of the Staniar Gallery at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA; Marina Pacini, Chief Curator at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art; and Pam Wall, Curator of Exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art.

The five artists (profiled below) selected for the 2012 Factor Prize Short List of Finalists are Aldwyth, Brian Dettmer, Young Kim, Bob Trotman, and John Westmark.

“It’s always exciting to see who enters the contest each year. On this fifth year of the Factor Prize, we are especially pleased with the caliber of artists represented in the Short List of Finalists. The Gibbes Museum of Art is proud to continue the legacy of supporting and honoring the talents of artists working in and from the South,” said Angela Mack, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Gibbes.

The winner of the 2012 Factor Prize will be announced on May 14 at a ceremony at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Applications for the 2013 award will be accepted beginning June 1, 2012 on the website. The Factor Prize website not only accepts entries for artists but it is also a publicly accessible online archive of information about Southern artists that can be used by curators, collectors, academicians, and the public.

South Carolina artist Aldwyth has worked in relative seclusion for several decades. She creates intricate collages and assemblages, often monumental in scale, from found objects, appropriated images, text, and other elements. Aldwyth was recently honored with a major one-person traveling exhibition organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston.

Brian Dettmer
Brian Dettmer is known for his detailed and innovative sculptures created from books and other forms of antiquated media. He begins with existing books that he seals and then dissects with knives, tweezers, and surgical tools, to reveal words and images that reinterpret the book’s original conception. Dettmer has exhibited widely and currently lives and works in Atlanta.

Young Kim
Young Kim creates site-specific installations from salt and earth that are inherently fragile and temporal, symbolic of our own existence on earth. His artistic process entails using red clay to silkscreen photographic portraits onto meticulously arranged salt-covered surfaces. A native of Korea, Kim currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Elon University in North Carolina.

Bob Trotman
North Carolina artist Bob Trotman creates wooden sculptures depicting office workers dressed in business attire. Often posed in unexpected ways, Trotman’s figures convey the humor, anxiety, and even absurdity of life as an office professional. Trotman’s work is included in numerous public collections including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

John Westmark
Born in Alabama and raised in Florida, John Westmark is a painter whose large-scale works incorporate store-bought paper sewing patterns collaged directly on the surface. Populated by figures cut and shaped from the patterns, Westmark’s paintings create mythical narratives, much like folklore cut from the fabric of human experience.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.

135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401