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Gibbes Museum of Art Announces Short List of Finalists for the Factor Prize

Seven Artists Vie for the First Annual Elizabeth and Mallory Factor Prize for Southern Art

(Charleston, SC) – The Gibbes Museum of Art today announced the Short List of Finalists for the 2008 Factor Prize. This is the first year of the Factor Prize which 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.

Artists who work in or who are from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia were nominated for the Prize online at through February 10, 2008. Six panelists reviewed the hundreds of applicants and narrowed the list to seven artists on March 10. The six panelists for the 2008 Factor Prize were philanthropists Elizabeth and Mallory Factor who established the prize; Rebecca Dimling Cochran, freelance art critic and Curator of the Wieland Collection; Walter Edgar, The Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies, the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History and the Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of South Carolina; Angela Mack, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs for the Gibbes Museum of Art; and Trevor Schoonmaker, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

The seven artists (profiled below) selected for the 2008 Factor Prize Short List are Jose Alvarez, Radcliffe Bailey, William Christenberry, Henri Schindler, Philip Simmons, Stacy-Lynn Waddell and Jeff Whetstone. “We’re delighted with the scope of artists chosen for the inaugural year of the Prize. Their work presents a wide array of styles, subjects and approaches. I applaud the panelists for putting forth a first-rate group of artists. The Gibbes has always supported working artists and the introduction of the Factor Prize into our programming only solidifies our engagement with art of our time. We look forward to announcing the winner in May,” said Todd Smith, Executive Director of the Gibbes.

The winner of the 2008 Factor Prize will be announced in May at a ceremony at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Nominations for the 2009 award have already started on the Web site. The Factor Prize Web site not only serves as a nomination point for artists but it is also an archive of information about Southern artists that can be used by curators, collectors, academicians and the public.

Jose Alvarez
Born in 1968 in New York, Alvarez currently resides in both New York City and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He studied at the School of Visual Arts from 1992 to 1995, and in 2002 was included in the prestigious Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A painter, performance artist, and video artist, Alvarez incorporates unique media into his work including feathers, porcupine quills, and crystals.

Radcliffe Bailey
A native of Bridgeton, New Jersey, Bailey lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received his BFA from Atlanta College of Art in 1991. Greatly inspired by jazz music, he is best known for his mixed media works and site-specific installations that explore his personal background and the history of African Americans. Bailey’s work is included in the collections of many prestigious organizations including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

William Christenberry
For over forty years, Christenberry has used his drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography as a means to document his home state of Alabama. A resident of Washington, DC, he has taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design since 1968 and has been included in numerous one-person and group exhibitions and the collections of art museums across the country. Most recently, Christenberry was honored with a major one-person exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Henri Schindler
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Schindler is an acknowledged authority on Mardi Gras history and has served as artistic director for numerous New Orleans Carnival organizations, known as krewes. In this role, he is responsible for selecting themes, developing artistic concepts and designs, and overseeing float construction with the traditional materials of muslin, paint, and papier mache. Recognized for restoring Carnival celebrations to the classical traditions of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Schindler has received numerous awards and his work has been included in exhibitions on the history of Mardi Gras.

Philip Simmons
A lifelong resident of the Charleston area, Simmons is a celebrated metalworker who learned the art from local blacksmith Peter Simmons. Beginning in 1938, Philip Simmons focused his efforts on ornamental ironwork and has since created hundreds of gates, fences, balconies, and window grills throughout the city of Charleston. Among his many lifetime achievement awards, Simmons received The Order of the Palmetto in 1998, the highest honor bestowed by the state of South Carolina. His work is included in the collections of the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM, and the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, GA.

Stacy-Lynn Waddell
In 2007 Waddell received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned the Outstanding MFA Student Award from the Department of Art and Art History. Waddell’s work draws up on her experience as an African American woman as she explores the formation and maintenance of identity. She uses fire and heat to burn, brand, and singe her large-scale works of art.

Jeff Whetstone
Born in 1968 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Whetstone has received degrees from Duke and Yale Universities. His photography has been featured in exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Amsterdam. He currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he is an Assistant Professor in the University of North Carolina’s Art Department.

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