For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Mercer
Marketing and Communications Manager
843-722-2706 ext. 38


Gibbes Museum of Art to Honor Award Winners

At Annual Meeting Celebration on May 4

(April 27, 2009 - Charleston, SC) – On Monday, May 4, the Gibbes Museum of Art will announce the winners of the 2009 Factor Prize for Southern Art, the 2009 Mary Whyte Art Educators Award and the Philanthropist of the Year Award. Finalists, honorees and special volunteers will be acknowledged at the annual general membership celebration at the Gibbes.

“As our fiscal year winds down, we wanted to take the opportunity to recognize exceptional people that have supported the museum, the community and the region. The Philanthropist of the Year Award honors an individual who has made an indelible mark on this institution, the Mary Whyte Art Educators Award honors an extraordinary visual arts teacher from the tri-county area and the Factor Prize honors a noteworthy artist from the southern region,” explained Gibbes Executive Director Angela D. Mack.

This is the second year of the Factor Prize award, 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 In March, seven panelists reviewed the hundreds of applicants and narrowed the list to six artists: Lonnie Holley, Stephen Marc, Ross McElwee, Kathryn Refi, Edward Rice and Mike Smith. One of the six finalists will become the 2009 Factor Prize winner and recipient of $10,000 on Monday evening. The winner of the 2008 Factor Prize was photographer Jeff Whetstone, whose exhibition Post-Pleistocene is currently on view at the Gibbes.

This will be the first year that the Gibbes will recognize the winner of the Mary Whyte Art Educators Award. The 2008 Award was presented by artist Mary Whyte to educator Dona Dowling. K – 12 teachers in the Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester school districts learned about the award on the Gibbes website ( and submitted lesson plans and examples of work to be considered for the Award. Three finalists were selected in March and they will be on hand for the May 4 ceremony during which the winner will receive $1,000. The three finalists are Robin Boston from Stratford High School, Amy Coleman from Memminger Elementary School and Dayton Colie from R.B. Stall High School.

Additional honorees will include the Philanthropist of the Year and members of the auxiliary groups that support the Gibbes Museum of Art throughout the year.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905. 

Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works of fine art, principally American works with a Charleston or Southern connection and presents special exhibitions annually. In addition, the museum offers an extensive complement of public programming and educational outreach initiatives.

As the aesthetic heart of the Lowcountry, the Gibbes serves the community by stimulating creative expression, increasing economic vitality through tourism, and improving the region’s superb quality of life.

135 Meeting Street * Charleston, SC * 29401