The winner of the $50,000 Hudgens Prize visual arts competition was finally announced at the special Award Ceremony on the evening of November 30 at the Hudgens Center for the Arts
in Duluth. The packed crowd at the invitation-only event held its collective breath as Linda Lindeborg, Chairman of the Hudgens Prize Committee, revealed the winner.
Gyun Hur of Atlanta was chosen as the recipient of the life-altering cash prize, as well as the opportunity to have a solo exhibit in December of 2011 at the Hudgens Center.
The distinguished jurors, David Kiehl, Curator of Prints at The Whitney Museum of American Art
; Sylvie Fortin, Editor in Chief of ART PAPERS Magazine; and Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at The New Museum, all visited the Finalists Exhibit earlier in the day on the 30th, to view the exhibit and make their deliberations in person.
Fortin stated, the Hudgens Prize sets an amazing precedent. Today, we come together to celebrate our community by recognizing the contributions of five contemporary artists. It is also the first time we award a Geogia artist a prize that has the real potential to be transformative. It issues our entire community, and our arts leaders in particular, a welcome challenge. She continued, what I am calling for is a mutual promise and a new open social contract: innovative patronage that fosters the emergence of new artistic experiments and that supports the needs of artists.
The jurists statement concluded, we would like to congratulate both the anonymous foundation that has made this award possible and the Hudgens Center for the Arts for initiating this remarkable prize. We congratulate the finalists and tonights awardee. The Hudgens Prize celebrates the arts in Georgia and we hope will fuel the potential of artistic production in the area.
Hur painstakingly created a complex installation of bright stripes from both deconstructed silk flower elements and paint, with an accompanying photograph. She states, narratives of memory, loss, and place are vital elements in my construction of a visual and psychological space in which improvised rituals and materials converge. Silk flowers are carefully disassembled and hand-shredded by [Hur] and a community of people around her. The pattern produced by a labor-intensive installation references the artists mothers wedding blanket, beckoning memories of the past and inherent ephemeral comfort. Re-contextualizing a cultural reference to the colors of seck-dong that are believed to drive out bad luck, [Hur] creates an aesthetic space that imposes on issues of culture, beliefs, and aesthetics.
The five finalists for the award, including fellow artists Ruth Dusseault of Atlanta, Hope Hilton of Winterville, and Scott Ingram and Jiha Moon of Atlanta, have all been working hard over the last couple of weeks to install their respective entries for the Finalists Exhibition, which will be on display to the public until February 19.
The Finalists Exhibition is the culmination of a nearly two year long process for the Hudgens Prize visual arts competition. Announced by the Hudgens Center for the Arts in January 2010, the competition caused quite a stir in the state, as the prize is one of the biggest cash art awards in the nation and open only to Georgia artists. The prize money and funding to administer the competition were donated by a foundation that prefers to remain anonymous. The foundations purpose in holding this competition is to help support and elevate the arts in the state of Georgia.
It is such an honor to be chosen as the facilitators for the competition, stated Angela Nichols, Director of Programs and Education at the Hudgens. The Hudgens Prize is such a substantial award that it can be truly life-altering for the winner, and having such a distinguished panel of jurists helps bring attention to the arts and artists in Georgia.
Three hundred and sixty-nine different artists entered over two thousand individual works of art, that the jury panel then sifted through to determine the five finalists. Each work was carefully logged in at the Hudgens and assigned a number, then screened for the jury as anonymous entries.
The Finalists Exhibition is open to the public from December 1 until February 19, and will include a looping video slideshow of works by each of the artists who entered the competition. The public is invited to come see the fascinating works by the Hudgens Prize finalists and entrants, and pick out their own favorite artist or artists.