South Arts South Prize Fellowship

Open to visual artists in South Arts’ nine-state region, nine artists will receive a total of $80,000 in awards and be displayed in a touring exhibition.

About the program: 

The South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. The program is open to individual artists living in the South Arts region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. South Arts is committed to practices and funding that create greater cultural equity, represent the diversity of our region, are inclusive of diverse voices and artistic expression, and are accessible to everyone. The group of nine State Fellows will be selected through a two-tiered selection process by a national jury. A second national jury will select the Southern Prize Winner and Finalist. Jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. This program is open only to visual artists and will expand to other disciplines in the future. The application deadline is January 11, 2021.


South Arts State Fellowships: $5,000

The South Arts State Fellowship is a state-specific prize awarded to the artists whose work reflects the best of the visual arts in the South. A national jury will select one winner per eligible state, for a group of nine State Fellows, based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. Each of the nine State Fellowship winners will be awarded a $5,000 South Arts State Fellowship and will compete for one of the two South Arts Prizes. State Fellowship recipients will be required to attend the awards ceremony in or around May 2021.

South Arts Southern Prize: $25,000 and $10,000

The nine State Fellowship recipients will compete for the South Arts Southern Prize. The $25,000 Southern Prize will be awarded to the artist whose work exhibits the highest artistic excellence, and one finalist will be awarded a $10,000 Prize, also based on artistic excellence. Both Southern Prize recipients will also receive a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. A separate national jury will convene to evaluate the body of work represented by the nine State Fellowship recipients and select the Prize winner and Finalist. Winners of the South Arts Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony.

An exhibition of works by the State Fellowship winners may, depending on the health-safety environment, open at/after the Southern Prize ceremony in May 2021.

Important Dates and Deadlines: 

Application Opens: November 12, 2020
Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021
State Fellowship Notifications: Late March, 2021
Southern Prize Announcement: Early May, 2021
Touring Exhibition Opening, Dates, and Locations: An exhibit of the State Fellowship recipients’ work may, depending on the health-safety environment, be held and/or tour the region at a date TBD through the remainder of 2021.

Eligibility Notes:

The following is a top-level list of the main eligibility requirements necessary to be considered for the Southern Prize and State Fellowships. Please refer to the full list of eligibility requirements in the program’s Guidelines.

An individual artist, or collaborative team of no more than two artists, working in one of the following categories:

  • Crafts
  • Drawing
  • Experimental
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Mixed Media
  • Multidisciplinary
  • At least 18 years of age or older
  • Not a full-time high school or undergraduate student
  • A legal resident within South Arts’ nine-state service area for at least two years prior to their application
  • Maintain residency in their current state for the duration of their award year

Please note that film, video, and media artists are not eligible to apply at this time. However, work that incorporates elements of film, video, and other media—work that can be reasonably construed to belong to categories like Experimental, Mixed Media, and Multidisciplinary—may be eligible.