The hefty award was first introduced in 2010, when a Duluth family foundation anonymously provided the funds for the prize to the sprawling arts complex located a ways up I-85 to highlight artists working in Georgia. It's a significant chunk of change not just for Georgia arts grants, but for arts grants in general. As former CL art critic/columnist Cinque Hicks put it in a 2010 article about the prize:
At $50,000, the Hudgens Prize is a big deal. It leaves the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Prize ($20,000) in its dust and nips at the heels of the U.K.'s Turner Prize, (around $63,000), the paragon of prestigious art prizes. Both prizes solidify artists' careers. They're seals of approval, validating artists ready to box with the big boys and girls. The same is true of a handful of even larger prizes, such as the Guggenheim's Hugo Boss Prize, weighing in at a hefty hundred grand.
Budding young artist Gyun Hur took home the prize in 2010 and has gone on to do some great things while remaining based here, including teaching at the University of Georgia and collaborating with gloATL on the upcoming Hippodrome at the Goat Farm, among many other projects.
The Hudgens will host a finalists' exhibition June 8 through September 7, announcing the winners Aug. 10. More on the four finalists from the press release, including photos, after the jump.
Christopher Chambers is an Atlanta resident. According to his bio, Chambers was raised in a variety of suburban sprawls throughout the midwest, northeast and southeast, and received his BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited primarily in improvised public environments, as large-scale video and multimedia installations: in an alley, a failed restaurant, a soon-to-fail coffee shop, and a perpetually empty storefront. In other settings and mediums, he has exhibited with the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the Southwest Arts Center, the Living Walls Conference Atlanta, apexart NY, and the High Museum. He most recently collaborated on two successive installation and interdisciplinary exhibitions at Beep Beep and Kibbee Galleries.
Chambers states that, "By accumulating and deconstructing the artifacts of memory I re-evaluate the visual records of both personal memory as well as the communal memory that these artifacts have facilitated. Through this work, I communicate human emotion and experience as I have come to understand them."
- Courtesy the Hudgens Center for the Arts
- "Bioluminescence" by Robby Land, 2012 - video still
Robbie Land, also an Atlanta resident, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He began working in film, specifically super-8mm, producing animations and live action experiments. He has worked on a variety of projects, from cinematographer at the Florida Lightning Research Facility to teaching college level photography and film production. He continues to experiment with various photo-based and sound methods for exhibition of installations, film screenings, performance and photography. His work has been exhibited at Kunst Film Biennale in Cologne, Germany, Museum Do Chiado in Lisbon, Portugal, The International Experimental Cinema Exposition in Denver, Colorado, Scientifical Center Espace Mendès in Poitiers, France, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, and a variety of solo and group screenings and venues.
Land states that, "Currently I am developing photo-based work that provides a personal documentation of the earth's natural phenomena. I utilize a variety of methods such as employing microscope objectives, time exposure, hydrophones, and pinhole cinematography to provide a personal perspective, a poetic science to my subjects. It is my desire that the viewers see and hear the place and obtain a sense of its textural existence as it is exhibited in screenings, installations and performance."
Derek Larson, a Statesboro resident, received his MFA from the Yale School of Art and has participated in a number of national and international exhibitions and residencies, with recent shows in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York and Helsinki. His work has been featured in the Seattle Times, NY Arts Magazine, The Times-Picayune and Rhizome @ The New Museum in New York, and he is currently the director of the 4D/New Media program at Georgia Southern University.
Larson states, "As a new media artist I use a wide variety of mediums to express my ideas. Whether I am casting, building an installation or animating, everything I do is connected to my background as a painter and to fundamental design concepts. The materials I use are varied: 3D printers, motors, video, 2D & 3D animation, screen prints and projections on shaped screens. What was once the accumulation of things from an event (flyers, posters, tickets) are now collected digitally. My videos are a result of aftermarket practices or of the rummaging through an endless, virtual landfill of digital trash."
- Courtesy the Hudgens Center for the Arts
- "Ghosts of Consumption" by Pam Longobardi, 2012, found ocean plastic, steel pins, silicone
Pam Longobardi, an Atlanta resident, has had over 40 solo exhibitions and 65 group exhibitions in galleries and museums in the US, China, Italy, Spain, Finland, Poland, Japan, Germany, Greece and Monaco. She is Professor of Art at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and created the Drifters Project in 2006, an ongoing environmental art intervention involving photography and installation focusing on the cultural artifact of contemporary life, the plastic object, and its impact on the global ocean. She exhibited this work in Beijing at NY ARTS/Beijing during the 2008 Olympics and at ARTLIFEfortheworld in Venice for the 2009 Venice Biennale ARTE VISIVI collateral exhibitions. Edizione CHARTA (Milan, NY) published a book on her project titled "Drifters: Plastics, Pollution and Personhood" in 2010.
Longobardi states, "I am a conceptual artist with a strong affinity to materials and process. Collectively, both these aspects of my practice explore the Anthropocene [modern era, dominated by humans}. Plastic objects are the cultural archaeology of our time. These are objects with unintended consequences that become transformed as they leave the quotidian world and collide with nature to be mutated, transported and regurgitated out of the shifting oceans. I have made scores of interventions, cleaning beaches and making collections from all over the world, removing thousands of pounds of material from the natural environment and re-situating it in exhibition context for examination."
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