Jena Thomas WINS the 701 CCA PRIZE 2018
Spartanburg, S.C., artist Jena Thomas won the 701 CCA Prize 2018 for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. Thomas was announced as the winner during the November 28 701 CCA Prize Celebration at Columbia’s 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The winner was announced by Tristan Weinkle and Corinne Goldberg of exhibition sponsor South Carolina Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care.
“Thomas is an outstanding winner of this year’s Prize,” 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs said. “She won in a highly competitive field of contestants that included two other excellent finalists, Carey Morton and Alexander Thierry.” Thomas, who teaches at Converse College in Spartanburg, is a painter. Morton, who creates mixed media sculptures, is a recent graduate of Clemson University and current adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston and artist in residence at the Gibbes Museum, also in Charleston. Thierry, a ceramicist, started teaching at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg in 2017, coming from Kansas.
As the winner, Thomas will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national art magazine. The finalists and winner were selected by an independent jury consisting of Osamu Kobayashi, Brooklyn, N.Y., painter and Columbia, S.C., native; Jessica Moss, curator, artist, writer and founder of The Roll Up CLT in Charlotte, N.C.; and Catherine Walworth, curator of the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C.
The 701 CCA Prize 2018 exhibition will remain on view through December 23, 2018. The exhibition catalogue, which also was presented at the 701 CCA Prize Celebration, is available at 701 CCA for $3.00.
Thomas also was a finalist for the 701 CCA Prize 2016. She received her MFA from the University of Miami in Florida and in 2016 joined the art faculty of Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. Thomas has exhibited extensively in the past decade in Florida and New England. Among her recent solo and two-person exhibitions are those at Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in Stamford, Con.; Contemporary Art Space in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Green Monkey in Miami. Thomas has been represented at Art Hamptons, Art Palm Beach and the Miami International Art Fair. She has exhibited at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Coral Gables Museum, and the South Florida Cultural Center, all in Florida. Her work was selected for New American Painting’s 2014 MFA Edition.
The 701 CCA Prize’s purpose is to identify and recognize young South Carolina artists whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit. “Once again, the number of good, exciting young artists in South Carolina allowed the jury panel to select three outstanding artists as finalists for the 701 CCA Prize 2018,” 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs said. “The competition was fierce. Thomas also was a finalist in 2016, which makes her the first 701 CCA Prize repeat finalist. Morton is new to the Prize but was selected last year for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial. Thierry is a recent addition to the state’s art scene whose exciting work has not yet been shown much in South Carolina.” This year’s installment was the fourth 701 CCA Prize event.
“With the 701 CCA Prize, 701 Center for Contemporary Art has added a crucial component to the eco-system for artists and the visual arts in South Carolina,” Roefs said. “Prior to this 701 CCA initiative, the state did not have a prominent event to highlight the best young talent in South Carolina.”
701 CCA is a non-profit visual arts center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community. The center also encourages interaction between visual and other art forms.
701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. During exhibitions, hours are Wed-Sat 11–5; Sun 1-5. For more information, visit www.701cca.org.
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