The 701 CCA Prize 2018 Finalists Are...

 The 701 CCA Prize 2018 Finalists:

Carey W. Morton, Charleston, SC

Alexander Thierry, Columbia, SC

Jena Thomas, Spartanburg, SC


For further inquiries, contact Hannah Shepard at or (803) 319-9949.


701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., is excited to announce that the finalists for the 701 CCA Prize 2018 are Carey W. Morton of Charleston, Alexander Thierry of Columbia and Jena Thomas of Spartanburg. The 701 CCA Prize 2018 is a competition and exhibition for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. A record number of 28 artists submitted for the Prize this year.

The three finalists’ work will be shown in the 701 CCA Prize 2018 Exhibition, which will open Thursday, November 8, 2018, with an extended artists’ reception to coincide with the center’s 10th Anniversary Celebration., 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Through the combined opening reception and 10th Anniversary Celebration, 701 invites the public to celebrate ten years of outstanding exhibitions, educational programming and organizational growth at 701 CCA. The exhibition will run through December 23. This year’s Prize is the fourth installment of the biennial event.

“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.”

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.

The three finalists 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 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. “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.”

The 701 CCA Prize winner will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national publication.

            Morton was selected for last year’s 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial. Born in Greenville, S.C., he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Winthrop University and his Master of Fine Arts from Clemson University. He has worked as a metal fabricator, blacksmith and designer to craft public sculpture and works for private clients. Among the venues where Morton’s theatrical sculpture installations have shown are Artfields, Lake City, S.C., Redux Contemporary Art Gallery, Charleston, S.C., and Kai-Lin Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA. He maintains an active studio while serving as Adjunct Professor of Sculpture at College of Charleston.

            Thierry received his M.F.A. from The University of Kansas and a B.A. in Painting, B.F.A. in Ceramics, and an M.A.E. in Visual Art Education from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. His work has been shown all over the United States in museums, galleries, and juried and solo exhibitions, including Gandee Gallery in New York, Healdsburg Center for the Arts in California and Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA. Along with growing and evolving as an artist, he built a visiting artist series that received over $40,000 in three years of funding. He has also attended workshops and received assistantships to attend craft schools in Colorado, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Thierry now resides in Columbia, South Carolina and is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at South Carolina State University.

            Thomas was selected as a finalist for the third installment of the 701 CCA Prize 2016 and Miami University’s Young Painters Competition. Born in South Florida, she received her B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA and her M.F.A. from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. She has exhibited extensively in Florida and the Northeast, with exhibitions at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, in Stamford, CT, Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida, and Art Context in New York. Her work has been featured in such publications as Studio Visit magazine, New American Painting and Creative Quarterly. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Converse College in Spartanburg.


            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